Yoga for highly sensitive people

One in five people are born with the trait of high sensitivity. This innate temperament trait is also known as sensory processing sensitivity, because of the depth of sensory, environmental and information processing that happens within the biological nervous systems and brains of highly sensitive persons.

What is an HSP?

An HSP is a person who experiences their emotions more deeply and intensely than non-HSPs and they process them for longer. They have high levels of empathy, are deeply compassionate and extremely intuitive. If there is too much stimulation for the sensory nervous system of an HSPs, over-arousal can occur and HSPs can end up feeling frazzled or overwhelmed in the non sensitive we live in.

Did you know?

Research shows that 70% of HSPs are more introverted and 30% are more extroverted. It appears that those HSPs who are more on the introverted side favour the more “gentler” types of yoga such as Hatha compared to the more dynamic ones.

Top 3 Yoga practices for HSPs

  • Yin Yoga. This gentle form of Yoga is about finding stillness, perfect for HSPs who find it hard to stop their overactive minds or who have busy lives. On a physical level, it targets the deeper tissues including fascia. On an emotional level, fascia also holds memory and unresolved trauma. For deeply emotional an empathic HSPs, it is an ideal practice for releasing and letting go.
  • Restorative Yoga. Also beneficial for HSPs who have difficulty slowing down or who suffer with anxiety. This practice taps into the parasympathetic nervous system to help with deeper relaxation.
  • Kundalini Yoga. Resonates with HSPs who see spirituality or a faith-based religion as a fundamental part of their life or for those who practice meditation or mindfulness. It can involve chanting, mantras and meditation to awaken the kundalini energy that rests at the base of the spine, which then moves through the chakras to bring the person into a higher state of consciousness.

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