Welcome to Week Two


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(To listen to the audio recording of this introduction click here.) 

Let’s start by paraphrasing the interview.

“Neuroception is a word that Stephen Porges coined. It’s a new word. It refers to having awareness of what’s happening inside the body.

Neuroception is the nervous system’s internal surveillance system. Deb refers to it as “detection without awareness.” Our nervous system is attuned to what’s happening inside the body, outside in the environment around us, and in between us, interpersonally.

When we tune in and feel the sensations in the body what we are noticing is the result of neuroception. On the other hand, perception is a term that’s related to our thinking mind.  Remember that the experience of our nervous system happens below the level of our conscious mind. So we bring the level of our conscious thinking, our perception, to be able to understand our neurception.

The question our nervous system always asks is:

“Is it safe in this body, in this place, with this person? “Am I safe in this body, in this place, with this person?”

This inner dialogue is really what’s running the show.

If we don’t bring awareness to neuroception then it simply directs our lives without us knowing - it’s just doing it in the background.

As we cultivate our ability to bring awareness to neuroception, we can interrupt patterns and reshape our nervous system. We can reshape stories that have been built from trying make meaning out of our nervous system’s experiences.

For me it’s really profund to understand that we’re actually accessing information that’s being communicated directly from the nervous system about our present moment experience. It’s primary information. The stories that we tell ourselves about this information are secondary. The stories are based on attempting to understand and interpret the nervous system’s messages.


This week explore the body scan, continue getting familiar with the changing information that your body is communicating. Work with mapping your states following the suggestions given.

Build self-awareness of how your body responds to various practices. Journal about the before and after experiences of yoga and other practices.

I look forward to continuing this journey with you!

@2018, Charlotte Nuessle

Preparation, Daily Practices and Reflection

I. Preparation

Watch Deb’s Interview, from 31:42 - 39:32.

Think about neuroception, the ability to tune into your own nervous system. What are a couple of ways to bring this practice of tuning into your own nervous system’s signals, into daily life?

Familiarize yourself with the two mapping exercises below. Check out the template to see a visual image of our ANS as a ladder.


II. Daily Practices and Homework

A. Daily Practice (4x):

Mini-journal (3 mins) Write down what you are feeling in your body:

  1. This week, consider and journal about how these signals relate to ANS states.

  2. Mini-journal about neuroception, the signals your body picks up from inside, from others, and from your environment.

  3. Explore mapping the states of your nervous system. You can print and/or download Deb's printable templates. Or use her template as a model to create your own in your spiral notebook. Markers are great for this!

Click here to get started. The first exercise is to begin to notice how your nervous system starts to shift. Deb created this worksheet, Glimmers and Triggers. Notice a glimmer of when you start to feel more Ventral Vagal connection. And those moments when you begin to sense some unease, perhaps a trigger into fight or flight or becoming invisible.

 Next click this link. Start with mapping how you feel when you are in a fight or flight response. Words, images, feelings, body sensations. Then explore the dorsal vagal protective, collapsed state, describing your experiences of feeling shut down or invisible. End with the ventral vagal state, feeling safely connected.


B. Homework (1x each):

  1. Listen to the first half (5 mins) of the Body Scan (audio). Get curious about how your body might be sending signals of sensation.

  2. Practice: Engaging Life with Balanced Energy (video). Notice how it feels to engage SNS and blend with VV for balanced energy.


III. Reflection Questions

  • What signals does your body send you on a typical day?

  • How does your body tell you you’re having a feeling?

Journal any insights. Share your reflections on these questions with your partner.



@2018, Charlotte Nuessle

Sound, Mantra and our NS


We tell ourselves things all the time! Some things are worth repeating over and over, like ancient prayers and wisdom teachings that point us toward qualities that truly are supportive of this life journey.

Chanting and singing are dear to my heart. The songs in this course are offered from the heart. In the yoga tradition, incorporating voice adds another level of integrating and bringing in to ourselves something that nourishes us as deeply as the food we eat or the safe connections we share.

We can meditate on the meaning of the words we sing/chant. If the words come from a tradition we respect or feel a connection with, repeating them is a way to honor and strengthen that connection.

Perhaps the song itself reminds us of a time that was significant or marked an important experience.

