Your central nervous system includes your brain and your spinal chord. There are many nerves that connect your brain and body parts and organs through your spinal chords. Your nerves exit your sine between your vertebral foramina. If your spinal column is compressed, out of alignment or your discs have wear and tear, then your nerves become impinged which cuts off the flow of energy to your muscles and organs. By maintaining the suppleness of your spine through yoga you are greatly assisting your central nervous system.
Your spinal cavity contains the spinal cord, while the head contains the brain. Your central nervous system is enclosed and protected by meninges, a three-layered system of membranes, including a tough, leathery outer layer called the dura mater. Your brain is also protected by your skull, while your spinal cord is protected by your vertebrae.
Your peripheral nervous system (PNS) includes the parts of your nervous system structures that do not lie within your central nervous system. A large majority of your axon bundles called nerves are considered to belong to the peripheral nervous system, even when the cell bodies of the neurons to which they belong reside within the brain or spinal cord. The PNS is divided into somatic and visceral parts. The somatic part consists of the nerves that innervate the skin, joints, and muscles. The cell bodies of somatic sensory neurons lie in dorsal root ganglia of the spinal cord. The visceral part, also known as the autonomic nervous system, contains neurons that innervate the internal organs, blood vessels, and glands. The autonomic nervous system itself consists of two parts: the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system, which we talked about at great length in episode 192.
As I mentioned, your central nervous system includes your brain and your spinal chord and this acts as the integrative and control center. Next comes the peripheral nervous system which includes your cranial nerves and spinal nerves. They act as the communication lines between your central nervous system and the rest of your body. As I mentioned, your peripheral nervous system breaks down into your somatic and visceral parts or the sensory and motor divisions. The sensory division affects somatic and visceral nerve fibers which conduct nerve impulses to the central nervous system. The motor division affects motor nerve fibers which conducts impulses from your central nervous system to your muscles and glands. Your motor division then affects your autonomic nervous system and your somatic nervous system. Your autonomic nervous system is involuntary and affects functions below your level of consciousness such as your heart rate, digestion, respiration rate, salivation, perspiration, pupil dilation, and need to urinate for example. Your somatic nervous system affects nerve impulses to your musculoskeletal system. Your sympathetic nervous system mobilizes your body during fight or flight and your parasympathetic nervous system conserves energy and promotes “house-keeping” such as healing and digestion in your body while at rest.
Props Needed: Yoga Bolster and Blocks
Yoga Asanas/Postures: Reclined 1/2 Moon Pose/Supta Ardha Chandrāsana, Reclined Twist/Jathara Parivartanasana Series, Cat Pose/Marjaryasana, Modified Spinal Energy Series, Gate Pose/Parighasana, Standing Twist, Standing Side Bend, Standing Backbend/Anuvittasana, Side Angle Pose/Parsvakonasana, Cobra/Bhujaṅgāsana, Sage Twist/Bharadvajasana, Tortiose/Kūrmāsana, Gyan Mudra, Hakini Mudra