The higher your vagal tone, the calmer, healthier & happier you and here is why!
First please allow me to introduce to you, your vagas nerve. It’s the longest cranial nerve in the body starting at the base of our brain, travels down from the neck, vocal chords, to our digestive system, liver, spleen, pancreas, heart and lungs. It’s blue in the pic below. It pretty much goes to everywhere in our body!
This nerve is the CEO of our parasympathetic nervous system, which is the ‘relax and digest’ part of our nervous system, responsible for rest and digestion.
On the other hand, the sympathetic part of our nervous system is responsible for turning on our ‘freeze, fight or flight’ mode. This mode is turned on when we are under “amygdala hijack”. This is why if you are stressed you are likely to have digestion challenges too!
Thus the vagal tone is paramount to turning on our “relax and digest” mode. The stronger it is, the more resilient we will be to bounce back from a stressful situation. This also means lower risk of major health issues associated with low vagal tone, such as cardiovascular diseases, strokes, diabetes, depression, chronic fatigue and other auto-immune disorders, and inflammatory conditions.
Some tips to keep our vagus tone happy –
2) yin yoga
3) diaphragm breathing
4) yogi breathing techniques pranayama eg Ujjaiibreath, nadishodhana (alternative nostrial breathing) humming breath.
6) very cold water face splash!