By Shannon Sexton • October 20th, 2009 • 4229 Views
My Yoga Online has posted this new healthy living article by Shannon Sexton (selected from Yoga+ Magazine). Shannon presents a series of Ayurvedic and Yoga tips to help alleviate anxiety.
No one likes to feel anxious—not even worrywarts. Although a tinge of anxiety can spark productivity, too much can be hazardous to your health. According to ayurvedic expert Vasant Lad, anxiety is “primarily due to an aggravation of the vata dosha. So to heal anxiety, we have to balance vata.”
Certain lifestyle factors aggravate this flighty dosha: late hours, erratic schedules, cold and windy environments, overwork, and improper diet. If you often feel anxious, consider these vata-pacifying lifestyle changes. Stick to a strict routine by eating, sleeping, working, and exercising at the same time every day. (Slow, methodical exercise such as walking or swimming will soothe your nervousness.) And give yourself a daily oil massage to further ground vata. You can also choose from the following home remedies to help calm your anxiety.
A Relaxing Bath
Lad recommends the following anxiety-reduction bath: pour one-third cup of ginger and one-third cup of baking soda into a warm tub of water and soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
Dr. Lad also suggests soaking 10 raw almonds in water overnight. In the morning, peel off the skins. Blend the almonds with a cup of warm milk, a pinch of ginger, and a small pinch of nutmeg and saffron. Enjoy.
A Calming Diet
According to ayurveda, the food you eat can either balance your doshas or knock them out of whack.
To pacify a vata imbalance, choose warm, moist, slightly oily, grounding foods. Soups, casseroles, hot cereals, creamy dishes, dairy products, bread, and pasta are great choices. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, sugar, and nicotine, since they’re overstimulating, and snack on fresh fruit instead. You can also incorporate vata-pacifying ingredients like anise, asafetida, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, gotu kola, licorice, natural sugar, nutmeg, rock salt, and sesame seeds into your diet.
Certain fragrances have a calming effect on vata. Put three drops of frankincense, basil, orange, or clove essential oil into an aromatherapy diffuser or a hot bath—and relax.