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Why meditate? Why practice yoga? Why exercise? The vagus nerve reveals a physiological science of compassion, better emotional health, plus physical benefits such as increased immunity.

“If you have a strong vagal profile — which you can cultivate through exercise, and recent studies suggest meditation and other practices [yoga] — if you have a strong profile, you have more positive emotion on a daily basis, stronger relationships with peers, better support networks.

Kids in schools — fifth graders — who have a stronger vagal profile, are the kids who intervene when a kid is being bullied.

We think of compassion as this higher order emotion, but it really is tracking part of our nervous system as well.”