Imagine you are walking down a busy traffic narrow roadside with a sprained ankle, you lost your glasses and you haven't slept in days. Would you feel safe? No. Your nervous system might be in overdrive, right? Well this is how it can feel after a concussion or other accident/trauma. When we feel uncoordinated, our vision or thinking is off, our brain is tired and hazards are coming at us, it is pretty hard to feel safe. You see, our nervous system is constantly scanning our environment, and if there are cues that our brain processes as a threat, our nervous system can shift into fight, flight, or even freeze.
And let me tell you firsthand, It is hard to get out of that; to get that heart rate down, to get to a relaxed and balanced rest and digest kind of a state when your nervous system continues to process danger. It's also hard to learn anything, to eat, to improve your walking or vision or thinking, until you get off that roadside and get things together.
Here is a piece that is often missed in concussion recovery. Creating Safety in a nervous system that is off- the- rails. But this groundwork has to happen to see change, to succeed in therapy, to Heal.
There are many ways to create that safety: Environmental changes. Learning how to breathe, to get in touch with the body, relaxation techniques, grounding practices, using nature, coordination exercises, and so much more. It may sound simple but actually it takes guided practice. Especially when your body is always on the edge of or in full fight or flight!
YOGA is one of the environments where I learned what safety feels like. The moment I set foot on the mat I feel more grounded and connected. I have control of my body, my breath and my nervous system here! It is a place to practice all of those techniques, as they are an integral part of the yoga practice.
We can then work on using techniques to create safety in nature, at work, in the home, driving and in all our daily environments.
I can't tell you how much this awareness, this skill, has changed my life. I use it every day. Do you want to learn more?
Watch for our upcoming GROUNDING masterclass, or reach out and book a call to learn about my 12 week concussion recovery yoga program. I'd love to be your coach!