Ayurveda and Meditation for Stress Management
Ayurveda , the science of life is not only the ancient science of preventative health and healing but also a philosophy of living. It helps maintain health in a person by using the inherent principles of nature to bring the individual back into equilibrium with their true self.
It believes that all of life are combinations of three energy-elements (doshas) - air (Vata), fire (Pitta), and water (Kapha). Imbalance of these doshas leads of illness and ayurveda treats each individual as a unique makeup of the three doshas and suggest cleansing process (panchakarma) specific lifestyle, nutritional guidelines, yoga, herbal supplement, to assist the individual in restoring the balance of the doshas.
Ayurveda is a "science of life and longevity", a traditional system of medicine of India which considers the mind to be one of the three pillars (tristhuna) on which life depends. The concept of mind (manas prakriti) is both broad and illuminating. Mind is built from different aspects. Buddhi, the intellect is the digestive system of mind as it discriminates between different aspects of mental 'nutrition'.
Manas is that which conceptualizes, analyzes and interacts between our inner sub consciousness and our experience of the outer world. Ahamkara is our 'I' maker and identity former that personalizes every experience. Tarpaka kapha relates to memory. Chitta that is considered to be consciousness and awareness. Prana connects these different aspects into antahakarana, the inner active.
It describes three primary qualities of mind or gunas as Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas. Satwa (equilibrium, evolution, intelligence) characterized by lightness, awareness, delight and lucidity, is pure, free from malady and cannot distorted and disturbed in any way. It activates the senses and is responsible for the perception of knowledge. Rajas (activity, agitation) which is most active of the gunas, characterizes motion and stimulation.
All wants, wishes, aspirations and erratic-mindedness are a result of the effects of rajas guna. Tamas (inertia) which characterizes heaviness and immunity, produces disturbances in the process of perception (way one thinks) and activities of the mind. Hallucinations, laziness, apathy, sleepiness and drowsiness habits are due to it.
According to Ayurveda there are three fundamental mind types or mental doshas, called Vata, Pitta and Kapha, which embody different combinations of the five elements air, ether, fire, water and earth. Psychologically Vata governs feelings and emotions as freshness, nervousness, fear, anxiety, pain.
Pitta arouses anger, hate, and jealousy. Kapha is responsible for the emotions of attachment, greed, and long-standing envyAyurvedic treatment aims to rebalance your doshas according to your constitution (also known as your Prakriti), resulting in a healthy body and sound mind.
Yoga is a Sanskrit (an ancient Indian language) word which means union of the mind, body and soul. It is an exercise in self-discipline which combines postures with breathing techniques and meditation.When regulary practised it strengthens nervous system, takes one to a deep state of relaxation and tranquility thereby helping people to face stressful situations more positively.
The postures stretch limbs and exercises soothe muscles, organs and nervous system while the breathing technique helps to focus and relax at the same time and meditation ensures an overall feeling of well being resulting in a better management of stress.
The principle of yoga is that essential thoughts and messages are delivered more effectively when the body is relaxed and the brain is well-oxygenated, helping the body and mind to work more successfully while feeling less tired and less stressed.
Asanas (Postures) :
Natural unblocking effected by yoga postures are helpful to relieve stress out of the individuals who carry a great deal of physical tension in their bodies.
It is a form of a slow exercise together with a controlled breathing exercise which promotes a relaxed feeling or eases stress. Savasana, Makarasana, Balasana are few asanas to be practiced to relieve stress
Prayanama (A breathing technique) :In this technique an individual do slow and steady breathing - like inhaling through his one nostril and exhaling through other. Besides there are fast breathing movements like intake of air through nostrils and exhaling through mouth at fast pace, this way air is passed properly through blood capillaries and the person feels himself in light mode and he feels that there is no burden over their mind and soul.
Dhyana (Meditation) : A person sits in a posture usually in relaxing mode and concentrate his mind over one point with eyes closed. The mind is concentrated up to an extent when an individual feels that he has no interaction with the surroundings, in fact the mind reaches in a neutral stage thereby relieving mental exhaustion.
Meditation restores the body to a calm state, helping the body to repair itself, and preventing damage due to the physical effects of stress.