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Calming The Nervous System With Ayurveda

The nervous system is governed by the vata dosha according to Ayurveda. Doshas are the bioenergetic systems of the body and vata is one of three doshas which make up the human system: vata controls movement, pitta governs metabolism, and kapha governs tissue, bones and lubrication of the body. Of course, it is actually not that compartmentalized because all the doshas are interdependent and interact with each other. When you eat, vata moves the food to the digestive system, lubricated by kapha, where pitta will do the digestion.

Vata is considered the most important dosha because it is identified with prana energy. According to Wikipedia, prana is the sanskrit word for “vital life” the life giving vital force that supports us all.  Vata governs the mind, nervous system, psychological processes, blood circulation, the somatic nervous system, and the movement of food and wastes.

Because vata not only regulates the nervous system but also our creativity, a vata imbalance negatively affects our ability to create. There are many signs of vata imbalance; one of the most important ones for highly sensitive people is anxiety. When we become anxious, the focus of our attention shifts to the cause of our anxiety. We are then unable to move forward into our creativity until the source of our anxiety is resolved. If it remains unresolved, chronic debilitating stress is the result and we can feel blocked.

Although the vata dosha is all about movement, one important cause of anxiety is too much movement or chaos in our environment. Vata needs a balance between stability and movement to be effective. Providing vata with stability helps an individual reduce and let go of anxiety, opening the door to more creative intention.  The first law of nature is survival, so safety is always the first priority. Without a feeling of safety, vata becomes bogged down; with a feeling of safety vata feels good and can flourish.

Because highly sensitive people suffer from so much chronic stress and other challenges, HSPs need to be vigilant about keeping their vata dosha in balance. It is a challenge to find the right balance between stability and flux. The place to start is with the daily schedule.

Calm The Nervous System With A Healthy Daily Schedule

Aurveda recommends rising before dawn, eating three meals a day with the main meal at midday when digestion is strongest, and going to bed by 10 PM.

This is a simple morning routine created by Dr. Robert Svoboda of Ayurvedic Institute one of the most respected Ayurvedic schools in the United States:

  1. Wake before dawn
  2. Clear the body through elimination of wastes.
  3. Briefly wash all the sense organs to wake them up: hands, feet, face, mouth, eyes and nose.
  4. Meditate.
  5. Self massage called abhyanga with oil and shower.
  6. Exercise: yoga would be good,
  7. Breakfast.

You can add other cleansing actions to this schedule if you would like.  Some people drink warm water first thing in the morning to get the digestion going and help elimination.  You can also do a tongue scraping, to clear toxins.  Breathing exercises can be beneficial in the morning as well, since they help to clear the head.

All of the activities are meant to clear toxins and fire up the digestive furnace. This process is a wonderful investment in self grounding, mental well being and healthy physical function. If you can do it, it will help you feel that you are starting the day on solid ground,  something that all highly sensitive people need.

About Maria Hill

Maria Hill is the founder of Sensitive Evolution. She is the author of The Emerging Sensitive: A Guide For Finding Your Place In The World. In addition, she has created the immersive Emerging Sensitive Program of "sensory processing yoga" using frameworks to help sensitive people master their sensitivity and turn it into the asset it can be. She also offers the Emerging Sensitive Movie Club focused on movies and discussions about living in the world as a sensitive person and navigating the challenging cultural shifts of our times. She is a longtime meditator, reiki master, student of alternative health and Ayurveda. Maria is also an abstract painter whose portfolio can be found at Infinite Shape and also very interested in animal and human rights and the environment.

9 Comments

  1. Venkatesh on September 14, 2018 at 2:45 am

    Hey, Maria. Loved reading your blog. I love Ayurveda and its therapies. Yoga is something that I religiously do every day. Calms and my mind and body. Keep writing!



    • Kathy garrett on August 12, 2019 at 9:55 am

      I was reading on one of your posts about Manjistha which I had never heard of. I’m looking for something to help detox both my lungs from mold toxicity. Please share if you have any ideas. Thank you



    • Maria Hill on August 12, 2019 at 9:59 am

      Ayurveda has wonderful supplements for detoxing. Since I am not an Ayurvedic physician I cannot advise you on how to treat your condition. I would recommend that you contact Dr. John Douillard at Lifespa to ask for their recommendations. He is a physician and he offers many useful supplements.

      Good luck,
      Maria



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