Scientific Research: How Yoga Works — YOGA PRACTICE

Whether you’ve been practicing yoga for one day or one decade, you’ve likely heard some pretty lofty claims about what yoga can do for you mentally, physically, and spiritually. From aiding people with clinical depression to helping people lose weight, yoga is an amazing exercise that is rooted in ancient philosophical wisdom. And while that wisdom was penned by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras long ago, the philosophy of yoga is still an open cannon. One thing Western science and medicine is contributing to that open cannon are several scientific studies that prove what yogis have intuitively felt and known for thousands of years.

Introduction To A New Yogic Study

Etymology and Definition of the Vagus Nerve

What Does The Vagus Nerve Do?

Perhaps one of the most important effects the vagus nerve has is it’s connection to the heart. The vagus nerve controls the heart rate and is activated during times of intense emotional stress. During these times, there can be a sudden drop in cardiac output, temporary loss of bladder control, and the onset of depression.

What is “Low Vagal Tone”?

What Are The Benefits Of Toning The Vagus Nerve?

It used to be that if a human being encountered stress in the wild, it was over within a few minutes or even seconds. But with the advent of technology and the demands of modern life, stress is much more prevalent. It is possible to feel the fluctuation of vagal tone throughout your life. When you have high vagal tone, you will be able to balance the inevitable changes life brings with more energy and ease. According to Dr. Steerer who conducted the research, “Western and Eastern medicine complement one another. Yoga is known to improve stress-related nervous system imbalances “.

What Are The Effects Of Uncontrolled Stress?

Stress can show up as a myriad of symptoms. It can trigger headaches, depression, heartburn, insomnia, stomachaches, and fertility issues. Stress also releases a ton of chemicals in your system that raises blood pressure and blood sugar, and increases the risk of heart attack. Treating and eliminating sources of stress are important; your life might depend on it! Doing things like strengthening your vagal tone through yoga can provide an incredible benefit in your life. As proved in the study by Dr. Steerer’s study at Boston University School of Medicine and several others, the physical postures, breath work, and meditations used in yoga can change your life.

Yoga Asanas That Tone The Vagus Nerve

Inverted Yoga Poses

Backbend Yoga Poses

Flow Sequences


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Originally published at on July 11, 2018.