top of page

Finding deep love, peace and security with Yoga

We all knew that we stimulate dopamine and serotonine when we practice Kundalini yoga, but did you know that we also produce Oxytocin ? this is a powerful hormone and neurotransmitter. It’s often called the “love hormone" or “cuddle chemical” because it plays a key role in the emotional bond between a mother and her child. It’s also released by both men and women when they are in love.

But it isn’t just involved in loving relationships. It can also significantly affect the functioning of your brain and nervous system and impact your emotions day-to-day.

Low levels of oxytocin in the brain are associated with several mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, social phobia, autism, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, anorexia nervosa, and borderline personality disorder.

If you increase oxytocin, it can lead to :

  • Reduce stress and anxiety, increase feelings of calmness and security, by suppressing activity in the amygdala, the fear centre of your brain

  • Improve mood and increase feelings of contentment

  • Stimulate the vagus nerve 

  • Reduce the release of cortisol, your body’s main stress hormone

  • Reduce inflammation and accelerate healing

  • Increase creativity

  • Elevate pain threshold 

  • Reduce withdrawal symptoms and tolerance to addictive drugs

  • Improve self-perception in social situations. It also increases enjoyment of social interactions by stimulating production of endocannabinoids

  • Increase positive personality traits such as empathy, warmth, trust, and openness

Oxytocin clearly does a lot. 

Good news is you can naturally increase your oxytocin levels yourself !

Read this and understand why the 21 and 40 days Programs are so addictive !

1. Yoga

Yoga increases the activity of your parasympathetic “rest and digest” nervous system.

Researchers believe it works because it increases oxytocin levels in the brain by stimulating the vagus nerve. Of course there are many more benefits. see here

2. Listen to Music & Sing

Music is healing and can have a calming effect on the brain by increasing oxytocin levels. 

In one study, patients who underwent open-heart surgery listened to soothing music for 30 minutes one day after their surgery. And they had significantly higher levels of oxytocin compared to those who were simply told to rest in bed. Slow-tempo music has also been shown to increase both oxytocin and heart-rate variability

What’s even better is singing along with the music. 

Researchers have found that singing for 30 minutes significantly increases oxytocin levels in both amateur and professional singers, regardless of whether they enjoyed singing the song ! This is what we do when we chant our mantras.

3. Warm and Cold showers

Exposing yourself to both warm and cold temperatures can also increase oxytocin levels. 

Researchers have found that hot environments, warm temperatures and increased sweating activate specific oxytocin-producing parts of the brain. 

Cold showers also stimulate the vagus nerve

This is one of the reasons we take cold showers during the programs.

4. (Loving-Kindness) Meditation

Loving-kindness meditation, or metta, is a meditation practice designed to enhance feelings of kindness and compassion for yourself and others.

While meditating, you repeat positive phrases to yourself, think positively of other people, and direct well-wishes and love towards them.

For example, you could close your eyes, simply think about a friend of family member, and repeat over and over that “they are wonderful”. Simply repeat this thought to yourself over and over, while pushing away any other negative thoughts that arise.

Researchers believe that you give yourself a boost in oxytocin when you do this and may even up-regulate oxytocin receptors. You can learn how to practice it here or through this video.

5. Jasmine Oil (Jasminum Officinale)

Jasmine Oil is a popular essential oil derived from the Jasminum Officinale flower. 

It’s been used for hundreds of years in Asia to improve mood, manage emotional stress and anxiety, and improve sex drive and sleep. There is lots of research that suggests that it has positive affects on the nervous system

It can either be inhaled through the nose or applied directly to the skin. You can also diffuse it in your home using a diffuser. 

You can add this essential oil to your daily oiling moment ( I put a few drops in my coconut oil)

6. Clary Sage Oil (Salvia sclarea)

Clary Sage Oil is a relaxing essential oil derived from the Salvia sclarea plant. 

It’s been shown to naturally relieve anxiety and depression by reducing cortisol and improving thyroid hormone levels.

During our retreats we drink it all day in a tea (it also lowers the glycemic index)

7. Chamomile

You can also increase oxytocin with herbs, such as chamomile, traditionally used for its calming and anti-inflammatory properties.

But it can also help you produce more oxytocin.

Animal studies show that chamomile contains substances that act on the same parts of the brain and nervous system as anti-anxiety drugs

Researchers also know that chamomile naturally increases oxytocin and lowers cortisol 

You could have it in the evening before going to bed.

8. Eat (Healthy) Food

Eating food also increases oxytocin, and it’s easily accessible by anyone. 

Food activates touch receptors in your mouth, which then stimulates the release of oxytocin. And then when food reaches your gut, a hormone is released from the intestines that activates the vagus nerve, which then stimulates the release of more oxytocin in the brain. This is why eating makes people feel calm and satisfied, and often opens them up for social interaction, bonding and attachment.

This is why we encourage healthy diet during the program (and after).

9. (self) Touch

interpersonal touch quickly increases oxytocin levels in the brain.

This obviously includes kissing, cuddling, and sex. But non-sexual touch such as hugging and shaking hands increases oxytocin as well ! A 10-second hug every day can help boost your immune system, fight infection, increase dopamine, reduce depression, and lessen fatigue.  Dr. Paul Zak, author of the Trust Factor, recommends eight hugs every day. 

Massage can significantly increase oxytocin levels and reduce stress hormones

Apparently a light massage is more effective at increasing oxytocin than a deep-tissue Swedish massage. 

Sometimes we do a self massage at the end of our session and enjoy the comforting sensation of our own touch.

10. Socialize

I’ve already discussed how socializing can reduce cortisol and stimulate your vagus nerve. Your brain releases more oxytocin during social contact and social bonding, and this can actually speed up healing from disease. Even just connecting through social media can increase oxytocin! It doesn’t necessarily need to be in person, although that’s definitely better.

Practicing online with the Sangha, the spiritual community (even a virtual one) is so soothing, it creates a warm sensation in our lives a sense of belonging.

11. Watch a Movie

Everyone loves a good movie.

And it’s probably because it increases oxytocin.

Research shows that compelling narratives cause the synthesis and release of oxytocin.

And this has the power to affect our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours. 

One film I recommend during a retreat is : Eat, Pray and Love (a feel good film with Julia Roberts and Xavier Bardem)

12. Give someone a gift - volunteer

Everyone loves receiving a gift. But it turns out that giving someone a gift benefits you, the gift-giver, as well.Studies show that receiving and giving gifts increasing oxytocin levels in the brain. Remember it does not have to be a physcial present, it can be a gift of time.

.... and why not offer someone the pleasure of a kundalini program too ?

Volunteering is another excellent way to boost your own oxytocin.

A study published in the journal Hormones and Behavior found that charitable behaviour reduces stress and improves health by increasing oxocin levels.

You are welcome to volunteer at the Savitri Life Academy ! there are always things too do to help promote the work we are doing : send your application here

All references to medical research can be found in the original article :

38 views0 comments


bottom of page