THE GUT BRAIN AXIS AND THE VAGUS NERVE

 

Det var precis det här jag läste för några år sedan då jag letade efter fakta om ujjayi-andning. Jag är ALLTID extremt skeptisk och måste ofta ta reda på information själv för att tro på vad jag gör…!

 

The vagus nerve is a key player in your parasympathetic nervous system. Stimulation of the vagus nerve counteracts your sympathetic nervous system, the one that thrives on cortisol and causes stress by activating your fight-or-flight response. Healthy vagus nerve chatter between your gut and brain helps to slow your roll like a master yogi so that you can rest-and-digest. Simply put, it calms your stressed out behind down. 

If stress is ongoing, then the sympathetic nervous system will remain in charge, (Game of Thrones style) and that friendly texting between the gut and brain will shut down. What was once an ally is now a saboteur.

Stress induced cortisol can alter gut microbiota composition. Stress can impair motility, inhibit stomach acid and digestive enzymes, kill off good bacteria and impede immunity. It has been established that there is close interaction between bacterial flora and the intestinal immune system. This interaction plays an essential role in the onset and development of imbalance (dysbiosis) and diseases such as Crohn’s disease. When overgrowth of bacteria occurs in the small intestine, it is called SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). 

The ancient yogis realized the intimate connection between the breath and the mind.

You may not be able to entirely unload your allostatic load but mastering you breath can help you maintain grace under pressure. Conscious breathing and yoga can help by creating a positive effect through the feedback loop which stimulates your vagus nerve.

You can control your breathing by extending inhalation and exhalation, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system. Deep breathing is a complete breath, which involves diaphragmatic breathing. That means expanding your diaphragm, a muscle located horizontally between the chest cavity and stomach cavity. Also known as “belly breathing,” diaphragmatic breathing is characterized by an expansion of the abdomen instead of the chest.

Ujjayi (pronounced oo-jai) is an ancient yogic breathing technique that helps calm the mind and body. Ujjayi has a balancing influence on the entire cardiorespiratory system and helps with feelings of irritation and bitchiness.

Here is how to perform Ujjayi breath:
• Take an inhalation that is slightly deeper than normal. With your mouth closed, exhale through your nose while constricting your throat muscles. Yes, it will sound funny. Do it anyway.
• Another way to get the hang of this practice is to try exhaling the sound “haaaaah”with your mouth open. Now make a similar sound with your mouth closed, feeling the outflow of air through your nasal passages. Once you have mastered this on the outflow, use the same method for the inflow breath, gently constricting your throat as you inhale.

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