Episode: 98

The Vagus Nerve In Yoga with Mel Singh

Have you come across the vagus nerve in yoga? To be honest, I've heard of this in passing for many years. But started paying attention to it only recently. In fact, many yoga teachers could use some clarity, myself included. In this episode, we explore all about the vagus nerve in yoga and the polyvagal theory. This topic has long been sitting on my bucket list for the podcast because I've been wanting to have a deep dive with someone who specializes in it.

Funnily enough, all the while I've had Vikram Jeet Singh come back a number of times on the show and a recent conversation I was asking him about someone who could speak about the vagus nerve in yoga. That's when I was introduced to his wife, Mel Singh.

Mel is the perfect guest to discuss vagus nerve and polyvagal theory because not only is she passionate about this topic but she’s also a trained kinesiologist and exercise physiologist with a specialization in neurophysiology. She has extensive experience in weaving together ancient wisdom traditions of Yoga and Ayurveda with modern science to teach people how to heal their stress, anxiety, and nervous system holistically.

Join us in exploring this often overlooked topic that is actually at play in every moment of our lives. Mel and I talk about everything from the vagus nerve basics, to why it matters in yoga, how to regulate it, and more. I'm sure you will find this conversation really valuable!

The Vagus Nerve In Yoga Episode Highlights:

  • The vagus nerve and its importance
  • The significance of knowing the vagus nerve to yoga and Ayurveda teachers and practitioners alike.
  • The different states of the nervous system
  • Examples of a ventral vagal state
  • What are the different types of nerves?
  • Where is the vagus nerve and what are its main functions?
  • What is the natural state of the vagus nerve?
  • An overview of the gunas
  • How do the gunas interact with the vagus nerve?
  • Yoga practices that regulate the vagus nerve
  • Does using props help with vagus nerve regulation?
  • Stimulating vagus nerve with pranayama and breathing
  • Stimulating the vagus nerve with meditation
  • The impact of aging on the vagus nerve

Resources and Links Mentioned:


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Featured Guests

Mel Singh

Mel is a trained kinesiologist and exercise physiologist with a specialisation in neurophysiology. She is also a trained a mindfulness meditation teacher, and Yoga & Ayurveda Wellness Counsellor. Her work weaves together the ancient wisdom traditions of Yoga and Ayurveda with modern science to teach people how to heal their stress, anxiety and nervous system holistically. Along with her husband Vikram, she provides counselling, coaching and continuing education to Yoga practitioners and teachers all over the world through their online courses and programs.


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