The human body is a complex machine, made up of 37.2 trillion cells and multiple organs, functioning as a single unit with the mind. It’s no easy feat but it functions in synergy every single day of our lives.
Synergy: (noun) – The combined power of a group of things when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately.

When we acknowledge the power of these entities, our body, mind & soul, working together the possibilities are endless. We have the ability to influence our physical health, our neurological pathways and our emotional state of mind.

Research has proven that this mind-body connection is vital for the overall functioning of a human being. The mind and the body are not separate. What affects one affects the other. An imbalance in the body can often find its root in an imbalance in the mind, and vice versa.
The brain, mind, and body are a single unit which cannot be separated. Any alteration in the brain affects the bodily functions. Any physical condition can cause changes in the mind and the brain.
Unfortunately in today’s society we have learned to disconnect these parts from each other, effectively blocking the ability for them to be synergetic and therefore function optimally. We listen to music as we walk, blocking out our sensory awareness, we numb feeling with alcohol,   we ignore physical pain, which is essentially messages from our body, we continually minimus sleep and maximise productivity keeping our body in a state of stress. Whether we do so consciously, or it’s simply a product of our way of life, we are in essence disconnecting those parts of ourselves that keep us healthy, happy & functioning properly.
The brain, mind, and body are a single unit which cannot be separated. Any alteration in the brain affects the bodily functions. Any physical condition can cause changes in the mind and the brain. With this in mind, we need to address the needs of our body and mind synergistically rather than separately in order to achieve optimum health.
By understanding the connection between body & mind we can explore how stress might present itself physically, mentally & emotionally and find ways to treat stress in a more holistic way.
Take for example stress, which is a bodily experience, not just a cognitive one. Because stress is a bodily experience, a somatic experience, something which impacts our heart rate and our nervous system, we cannot simply treat stress through cognitive techniques alone, we have to address its effect on the body. By understanding the connection between body & mind we can explore how stress might present itself physically, mentally & emotionally and find ways to treat stress in a more holistic way.
Yoga has long been known as a great antidote for stress, particularly in relation to this focus on a synergetic approach to dealing with the effects of stress. Yoga combines stress-reducing techniques that incorporate both the physical and mental – movement to release tension, both physical & energetic blockages in the body, and learning to control the breath, clear the mind, and relax the body.
So how can you deal with stress in a synergetic or in a holistic manner?
MOVEMENT:
Explore the physical practice of yoga, yoga postures or asana. Find your balance between dynamic practices, like Hot & Flow, and gentler practices, like Slow Flow & Yin. Any movement will help relieve stress by keeping the body healthy and releasing endorphins, natural hormones that make you feel better, as well as relieving physical tension through stretching. Remember, often it’s what we resist that we need the most.
BREATH
Pranayama or breath work is an important part of any yoga practice and, although an involuntary action, we can learn to control the breath to influence our nervous system. This can not only combat the effects of stress, but teach our body and mind to deal with stress to prevent its negative impact.
MEDITATION
Our minds are constantly active, and at the moment continually bombarded with stimulus that is both stressful and traumatic. The goal of meditation is not to ‘clear the mind’ as such, but be able to reframe our reaction to thoughts and stimulus – essentially taming the “monkey mind”. With recent neuroscientific findings, meditation as a practices has been shown to literally rewire brain circuits that boost both mind and body health.
RELAXATION
Whilst difficult at first for many, relaxation in the form of savasana or a guided Yoga Nidra is just as important as our asana, breath & meditation practice. This is where both our body and mind gets the opportunity to let go and enter our parasympathetic or rest & digest phase. This is where the body and mind really heals.
In the same way that we should consider our body & mind as connected, we should approach each element of our practice as a whole.

Don’t forget to explore the range of classes available through our Kula Online Studio to find balance in your practice and therefore synergy in your approach to body, mind & soul.

We look forward to seeing you on the mat soon!

Team Kula xx

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About the author: Andy is a qualified Yoga Therapist & Teacher. She is Communications Manager at Kula Yoga, co-owner of High Tide Yoga on the Bellarine and runs her own small Yoga Therapy business. Andy is also a health & wellness blogger, hobby photographer and mama of 3!
Photo credit: Kula founder Kacey Smith by Andybbear Photography

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