Stress management through yoga and ayurveda

  • Life is not a bed of roses. It is full of stress and challenges. In today’s world all of us are somehow or the other exposed to this stress.
  • Today stress has become a member of the family. Everyone has to face it and cope with it. It all depends on how well each of us can handle a situation.

How is stress caused?

  • Today’s weird lifestyle oozes out the stress from each of us. Our never ending work pressure, family problems, financial drain, collapsing marital situations, aging and illness, unhealthy society and other problems  which rage our mind endless results us to face the so called stress.

Ayurvedically stress can be explained this way:

  • Our mind has 3 main qualities – satva (pure form), rajas (active & passion), tamas (ignorance and inactiveness). A balance of these 3 qualities keeps our mind calm and healthy.  Our problems  arise when their balance disrupts ie.  If satva  decreases and raja and tamas    A continuous  of this state makes our mind stressful and leads to greater mental disorders.
  • Stress is both mental and physical. Mentally affected  stress  triggers a release  of hormone which results in a , ending physical diseases which includes anxiety, depression, insomnia, cold and cough, asthma, stomach disturbances, irritable bowel syndromes, mouth ulcer, allergy, skin rashes, back ache, headaches, migraine and so on.

Solution to this stress

  • Our intelligence in overcoming stress lies in how we handle our problems. Some can tolerate problems much better than others, and some cannot manage even a little stress.
  • All people should be able to tolerate and manage a situation with ease. For this the following may be helpful.

Diet

  • Our diet makes us. It plays an active role in controlling and balancing our mind.
  • Our food should be the one which increase satva and decrease the rajas and tamas.
  1. Coffee and caffeinated drinks  should be avoided.
  2. Alcohol and animal food with high protein content like beef should be avoided.
  3. Also left over food and pickles should be avoided. They can increase rajasa quality of mind.
  4. Include cereals, lot of green vegetables, fruits and fruit juices, milk since satwa these increases satwa quality of mind and so balances the mind.

Ayurvedic treatment with Herbal medicine

Some herbs have a direct effect on the mind.  Some of them are

  1. Shankapushpi – This herb alleviates depression and reduces stress related to psychological, chemical and traumatic situations.
  2. Ashwagandha – Helps fight stress and maintain the mental functions.
  3. Brahmi – It supports the brain in combating stress.
  4. Shathavari – This herb increases the satwa, positivity and act as a healing power to mind.

Panchakarma

  • Panchakarma treatment in Ayurveda help to purify the mind and body. Maintain the metabolic process of our body by removing the harmful toxins from our body and mind.
  • Panchakarma has the peculiarity of removing the cause of diseases from its root.  Even before rejuvenation (rasayana) and herbal treatment purifying one body with Panchakarma will give better and quicker results.
  • Panchakarma procedure other than shodana procedure (evacuative procedures like vamana, virechana, vasti), that help to remove stress includes abhyanga, shirodhara etc.
  1. Shirodhara
  • It is the pouring of liquids over the head (forehead), liquids includes oil, milk, buttermilk, coconut water etc.
  • Takradhara (pouring of medicated buttermilk) has an exquisite property to act on the brain function, which can beautifully help combat stress.
  1. Abhyanga –
  • It is massage therapy using medicated oil, which involve head massage & body massage.
  • It can improve the rush of blood in the head and body thus removing stress.

Yoga and meditation

Meditation – It involves spending time in a particular posture and making our mind calm. It is about getting friendly with the mind. It involves accepting what our mind likes and slowly throwing away whatever it hates. It is about not forcing our mind into something rather slowly adjusting it to like and accept the situation.

Yoga

  • An ancient form of science developed in the east, which is practiced all over the world. It involves the exercise of mind and body and also breathing exercises to helps calm and fatigue.
  • Breathing exercise involves pranayama which is close to nadi shudhi.

Some yogic asanas (postures) which help remove stress are

  1. Savasana – Corpse pose

Puts body completely at relaxation helps to overcome insomnia.

  1. Balasana – Child pose

Helps in slow breathing & relaxing mind

  1. Marjarasana – Cat pose

Stretches back and soothen the spine

  1. Garudasana – Eagle pose

Calm stress by improving concentration and balance.

Gives exercise to hips, shoulder and arms.

  1. Uttanasana – Stretches the calf muscle, helps to distress the mind.

However tough life gets, it all matters in how we tolerate it. The more we venture into this world, the more stress and challenges we are going to face. There is no turning back and running away from our problems. We cannot hide from  them, it only makes us a coward and stress us even more.

The above methods may not solve our stress filled problems completely but may help us find a route to how to free ourselves from the stress and make our mind strong and finally make life easier than before.

 

DR.PRAPANCH

BAMS,MD(AYU) MS(Psychotherapy and Counseling) Grandson of ayurvedic legend Edayadi kunhikannan vaidyar (known as Edayadi Vaidyar) who held the lamp of great wisdom of Ayurvedic Ashtavaidya System.Read More...