Six Ayurvedic Ways To Decrease Anxiety

Wednesday, August 28 2013 Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R

Ayurveda means "perfect knowledge" in Sanskrit. It is a traditional medicine from Ancient Indian. The sister of Yoga. (If you have never heard of Ayurveda, do a search and you'll find loads of information!)

The assumption in Ayurveda is that there are three elemental substances in the body called doshas. They are vata, pitta, and kapha. At each moment these doshas can be in states of aggravation cause emotional and physical health to be compromised. The treatment of Ayurveda seeks to pacify these doshas.

Kidney point

In mental health, generally, vata aggravation is marked by anxiety, kapha aggravation is marked by depression, and pitta aggravation is marked by anger.

Ayurveda is what I studied and practiced when I began my personal journey out of Anxiety.

Focusing on pacifying vata,

here are five of the practices I took into my life:

1. Get warm.

(Cold aggravates vata, warm pacifies it.) Drink warm milk with honey and saffron. Put a hot water bottle on your feet. Take a warm bath. All of these are helpful things to do at night before bed, so that vata aggravation doesn't keep you up at night as it can tend to do!

2. Oil.

Vata is dry and airy. You might find yourself "up" and stimulated. Windy. Oil helps tether you back to earth. Put sesame oil, or olive oil, on your back (over your kidneys) and on your feet. While massaging the oil into your feet, put pressure in the center right under the ball of the toes- see photo. (Can be calming during a panic attack.) You can also oil and massage the top of your head, or your forehead and temples to settle the monkey mind. When I was in recovery, I did a full oil massage of my whole body before my shower each morning. (This is called Abhyanga.) Then, I oiled my feet, back, and head before bed.

3. Breathe.

Yogic breathing is called Pranayama. Taking time each day to breathe helps settle your nervous system. Which is exactly what we need to do! There are many types of yogic breathing, but my favorite for anxiety is alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhan- This link has a good description for you to try it, but don't look at the picture, the chin should meet the chest.) This incorporates the right and left brain settling the aggravation and smoothing them into sync. Meditation after some conscious breathing is heavenly!

4. Eat a vata pacifying diet.

Kindly avoid sugar, caffeine, carbonation, cold/raw or frozen foods when you are trying to pacify vata. Vata likes salt, sour, sweet, oily and warm. Warm soups are nice! A substancial breakfast, oatmeal, for instance is good for settling anxiety. Sweet fruits are good. Drink warm water instead of ice water. Specific vata pacifying foods.

[caption id="attachment_1171" align="alignright" width="198" caption="Child's pose"]ways to decrease anxiety with ayurveda[/caption]

5. Do yoga.

Forward bends settle anxiety. Sit and come forward onto your lap. Bend at the hips so your weight is not being carrying by your back. Do child's pose. Stand and let your upper body hang from the hips. Downward facing dog. All good. Hold poses longer when trying to pacify vata. Flowing yoga classes are not good for vata.

6. Follow a routine.

Meditating, eating, exercising at the same times from one day to the next, can have immeasurable good effects on health. Wake up and go to sleep at the same time each day. If routine is all you change, you will feel a difference in mood and overall health.

If you change one thing, you can change everything!

Are any of these things that you see taking into your life?

You can also connect with Jodi Lobozzo Aman:

I blog here: Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace
and here: Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog,
share here: Twitter@JodiAman, Google+
inspire here: Facebook: Heal Now and Forever Be in Peace,
Get my free E-book: What Is UP In Your DOWN? Being Grateful in 7 Easy Steps.

Author: Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R

View all posts by Jodi Lobozzo Aman, LCSW-R.

Six Ayurvedic Ways To Decrease Anxiety

Helen Gaye Brewster
says:
August, 30 2013 at 12:21 pm

I've been learning about an Ayurvedic diet, and am glad to find some ways that Ayurveda can help anxiety! Thank you.

Bella
says:
September, 1 2013 at 3:01 pm

Jodi, what a wealth of information you provide us with in this post! I wanted to ask you if there is any other yoga pose that serves the same purpose without having to bend at the knees like child pose. In the past, I have always found child pose to be my "go to" yoga pose when I need to relax. However, after the knee surgery, it's no longer possible for me to do this. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! :)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 1 2013 at 5:30 pm

Lady Bella,

Can you sit in a chair and fold over your legs (knees wide apart)? Like the the old "putting the head between your knees." The knees are still bent but there is no weight on them. You can stand and bend over (like "touch your toes") Hang there with your chin tucked in. Or face a counter and lean your upper body on it, resting your head in your arms. Or sit at a table, fold your arms on the table and put your head on them, like rest time in school when we wer young. Or lie on a bed in fetal postion on your side. Or lie on your back ith your knees to your chest. Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you and fold over.... You get the idea. ;) <3 Jodi

Laura Zera
says:
September, 5 2013 at 10:44 pm

I didn't know that forward bends settle anxiety yet I naturally have gravitated toward them and tend to hold them for a very long time. It has always just felt good!

Will I Be OK? Coping With Anxiety When You Travel | Anxiety-Schmanxiety Blog
says:
September, 11 2013 at 6:22 am

[...] Focus on pacifying vata. Travel, movement, and change aggravate vata (Read Six Ayurvedic Ways To Decrease Anxiety).  Stay warm, hydrated, and eat [...]

Shenika Keis
says:
December, 22 2015 at 3:34 am

Great article. Thanks for sharing this with us. In this blog you very well explain how to decrease Anxiety in Ayurvedic way. I hope your blog is help to us. Please share similar blogs related to Ayurveda.

sheeja paulos
says:
February, 18 2016 at 5:48 am

For a few days I was looking for the same information and now i got my information through your blog. I really like your blog. Thank you so much for sharing.

Shenika Keis
says:
July, 15 2016 at 2:10 am

Thanks for sharing.. Its really informative and fascinating one. I have apply yoga in daily routine, it makes me feel great.. and confidence in my work also.

Venkat
says:
June, 7 2017 at 8:52 am

Very helpful tips. Thank you so much for sharing. One more thing I would like to add is to avoid spicy food. Spicy foods aggravate pitta. Its better to avoid or cut down onions and other acidic foods.

angelanku
says:
July, 26 2017 at 7:24 pm

Thanks for the post this is very useful for us.

Vishvesh Bhatt
says:
August, 24 2017 at 6:43 pm

Deluded load of crap

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