Pacifying anger, anxiety and lethargy with Ayurveda
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published by News Press on July 9, 2013. Posted with permission.
Sometimes, your perfect nature gets out of whack.
Conflict, an extra-hot summer, the wrong diet, stress, insomnia – all of these and more can throw you into a pit. You might be anxious (Vata), angry (Pitta), or a lump on the couch (Kapha). When such moods become longer than temporary, they can interfere with living and, even worse, create disease.
Ayurvedic practitioner Julie Comer of Joyful Yoga in Bonita Springs recommends new routines for a client suffering with these energetic imbalances. These include yoga, breathwork, diet, herbal supplements and mantras. When you start to feel the whack, dig into your doshas with these basic suggestions.
Anxiety. Every imbalance begins with a Vata tilt. Vata’s theme is inconsistency and worry, so establishing order is the first step. According to Comer, begin by eating three meals per day at the same time (sitting down,) and stick to a regular bedtime. Drinking a warm glass of milk with nutmeg before bed will help with Vata’s inevitable insomnia.
Practicing meditation is a Vata must. Taming “monkey mind” isn’t easy. To ground anxiety, you can meditate cross-legged, lying down in corpse pose or sink to yogic squat. Comer suggests making a fist with your left hand; under your middle finger is a pressure point for calming anxiety. Press this point for one minute.
Anger. Intensity is Pitta’s theme so anything you do should cool the internal fire. If you know you have a stoked Pitta, make cool blue your default color for walls, clothes and linens.
Comer warns against anything heat-building in the diet. Stay away from spicy, high-fat, acidic or fried foods as well as caffeine and alcohol. Your beverages should be room temperature or cool (not icy), and salads are a great mid-day meal choice. Drinking one cup of aloe juice per day can help, and ghee is a cooling butter substitute. What cools the body cools the mind.
Everything you take in through your senses is food, so those elements should be non-toxic and nourishing. Avoid confrontation both interpersonally and in the news. Steer away from loud, aggressive music, horror movies and gossip.
Pittas should avoid excessive temperatures, period. Runners might take July off for cross-training and keep the yoga gentle and restorative. Cool your showers, and crank the AC budget-permitting.
Depression. Kaphas are stuck, so shake things up. Comer suggests cleaning your friendship house. Are you surrounding yourself with positive, uplifting people? Or do they validate your negativity? Do you maintain friendships with a variety of people who have many interests?
A kapha needs experiments, so meet new people and rise from the ground. Do a handstand up the wall. Dangle from a tree. Find a swing set. Go skydiving. Check out MeetUp.com, and make some new friends.
Obesity is a kapha worry, so it is important to maintain a reasonable diet and increase the spicy food. Exercise daily and sweat. A kapha could try the house fans instead of the AC for a while and drink hot water with lemon.
“Be patient. You have been living a certain way for many years. It’s not going to immediately change back to normal in a week or even a month. Be gentle and caring with your body and mind, and you will come back into balance,” Comer said.
For more information, contact www.joyfulyoga.com