Conscious Breathing and the Vagus Nerve

By
Dr. Arielle Schwartz
Young yogi woman practicing yoga sitting in Cobbler's Pose Baddha Konasana Pose

Our bodies reflect our relationship to stress. When under duress, your sympathetic nervous system kicks into gear, which can lead you to breathe with quick, forceful inhalations into your upper chest. This breathing pattern prepares you to flee or fight off impending danger. There is wisdom in your body’s protective defense patterns. Yet, you are not meant to live there long term. 

Young woman meditating and tuning into inner yogic wisdom

Find the Goodness Within

There’s a choice at the moment, do we go with Hobbes’ assertion that the natural state of mankind is “nasty, brutish and short” or do we see the intrinsic goodness of each person? The former will be driven by... Read more
pebble stack next to the mountain river symbolic of slowing down and enjoying the awe of nature

Yoga and the Pathological Need for Speed

I think it was sometime in the mid-2000s when I started to have this sinking feeling that life was increasingly speeding up out of my control. I could blame it on being busy with work or having a baby. I could... Read more
Woman resting after a yoga class in Corpse Pose or Savasana with bolster for spine comfort

6 Steps to a Relaxing Trauma-Informed Savasana

Relaxation Pose (Savasana) is meant to be the highlight of each class—or so I thought when I started practicing yoga. But what if Relaxation Pose brings us more stress than ease? In this article, we explore... Read more
Yoga students practicing the yogic principles of slowing down and appreciating the moment

Slowing Down: The Power of Pausing

Years ago I took a vacation to Baja, where some friends had relocated. One morning when the beach was completely deserted, I decided to take a solitary walk. As my pace slowed due to the mushy sand, I began to... Read more
Yoga student practices yoga principles for the new year and meditates on the mountain

Yoga Principles to Guide Your New Year

Welcome to 2021! Congratulations, we have made it through what felt like the longest year in history. No matter what your individual 2020 experience may have been, it’s probably fair to say we all were a... Read more
The benefits of practicing Savasana restorative yoga pose to reduce stress and improve sleep

Stop the Stress Epidemic with Sound Sleep and Restorative Yoga

Sometimes it can feel like stress is all around us. We are trying to meet more demands than ever, and our self-care routine gets pushed by the wayside. That often means bad food choices and poor sleep habits... Read more
A yoga practitioner practicing Child's Pose (Balasana) on a kayak to benefit of self-awareness

What's Wrong With This Picture? How Yoga Can Keep Us from Missing the Moment

A blue kayak floats on a lake of crystalline water. White clouds drift lazily across a blue sky punctuated by the pinks and purples of early sunset. It’s not visible, but there’s a breeze, gentle and cooling... Read more
Restorative Mountain Pose (Tadasana) to reduce stress and trauma

Book Review: Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma

What role does yoga play in making the world more equitable and socially just? If whitewashed, stick-thin, Gumby-like models on Instagram or magazine covers are your only source of knowledge of yoga, it would... Read more
Interview with Dr. Gail Parker on Restorative yoga for race-based stress

Restorative Yoga for Ethnic and Race-Based Stress and Trauma: An Interview with Gail Parker

Gail Parker (Ph.D., C-IAYT, E-RYT 500) is a psychologist, a certified yoga therapist, and a nationally and internationally renowned thought leader. In this interview, Yoga U contributing writer Lacey Gibson... Read more
Yoga students in class practicing Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) to reduce anxiety and stress

How Yoga Can Help You Find Equanimity in the Midst of Change

“The discriminating person knows that suffering is inherent in change, in the anxiety over change, and in the subliminal impressions left by this anxiety. The past and present are intertwined, and even... Read more