In the intricate tapestry of holistic wellness, the convergence of Applied Poly Vagal Theory and Ayurveda has led me to a profound connection with Yoga as therapy. This journey has not only transformed my approach to teaching but has also aligned seamlessly with my fervent passion for health and well-being. In this blog post, I aim to share the synergies I've discovered and how this amalgamation has enriched both my personal and professional life.
The Poly Vagal Perspective:
For me, understanding the autonomic nervous system through the lens of Poly Vagal Theory has been a game-changer. The theory, developed by Dr. Stephen Porges, delves into the intricate dance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. It emphasizes the crucial role of the vagus nerve in regulating our physiological and emotional responses.
Incorporating this knowledge into my teachings has allowed me to create a safe and nurturing environment for my students. By tailoring yoga practices to support the nervous system, I've witnessed profound shifts in their ability to relax, connect, and heal. I have students coming to me after class now, more than ever offering gratitude for my teachings and explaining how the practice has consciously shifted their awareness to the present moment.
Take a moment here and come to your breath.
Breathe in for a count of 5
Breathe out for a count of 7
Notice what has been evoked, what has come up or what has been released
Close your eyes, if that brings your ease and continue for 3 more rounds-taking a moment or two between each round to integrate the self into the notice by bringing awareness to what is occurring.
The conscious long exhales encourages us to ground, to release, to offer a sense of safety-stimulating the Vagus nerve to bring you into rest and digest, the Parasympathetic Nervous System.
Ayurveda's Elemental Wisdom:
Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, complements the Poly Vagal perspective by offering a holistic understanding of the mind-body connection. The foundational principles of Ayurveda, grounded in the balance of the three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) and the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether), provide a roadmap for personalized well-being.
By integrating Ayurvedic principles into my teachings, I've been able to tailor yoga practices that empower my students to embrace self-care rituals that resonate with their unique nature, promoting harmony and vitality.
Come back to the practice from above.
With each exhale bring your awareness to the parts of the body connected to the Earth
With exhale allow yourself to release into the Earth more, notice the stability, the support being offered to you.
With each inhale grow taller, align your spine, and rise up to the opportunity of expansion.
With each pause bring curiosity, ask yourself "What am I needing in this moment?"
The union of Applied Poly Vagal Theory and Ayurveda naturally leads to Yoga as therapy, where the practices become not just a physical exercise but a comprehensive approach to holistic well-being. The emphasis on breath, movement, and mindfulness in yoga aligns seamlessly with the principles of both
Poly Vagal Theory and Ayurveda.
In my classes, I've witnessed the transformative power of yoga as a therapeutic tool. Whether it's utilizing specific asanas to balance doshas, incorporating breath-work to regulate the nervous system, or encouraging mindfulness to cultivate inner awareness, the synergy of these three modalities has created a holistic and empowering experience for my students. This is Yoga!
The breath practice described above sheds light on Voluntary Breathing, a technique that invites self-control and liberation (Applied Poly Vagal Theory).
The above practice incorporated the Earth element, providing us with an anchor that becomes a source of tranquility amidst chaos and helps us ensure the Vata dosha is in it's seat (Ayurveda in Practice)
With each repetition of this practice, we are forging a new pathway in our brain that enables us to respond thoughtfully instead of reacting impulsively. It allows us to discover a sense of ease rather than succumbing to stress and feeling overwhelmed.
Engage with this practice, as well as every other, with curiosity. Be receptive to your needs, whether it involves advancing, retreating, or simply resting—incorporate whatever aligns with your well-being in the present moment.
Passion for Health and Well-being:
Beyond my role as a teacher, nurse, and healer, this journey has sparked a need for me to go deeper. I find myself delving into research, exploring new avenues, and sharing my insights with a broader community.
The integration of Applied Poly Vagal Theory, Ayurveda, and Yoga has not only elevated my professional practice but has become a guiding light in my personal wellness journey. The journey has been a revelation, by intertwining ancient wisdom with contemporary understanding, I am witnessing powerful shifts in my students towards an understanding that Yoga does not end when we roll up our mat.
As we delve deeper into the intricate network of mind-body connections, we gradually start weaving our internal web, empowering ourselves to embark on a journey of self-healing.
You Can Heal Yourself
RN, BSN, NC-BC, FMN, RYT
Participating in Yoga through Zoom reduces performative elements that can occur in Yoga studios.
1. Simplicity Unraveled: The Yogic Path to Inner Harmony
A 10 day adventure to help you cultivate simplicity and declutter your life. 10 days of simple, clean Vinyasa Yoga (20 min sequence each day), Pranayama, plus a daily task to help you create space to breathe, to move, and to be.
2. Holistic Healing 4 Nurses: Weekly Zoom Yoga Class
Every Wednesday, 530pm PT/8:30pm ET
Begins on November 29th, 2023.
Donation based class
3. Yoga 4 Nurses: A Holistic Approach to Wellness
This program will provide nurses with the physical and mental tools to help decrease their stress levels, improve the quality of their sleep, decrease their anxiety, and elevate their spirits.
Cohort 3: January 22-March 31,2024