The network of nerves that connect at different levels of the spinal cord control both conscious and unconscious activities. It is through the spinal cord that information flows from these nerves to the brain and back again.
The nervous system is divided into the:
- Somatic nervous system which controls organs under voluntary control (mainly muscles).
- Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) which regulates individual organ function and homeostasis, and for the most part is not subject to voluntary control. It is also known as the visceral or automatic system.
The ANS is divided into two responsive systems:
- Sympathetic nervous system (Yang / Pingala Nadi): which influences us to activity, alertness, and movement.
- Parasympathetic nervous system (Yin / Ida Nadi): which influences us to passivity, relaxation and rest.
A balanced life will involve the healthy and balanced experience of the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses. The yogic system refers to this as "sattva" and the Taoist call it a balance between Yin and Yang. Others have called it "the golden mean."
What all health systems agree upon is the need for a healthy and balanced body and mind.
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