The Yoga Addiction

53: Why Do We Care About The Vagus Nerve?

The Yoga Addiction
53: Why Do We Care About The Vagus Nerve?
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In recent years, yogis and yoga teacher trainers have been paying more and more attention to the very important vagus nerve. In this episode, we break down the general anatomy and function of the vagus nerve. Then, we discuss its relationship to trauma and teaching in a trauma sensitive environment. Finally, we cover two studies that highlight the importance of our wellness practices on the health of our nervous system.

 

// IN THIS EPISODE //

 

  •  The vagus nerve exits the brain, not the spine (4:13)
  • The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems overlap and help us navigate our daily lives (Fight or Flight and Rest and Digest) (9:47)
  • Vagal Tone: the ability to regulate the transition from sympathetic to parasympathetic (12:13)
  • What does the vagus nerve do? (16:24)
  • What is polyvagal theory? (27:58)
  • The reptilian freeze response is accessed through the parasympathetic system, not the sympathetic system (35:10)
  • Study: How Breathing Can Help You Make Better Decisions (46:34)
  •  Study: Breath of Life: The Respiratory Vagal Stimulation Model of Contemplative Activity (55:59)

 

// RESOURCES & LINKS //

 

Episode 12: Understanding the Parasympathetic Nervous System

Episode 34: Meghan Johnston - Your Brain and Nervous System on Restorative Yoga 

Video: 5 min rundown of Polyvagal Theory

Video: 28 min Nerd Nite on Polyvagal Theory (very enjoyable!)

Book: The Body Keeps the Score - By Bessel Van Der Kolk

Research paper: How breathing can help you make better decisions: Two studies on the effects of breathing patterns on heart rate variability and decision-making in business cases

Research paper: Breath of Life: The Respiratory Vagal Stimulation Model of Contemplative Activity

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