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  • Esther Ekhart

What is polyvagal theory and how can we apply it to meditation?

How understanding the three response states from polyvagal theory can help us prepare for meditation.

Polyvagal theory was introduced in 1994 by Professor of Psychiatry, Dr. Stephen Porges. It talks about how we have three distinct ways of responding to the world via our autonomic nervous system. These are:

  • social engagement

  • fight-or-flight (mobilisation), and

  • freeze (immobilisation).


In this article I’ll explain a little more about the three responses. Then we’ll look at how we can apply polyvagal theory to help us get the most benefits from our meditation practice.

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