Chronic stress and trauma can take a toll on our physical and mental health. The portion of the nervous system that functions without our conscious awareness is called the autonomic nervous system (ANS) which either mobilizes energy through our sympathetic nervous system or conserves energy through our parasympathetic nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is regulated by the vagus nerve which connects the brain to all of the major systems in the body. The vagus nerve is a bi-directional information highway between mind and body. Through the lens of polyvagal theory, this webinar will guide you experientially through practical and accessible yoga breath, movement, and awareness practices aimed to enhance your wellness of your mind and body.
Broadly speaking, the vagus nerve is always associated with the parasympathetic nervous system and has an inhibitory influence upon sympathetic nervous system activity. Simply put, activation of the vagus nerve reduces stress. However, the polyvagal theory recognizes that the parasympathetic nervous system has two presentations that depend upon whether you feel safe or feel threatened. In times of safety, the parasympathetic nervous system facilitates rest, relaxation, and digestion. However, in times of threat the parasympathetic nervous system has a defensive mode leading us to collapse or shut down.
The vagus nerve passes through the belly, diaphragm, lungs, throat, inner ear, and facial muscles. Therefore, when we mindfully move and breathe into these the areas of the body we can enhance our wellbeing through the mind-body feedback loop. Basic vagus nerve yoga practices can leave you feeling refreshed, empowered, and calm.
This experiential 2-hour journey through vagus nerve yoga will include lecture and movement. Please wear comfortable clothes, bring a water bottle, and have either a yoga mat or a blanket to support your practice. Within this webinar, we will:
- Learn polyvagal theory as related to therapeutic yoga
- Explore how to naturally and gently enhance the health of your vagus nerve with yoga
- Discuss the connective tissue and fascial system as related to yoga poses
- Explore postures that can form the basis of a home-based therapeutic yoga practice