When we ourselves give voice to sound, to song, to chant, to music, it's like we are saying, yes, "this is true for me too. This is how I choose to engage my energy, how I choose to express myself, through these words, with this meaning." And like any practice, over time and with caring repetition, the words become us, we become them, we join with them.

In our culture together let's respect each others' voices and make room for the diverse range of experiences - comfortable and uncomfortable - that come when we explore giving voice to what is deep in the heart. And recognize that we each have our own unique voice and music that we respond to.

Sharing our voice with kindness is a way to shift toward the Ventral Vagal state. You might consider how music affects your nervous system state and how certain music speaks to you. 

@2018, Charlotte Nuessle

Body Scan: Practice Becoming Self-Aware With Curiosity and Kindness


This is a body scan. You’ll bring attention to various places in the body. Notice where your attention easily goes and where it might take some effort to focus in.

As much as you can, allow yourself to be present for whatever sensations, whatever experiences arise in each moment.

If it helps to bring your attention there, you can always wiggle an area of the body.

Feel the supports that you’re bringing to this experience. Your own curiosity about your experience is a support.

An especially notice any right/wrong thinking if it comes up, any self-judgment.  As best as you can, make room for your experience as you are right now, without making it right or wrong, without judgment.

1:06  Let’s begin!

Take a moment to let yourself settle. Get as comfortable as you can be. Gently close your eyes.

Let's chant the sound of OM together.

Become aware of your body as you sit in the chair or wherever you’re sitting.

Feel your seat on the chair, your feet on the ground.

Feel any other places where your body feels supported.

From this place of feeling a sense of support, notice what else you experience in your body right now.

Start with scanning the face, the sides of the face, the cheeks, around the eyes, the forehead and the scalp.

The back of the head, the top of the head, and the neck.

Notice any sensations of tightness. Any places where your body holds tensions.

Bring an attitude of kindness and curiosity to your experience.

Continue to scan your upper chest and shoulders, your upper back.

Become more aware of the breath now.

Sense how different areas of the body hold different experiences.

Some areas are tighter, some areas are more relaxed.

You might even feel numbness in some places.

Make room for whatever experience you have.

There may be a sense of pressure, of warmth, of ease, of effort.

Notice what you experience in your upper chest and shoulders, in your upper back.

In your arms and hands.

Maybe heaviness, maybe lightness, maybe a combination.

Now shift your awareness into your chest, the area of your ribs,  all along your spine and torso.

Notice where your attention goes easily, and where it might take some effort to focus in.

Allow yourself to be as present as you can in this moment for whatever sensations, whatever experiences arise, anywhere in the body.

Now shift your awareness to the belly, the whole region around the navel, below the navel.

Your pelvis, buttocks, and lower back.

Notice what you experience in your body in these areas.

Feelings, sensations.  

At the same time feel the support of the chair, the support of being present for yourself in this moment.

Your own self-awareness as a support.

Your curiosity about your own experience as a support.

Come back to that place of open curiosity.

Especially if you notice any right/wrong thinking coming up, any judgment.

As much as you can make room for your experience as you are right now, without making it right or wrong.

Bringing awareness into your legs now.

Again noticing where there's support for the legs and how that support feels. All the way down through the thighs, the  knees.  Lower legs, ankles and feet.

Take a moment or two now in quiet, and just let yourself continue to receive the signals, the sensations from your body.  

Take your time.

Over the next several moments, when you’re ready, bring yourself back.

As you prepare to come back, stay connected to the gifts of these signals from your body.

Bring an awareness of your experience back with you.


Please reach out if you have any questions.



@2018, Charlotte Nuessle



Week Two: 

Main Practices + Bonuses


Engaging Life with Balanced Energy



Tuning In - Body Scan Practice


3 Tips for Self-Care: Shoulders

This video is offered with respect for how much our shoulders do for us. NEVER FORCE YOUR NECK! If this feels uncomfortable, move slowly, gently and avoid going all the way into the movement. In the standing variation, reach up through your elbows, upper arms come toward parallel. Pull the block towards the base of the head as you press the back of your head into the block. Continue to reach up with elbows, chest. Relax the upper shoulder down.


Come, Come Whoever You Are


This song is from Dances of Universal Peace.

These words are inspired by the writings of Rumi:


"Come, come whoever you are,

Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.

Ours is no caravan of despair.

Come, yet again, come."


Check out the recording below.

Come, Come, Whoever You Are

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