Switch Off to Discover a New You: Why I Like to Go on a Retreat

A yoga practitioner emphasises the need for a periodical break from daily routine and explains what it does to your mind and body.

The word retreat literally means to withdraw or retire, to draw back. In our fast paced city lives this is exactly what we need in terms of extricating ourselves out of our daily hustle and bustle.

The science behind the need to log-off

Pulled by the need to be constantly working or looking after home and family and dealing with the stress of work, relationships and yes, social lives too, keeps us in what we call the “fight or flight mode” that activates the ‘sympathetic nervous system’. It’s that part of our nervous system which makes us respond to threat or a stressful situation.

Some of the physical responses to being in sympathetic mode are increased heart rate, high blood pressure, cold skin, increased breathing rate, and/or sweating. As opposed to being in parasympathetic mode which is more about: rest and digest, which brings homeostasis or balance to our nervous system or more calm and relaxed feeling to our bodies and minds.

Unfortunately, we tend to remain more and more in sympathetic state, which stimulates the stress hormones to continue into our systems for longer periods of time and leave us in constant fight or flight mode. The longer term effects being hearth disease, chronic fatigue, and depression.

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Categories: Yoga

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