The Pleasure Reward Center (partially developed at birth)
The Front of the Brain (will not be completely developed until about age 25)
Now make a fist...yes, a fist with your thumb inside.
It is symbolic of your brain.
The Brain Stem, aka the Reptilian Brain, is the base of the wrist and hand. It is our survival center. When we feel threatened or not safe, secure, protected, it reacts! The base or neck of your palm and wrist represent this area of the brain.
The thumb is your emotional center of your brain where the pleasure reward center is located, along with the amydala (2) and the hypothalmus in the Limbic Brain. The Limbic Brain is the emotional part of the brain, where we all feel anger, frustration, impatience, resentment, etc, with all of the positive emotions of joy, contentment, happiness,...
The fingers represent the cortex. The frontal cortex is our Intuitive Brain, where we make decisions, use discernment, reason, plan, and think.
While healthy adults frequent the cortex area of the brain, teens (ages 11 or 12 through 24), live in the pleasure seeking or Limbic Brain. Thus, they have an exaggerated stress response and do not always read faces or information correctly. The neo-cortex part of their brains will not fully develop until they are in their 20's.
So, literally, their brains are under construction. It is not just the hormones from puberty that make them react, it is their thinking.
Yoga makes a big difference for all of us!
When we breathe and pause and center ourselves, we move from the Reptilian Brain and Limbic Brain into the Cortex part of the brain where we can discern, think about, and consider.
So, don't flip your lid! Pause and breathe. Stop and think. Slow down your reaction and instead be proactive.
The breath, "Letting Go Breath," inhale through the nose; exhale out through the mouth with sound.
- Releases strong emotion
- Releases anxiety
- Initiates relaxation response
- Normalizes the rate of breathing and calms the mind