Wonder what all the buzz about the vagus nerve is about?
Is it just a passing fad and is the vagus nerve not all that it has been hyped up to be? Or, can you really hack the nervous system to achieve greater equanimity and balance?
In this free download, yoga teacher and author Doug Keller sets us straight on the vagus nerve, why it’s so vital for our well-being, and why it has become the new darling of the yoga movement community.
We are quite familiar with the importance of working with our muscles to stay strong and flexible over time, Doug notes.
But one of the things that are so interesting about the discussion around the vagus nerve is that it shows that we ALSO need to be working with keeping the nerves of the body healthy, particularly the vagus nerve because it governs vital processes in the body.
In fact, Doug notes, learning to work with the vagus nerve gives us access to what we might call the holy grail of all self-care activities.
It can enable us to modulate nervous system functioning to shift out of a frantic fight-and-flight mode of functioning to a calmer, rest-and-digest mode of functioning.
The ancient yogis were on to this long before the West even discovered the vagus nerve. In the yogic texts, this is framed in terms of the three gunas – Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas, Doug explains. Metaphorically speaking, these describe the three different levels of functioning of the vagus nerve.
So, what does it mean to tone the vagus nerve to strengthen the nervous system? And how can yoga help?
Doug shares some of the ways that the ancient yogic techniques enable us to work more consciously with the vagus nerve in our practice to achieve greater balance and calm in body and mind.
You may also be interested in Doug Keller’s course: Restoring Balance: Yogic Tools to Calm an Overactive Nervous System