The Guṇas? Polyvagal Theory?

New Science backing up Ancient Yoga

Yoga is an ancient philosophical system from South Asia that distinguishes between two kinds of explanation: personal explanation, founded on choice and responsibility; and natural explanation, which is causal explanation from the outside. When we are well, we are in charge of our lives, and this means that we order the natural aspects of our life to express our personal freedom. When we are unwell, the natural predominates. Nature, or prakṛti, is accordingly divided into three characteristics or guṇas: sattva (the illuminating, calm and social), rajas (the active and agitated), and tamas (the inert). The practice of Yoga reclaims our life from being governed by the guṇas. In this case, choose what state to be in. Recently, the neuroscientist Dr. Stephen Porges (Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) developed an account of the functioning of the autonomic nervous system that mirrors Yoga's guṇa theory, but also augments the received view of the autonomic nervous system. The traditional view is that that there are two modes to the nervous system. One is the sympathetic system (the rajasic, concerned with fight or flight) and the parasympathetic (the tamasic), which operates through the Vegas nerve. Polyvagal theory claims that there are two different modes or functions of the vagal nerve. One is the tamassic (the dorsal vagal), while the other corresponds to the sattvic (the ventral vagal, which promotes feelings of safety in a social world). According to Polyvagal theory, we need to cycle through these various states in response to various life needs. But when we are ill, this system can get stuck in the sympathetic (rajassic) or dorsal vagal mode of the parasympathetic system (the tamassic). Then people cannot function.

What is the Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP)?

Passive, Audio Therapy

Dr. Porges's research revealed that the Vagal nerve, which connects our face to our body, can be directly stimulated by stimulating the middle ear. This can be done noninvasively by directing sound frequencies in the range of the human voice to the middle ear. On the basis of this discovery, Dr. Porges developed a 5 hour audio program, designed to progressively stimulate the Vagal nerve via the middle ear, which helps the Vagal nerve get unstuck from its states. This intervention supports other therapeutic modalities. The guiding principle of SSP is 'less is more.' By breaking down the 5 hours into smaller chunks (say 20 minutes a day) listeners can stimulate their Vagal nerve, explore this new space to feel safe in their body, and allow their nervous system to catchup to this change.

One Month, Guided SSP intervention with Dr. Ranganathan available at three prices.

Once students sign up, they will have access to instructional videos on Yoga theory, Polyvagal theory, and an overview of the audio therapy. Students will further have private consultations with Dr. Ranganathan to be guided through the protocol.

Summary of SSP by Dr. Stephen Porges

Impact of Polyvagal States

By helping to access this calm and grounded state, the SSP promotes a neural platform for health, growth and restoration in patients experiencing the following challenges:

  • Physical Coordination and Balance Reading and Auditory Processing

  • Anxiety Inattention and Focus Auditory sensitivities Behavioral Regulation and Resilience

  • Sleep Speech and Language Social and emotional difficulties Trauma and PTSD Stressors that impact social engagement And many more

Course curriculum

    1. Student Agreement

    2. Yoga, the Guṇas, and Polyvagal Theory: Freedom, Determinism and the SSP intervention (Dr. Ranganathan)

    3. How to use this course

    4. Free Resource: Trauma and the Nervous System

    5. Dr. Porges on SSP

    1. Next Steps

    2. Preparing for our first session

    3. A Therapy or Yoga Practice

    4. Arrange our first appointment! (We might use the full time.)

    5. Follow-up appointment

    6. Yoga and Neural Regulation

    1. Yoga Therapy and Polyvagal Theory: The Convergence of Traditional Wisdom and Contemporary Neuroscience for Self-Regulation and Resilience (Marlysa B. Sullivan, Matt Erb, Laura Schmalzl, Steffany Moonaz, Jessica Noggle Taylor and Stephen W. Porges)


    1. Access the SSP for Longer to support Your Neural Revitalization !

    1. Dr. Porges' Teachings

    2. Less is More

    3. Physiological States

    4. Hierarchy and Evolution

    5. Polyvagal Theory

    6. Mammals and the Face and the Heart

    7. Social Engagement

    8. Middle Ear

    9. Human Voice

    10. Hierarchy of Functions

    11. Research and Trials

    12. Comments on Dr. Porges' Theory and Yoga

About this course

  • $347.00
  • 26 lessons
  • 2.5 hours of video content

Only @ Yoga Philosophy: Take the SSP as part of your Yoga Practice

Dr. Ranganathan, a research leader on Yoga and Trauma has been specially approved to offer the SSP within traditional Yoga Education

The Safe and Sound Protocol (SSP) is normally meant to be offered by health care providers, such as psychologists or medical doctors. Owing to Dr. Ranganathan's leading research on Yoga and Trauma, and owing to his extensive experience in teaching about these topics and guiding students through a yoga practice, Dr. Ranganathan was approved and credentialed to offer the SSP within the context of yoga education. Yoga, the Guṇas, and Polyvagal Audio-Therapy with Dr. S. Porges' Safe and Sound Protocol offers Yoga practitioners and anyone interested in the SSP a cost effective and expert delivery of the intervention within the context of a Yoga practice. Enrolled Students have access to a video lecture by Dr. Ranganathan on Yoga, Guṇas, Polyvagal Theory, and an explanation of the connection between modern Polyvagal Theory and the ancient Yogic analysis of illness and health. The course includes an appendix with extended information on the evolutionary workings of the autonomic nervous system as taught by Dr. Porges. Enrollees will have access to the SSP and will be guided in its use by Dr. Ranganathan. Links to scholarly papers on the topic and introductory material are also included. Students who join this course will not only deepen their practice, further their knowledge of the connection between ancient Yogic wisdom and contemporary Neuroscience, but will also practically benefit from integrating the SSP in their practice. The chief goal of this intervention is to help feel safe in one's body. When you feel safe in your body, you are then free to engage all aspects of life.

One Month, Guided SSP intervention with Dr. Ranganathan available at three prices.

Available at three prices. 𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙢𝙪𝙣𝙞𝙩𝙮 𝙋𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙜: $317, for students who need financial support. 𝙎𝙪𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙧 𝙋𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙜: $347, for students who can afford to pay for their own enrollment. 𝙎𝙪𝙥𝙥𝙤𝙧𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙋𝙧𝙞𝙘𝙞𝙣𝙜: $374, for attendees who would like to contribute to another student's enrollment.