Does yoga really stimulate the vagus nerve? Here’s what the science says (Live Science)

Posted: Nov 02, 2022 in In the News

This article orginally appeared on Live Science on November 2, 2022.


Can yoga stimulate the vagus nerve? Once you’ve set aside some time, positioned yourself onto one of the best yoga mats and found your flow, the ancient practice of yoga can be very beneficial. It can improve your range of motion, encourage better balance and yes, this low-impact exercise is even able to stimulate your vagus nerve. 

The vagus nerve is the biggest cranial nerve in the body. It runs from the medulla oblongata (the bottom-most part of your brain) to the large intestine, passing the heart, lungs and liver on the way. It’s a major component of the parasympathetic nervous system, and science tells us that this nerve is responsible for the regulation of internal organ functions, including digestion, heart rate and respiratory rate, among other things. Stimulating your vagus nerve can send a chemical message to your body that it’s time to destress and relax after periods of stress. 

But how does yoga help to stimulate this nerve? And is there a specific kind of yoga that’s best? To help debunk this topic, we spoke to certified health coach, personal trainer, group fitness instructor and fellow yogi, Araceli De Leon from the American Council on Exercise(opens in new tab) (ACE).

Read the full article here

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