Website EP12

12: Understanding the Parasympathetic Nervous System

Whether you’ve studied the nervous system or not, as a yoga teacher or practitioner you have definitely dabbled within your own parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). In this episode we break down what exactly the PNS is, what it does, and why it’s so incredibly important in our yoga practice. At the end of the episode, we give tips to help transition into the PNS, and link up our YouTube video on creating a PNS practice.


  • What is the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) and what does it do? (4:49)
  • It’s relationship to stress, overthinking, travel and being unable to poop (7:00)
  • How each person experiences stress differently and the nervous system balances is unique in everyone (9:15)
  • The simple process of having to think affects your stress level (14:15)
  • The Enteric Nervous System – almost has a mind of its own but is also sensitive to stress (19:55)
  • Can both PNS and SNS work at once? (24:20)
  • What happens to your nervous system when you sleep? (33:13)
  • We discuss a study on 26 healthy people, music, and PNS; As yoga teachers, what music do you play? How do you feel about silence? (34:58)
  • How you can structure a more physical style of yoga in the evening to give your students the physical work they need while supporting the nervous system (46:05)


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