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Category: Neuroscience Reflex

Somatic Nervous System and Cranial Nerves

Somatic Nervous System and Cranial Nerves

The Nervous System is a huge subject. Covering it in a few blog posts is very difficult. Still, we will try to give an overview – particularly covering the points that are of interest from the perspective of Yoga. In this post, we will cover the “Somatic Nervous System” – a part of the nervous system. A few readers may find it too technical. If so, they can skip the initial part and go directly to “Yoga and Cranial Nerves”….

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Yoga Therapy for Insomnia – Based on Neuroscience Understanding

Yoga Therapy for Insomnia – Based on Neuroscience Understanding

This is the next post in the series on sleep disorders. So far, we covered the importance of sleep, neuroscience brain waves, sleep stages, healthy sleep habits, and types and causes of Insomnia. In this post let’s see how Yoga (Yogasana and Pranayama) can be used as a therapy for insomnia. Please note that this information is not a health or medical advice. Always consult a qualified medical professional or qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about…

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Brain Waves – A Neuroscience Measure of State of Mind

Brain Waves – A Neuroscience Measure of State of Mind

In our previous post, we covered the Neuroscience perspective of the importance of sleep, and what happens when we sleep. Before we discuss the next topics on sleep i.e. the stages of sleep and how Yoga helps in improving quality sleep, it is important to understand the neuroscience of brain waves – a measurable indicator of the state of mind. Our brain has approximately 80 to 100 billion neurons, which communicate with each other by transmitting electrical impulses through neural…

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Neuroscience Evidence of Baroreflex in Yoga Inversions for Relaxation

Neuroscience Evidence of Baroreflex in Yoga Inversions for Relaxation

This is a continuation of the previous post titled “Baroreflex – the secret behind Inverted Yoga poses like Sirsasana”. In that post, we covered the role of a Neuroscience reflex called “Baroreflex” in making Yoga inversions effective in bringing relaxation and calmness. Many readers may find this post too technical, but this the intention. This is written on the requests from many readers asking for the background and scientific evidence of what we covered in the previous post – and…

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Baroreflex – The Secret Behind Inverted Yoga Poses like Sirsasana

Baroreflex – The Secret Behind Inverted Yoga Poses like Sirsasana

It is a popular belief that the secret behind inverted Yoga poses (like Sirsasana and Sarvangasana) is the increase the blood supply to the brain that promotes relaxation and calmness. But it is not true. Then, what makes inversions so effective for mental health? It’s a body-mind Neuroscience reflex called “Baroreflex”. Let’s look at it from a neuroscience perspective. Cerebral Blood Flow (CBF) is a measure of the blood supply to the brain in a given period of time. In…

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Yoga Stimulates Vagus Nerve to Induce Relaxation Response – a key to Emotional Health

Yoga Stimulates Vagus Nerve to Induce Relaxation Response – a key to Emotional Health

Vagus Nerve is the largest cranial nerve in the body. It starts at the base of the skull and runs throughout the whole body. It plays a central role in your emotional and physical health. It directly influences the nervous system – particularly the Parasympathetic branch of the Autonomic Nervous System (covered in a previous post). Our breath, heart rate, and digestion — as well as our overall ability to experience the world (particular how to handle the stress in…

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Why cover eyes using a blanket or eye pillow during restorative yoga poses?

Why cover eyes using a blanket or eye pillow during restorative yoga poses?

Your Iyengar Yoga teacher may have instructed you to cover your eyes with a blanket or eye pillow during deep relaxing restorative yoga poses – particularly Savasana. Do you want to know the scientific reason for this? Covering your eyes this way would prevent any light from falling on the eyes reducing the external stimulation. The eye pillow (a small one and not very heavy), in particular, would damp out extraneous motions of the eyes. This would prevent any possible…

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