Develop neural exercises for safety & connection...

Polyvagal Theory


  • Cultivate the nervous system
  • Understand how trauma shifts neural states
  • Discover the regulating power of the human voice
  • Learn how to feel safe in your body

This course offers

the unique opportunity to learn

  • home-grown methods for feeling safe in the body,
  • a transformative theory changing the way we look at the nervous system, and
  • new perspectives on what's possible through contemplative practices.

The course will explore how Polyvagal Theory provides a neural foundation for brain-body medicine that offers solutions for treating trauma and chronic stress-related mental and physical health challenges.

Feeling detached or defensive can be changed by adopting contemplative practices. Polyvagal Theory explains how they function to change the dynamics of the nervous system.


By studying Polyvagal Theory, we are led to a better understanding of the relationship between mental and physical illnesses and the varying states of our autonomic nervous system. It shows us that we have the power to change, adapt, and shift our feeling-states and resultant behaviours through practices that directly transform the body-mind.

The theory describes how evolution forged a brain connection between the nerves of the heart and the face. This face to heart connection helps us understand the "social engagement system" and its role in regulating our emotions, sense of safety, and sense of social integration.

Have you ever felt unsafe and disconnected even when no sources of danger were present? How do contemplative practices affect the 'vagus nerve' such that the "fight or flight" response gives way to a feeling of safety and connection? Explore the groundbreaking theory of the nervous system that has started a revolution in contemplative research with the man who created it.

MindBody Studies

Benefits for those who take this course:

  • Discover how specific circuits in the autonomic nervous system are related to social and defensive behaviours.
  • Cultivate the conditions for feeling safe in oneself or a client.
  • Regulate embodied states through the power of the voice and through various forms of acoustic practice.
  • Learn how trauma shifts neural states and disrupts the typical functionality of the autonomic nervous system
  • Learn how trauma shifts neural states and disrupts the typical functionality of the autonomic nervous system
  • Harness the connection that allows our "social engagement system" and bodily feelings to be influenced by facial expressions, vocal intonation, and gesture.
  • Realize how the relationship between the vagus nerve and verious forms of disorder.


4 On-Demand Lectures

Convenient Streaming Interface

Course Readings

8 Hours of Video Content

Course Syllabus

Three Bonus Resources



Origin of Polyvagal Theory

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This module will introduce students to the history and origins of the Polyvagal Theory, and its relationship to human evolution. Students discover the original research questions which led him to construct the theory’s explanatory model for what he calls our “biological imperative.” Learn how the nerves that defend us in the face of life-threatening dangers are also recruited for our ability to maintain social connections. You will understand the relationship between the autonomic nervous system and how our “story” follows our “state.”


The Evolutionary Journey of the Autonomic Nervous System Leads to Sociality

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This module explores the helpful functions of the changes we experience in our nervous system (the adaptive functions) and how they are organized in order (a hierarchy). It allows students to unpack how the regulation of our autonomic nervous system follows a particulate functional design that can be easily understood through a number of examples. Discover how we have evolved from defence to connectedness and how shifts between these two poles occur when we have faced life-threatening situations.


A Polyvagal Perspective of Co-regulation

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This module demonstrates the power of our connection by hilighting the human capacity to “co-regulate.” It explores how our capacity for connection is what permits us to detect threat without having to think about it. Explore “neuroception,” the autonomic nervous system’s automatic safety detection system.


The Role of Autonomic State in Interpersonal Accessibility

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This module will summarize the polyvagal theory into an accessible insight on how the state of our autonomic nervous system determines our ability to have access to one another as resources for both survival and growth. Dr. Porges will illustrate this through demonstrating how traumatic stress retunes our nervous system for defensive orientation, and how helping professionals can employ the power of neuroception to help trauma survivors renegotiate their nervous system’s accessibility for safer social engagement. Dr. Porges will end the wisdom school course with exciting details on the future directions for applications of polyvagal theory in the world.

Study with Dr. Stephen Porges, luminary creator of Polyvagal Theory and the author of several books that have changed the way we understand the relationship between contemplative practice & the nervous system.

Stephen Porges

Dr. Stephen W. Porges is a distinguished university scientist at Indiana University, where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium.

He is also a professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and professor emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. His more than 350 peer‐reviewed scientific papers, published across several disciplines, have been cited in approximately 40,000 peer-reviewed papers. He holds several patents involved in monitoring and regulating autonomic state and originated the Polyvagal Theory, which emphasizes the importance of physiological state in the expression of behavioral, mental, and health problems related to traumatic experiences.

He is the author of The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-Regulation, The Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe, and Polyvagal Safety, as well as co-editor of Clinical Applications of the Polyvagal Theory: The Emergence of Polyvagal-Informed Therapies, and Polyvagal Safety.

Three Additional Bonuses Available for a Limited Time...

This seminar will review polyvagal theory and its convergence with yoga therapy both in reference to a therapeutic framework and specific application. It focuses on the relationship of the neural platforms of polyvagal theory with the gunas of yoga and the significance of this for understanding a therapeutic biopsychosocial framework for wellbeing.

We will use Continuum Movement’s Essentials of breath, sound, and movement to help alleviate the fixations and compensatory patterns that have become locked down in the tissue of our body. By engaging with variations in breath and sound, we can stimulate a wide spectrum of internal sensations, responses, and movements that allows us to return to feeling our body relaxed, resonating as a fluid, vital whole.

Organic Intelligence & Post-Trauma Growth

Living with Trauma: Working with Polyvagal Interventions

Polyvagal Theory in Yoga Therapy

Dr. Walling and Hoskinson explore what is meant by “post trauma growth” and the theory behind the work Hoskinson calls Organic Intelligence®. The two also engage in interesting dialogue about the necessity for the “trauma therapy world” to make paradigm shifts in the traditional foundations of the therapeutic relationship.

Polyvagal Theory: Neural Exercises for Safety & Connection

4 Modules | 10 Hours of Educational Videos

One-Time Payment


/ $149


  • 4 Pre-Recorded Lectures
  • Course Syllabus
  • 10 Hours of Video Content
  • PDF Readings
  • BONUS 1: Polyvagal Theory in Yoga Therapy
  • BONUS 2: Living with Trauma: Working with Polyvagal Interventions
  • BONUS 3: Organic Intelligence & Post-Trauma Growth
  • 4 Pre-Recorded Lectures
  • Course Syllabus
  • 10 Hours of Video Content
  • PDF Readings
  • BONUS 1: Polyvagal Theory in Yoga Therapy
  • BONUS 2: Living with Trauma: Working with Polyvagal Interventions
  • BONUS 3: Organic Intelligence & Post-Trauma Growth
  • Yoga Classes (Live & On-Demand)
  • On Demand Course Archive (87+ Courses)
  • Monthly With-Ins: Community Chats
  • New Monthly Courses
  • Monthly Curated Learning Journeys
  • Quarterly Virtual Retreats
  • Members' Circle
  • Discount on Institute Certificate Programs


7-Day Free Trial

/ Per Month


/ per month

7-Day Free Trial

7-Day Free Trial

Join groundbreaking scientist and researcher, Dr. Stephen Porges, and discover the theory that has transformed our understanding of contemplative practice.