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Yoga, Mindfulness, and Resiliency

Maynard High School

Week 3: Observing the Stress Cycle

In this lesson, we practice the art of observing the cycle of stress and relaxation in the body, specifically: observing the nervous system as it activates the sympathetic and parasympathetic cycles.

This is Stress 101: Introduction to the Nervous System

Like many concepts about the human body: it is simple to learn, but takes a lot of time to truly understand. And, from there, it’s rare for people to truly learn and understand how to integrate this information to help make informed decisions about how to care for their body and mind. 

Here’s how it starts: you have 10 different biological systems that keep you alive. Some of those systems include: respiratory system (lungs, metabolic processes), cardiovascular (heart, veins), or digestive (stomach, intestines). One of the systems we spend a lot of time learning and understanding in yoga and mindfulness is the nervous system.

Now, the nervous system has two modes of operation. In other words, we’re either in “rest, digest, repair” mode or “fight, flight, freeze” mode. Many people have learned this. And some truly understand what it means.

But this week – we’re taking it much farther. Because we’re going to practice self-observation to explore what each mode of operation FEELS LIKE in the body. And we’ll learn some valuable skills on how to develop self awareness around stress, so you can actively work with your nervous system to manage it in real time.


Discussion Topics

This Week’s Practice

Video 1:

Observe Stress Cycle

Video 2:

Observe Relaxation Cycle

Video 3:

Peaceful Place Meditation

Bonus Classes

Teens | Yoga When You’re Not Motivated to Exercise

Trauma Informed Gentle Yoga Class


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