Yoga Bliss: The Neuroscience Behind It

Sharon Heller, Ph.D.
Senior woman lying on yoga mat practicing Savasana

Eyes closed, I’m lying on my back in Savasana at the end of an arduous hour and a half Vinyasa class. My body feels heavy and melting into the floor, my breathing slowed to 3 to 4 times per minute. My mind floats above the clouds. 

I’m lost in the moment. Time stands still. I never want to leave.

Ahhh. Yoga bliss. It’s the runner’s high; euphoria; being in the zone; floating away on cloud 9.

Family togetherness and gratitude hands are in Anjali Mudra Prayer Position cultivating aparigraha

Practice Aparigraha for the Holidays: How Yoga’s Non-Attachment Can Create Holiday Happiness

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” You’ve probably heard this song more than once in the last few months. Big box stores, grocery stores, local shops, downtown streets—all have been broadcasting... Read more
Finding peace through gratitude in the workplace

Overwhelmed? 2 Steps to Ease

As I came back to work after a month off, I noticed myself feeling overwhelmed by the mountain of work in front of me. I felt a ton of resistance, and stress about how much work had to be done. A perfect... Read more
Photo of emotional female demonstrates thankful gesture

Practicing Gratitude for Our Blessings, Big and Small

My favorite holiday is coming up. No, it isn’t Christmas. That holiday is associated with too many unpleasant childhood memories of dysfunctional extended family members and parental fights over money, coupled... Read more
Happy healthy woman's back view waking up stretching-- a good way to start the day

5 Ways to Practice Yoga for Better Sleep

Let’s get a little personal for a moment: how have you been sleeping lately? If your answer is something like “not great,” you’re in no way alone. Lack of adequate sleep is arguably an unspoken epidemic... Read more
Woman tries to keep calm with yoga position due to stress and overwork at work

4 Steps to Stopping the Overwork Cycle

At the end of a day of work, there can be a simple practice of wrapping things up and shutting down for the day. But so many of us feel guilty at simply stopping. We’re plagued by a feeling that we should be... Read more
Restorative Mountain Brook Pose as a great way to prepare for a good night's sleep

Insomnia and the Restless Mind

It’s after 3:00 am. You’re wide awake, mind racing. You might be worried about paying your mortgage. You might be puzzling over something someone said to you and rehearsing your response. Maybe busyness is... Read more
 Senior woman doing forward bend yoga exercise Balasana, Child Pose

Yoga Therapy for Perfectionism

My name is Beth and I am a perfectionist! Some of you may recognize yourself in this article but may not be ready to come out of the closet. And you know which closet I mean: that perfectly organized closet,... Read more

Yoga for Anxiety: Calm Your Stress Response

From as early as I can recall, the idea of standing up in front of a group of people has terrified me. As a child, I loved the idea of acting but the reality of getting up on the stage was overwhelming. I... Read more
Restorative Forward Fold with Props to help restore the body to rest-and-digest mode

The Power of Polyvagal Theory: When It Doesn’t Work to Just Breathe

It’s a simple mantra: Just breathe. And it can help get you through plenty of stressful situations by calming you down. But it’s not always the best advice. Don’t get us wrong, we are all about using breath as... Read more
Young yogi woman practicing yoga sitting in Cobbler's Pose Baddha Konasana Pose

Conscious Breathing and the Vagus Nerve

Our bodies reflect our relationship to stress. When under duress, your sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear, which can lead you to breathe with quick, forceful inhalations into your upper chest. This... Read more