The PNS originates in the brain stem and
lower spinal cord, and provides opposing physiological effects
to the SNS. The PNS regulates many of the body's glands and their
functions, as well as stimulates and improves digestion and nutrient
Although some yoga asanas and breathing exercises can activate the SNS, many stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.
Such practices include slow breathing and pranayama, mudras, mindful
chanting and meditation. Research has shown that SNS-activating yoga
practices followed by PNS-activating techniques result in deeper
relaxation and more benefits than just the calming practices alone.
In addition to pranayama and meditation, yogis can stimulate the
parasympathetic nervous system and reduce stress by practicing
calming asanas such as reclined bound angle pose, child's pose,
corpse pose and easy pose with the grounding mudra, among others.