The Ayurvedic Approach To Soothing Vata And Anxiety…

The Ayurvedic Approach To Soothing Vata And Anxiety

Where does that anxiety keep coming from? Learn the root of anxiety according to Ayurveda. When Vata becomes imbalanced, anxiety often is the first symptom. 7 Ayurvedic Tips for calming and restoring the nervous system. Ready to reclaim your calm?

What is Vata Dosha?

Before we dive into an Ayurvedic Approach to Soothing Vata and Anxiety let’s discuss what Vata Dosha is. In Ayurveda, there are three doshas that comprise a person’s constitution: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each dosha is characterized by its own unique qualities (to learn more about the doshas and how they impact your life, click here). All three doshas are present in each of us, it is a matter of proportion of each dosha

We have a predominant dosha or perhaps a combination. Knowing your doshic picture will empower you to make the correct and healthiest choices for you, thereby enabling you to live a more balanced life. Vata dosha consists of air and ether and governs all movement in the universe — whether that is respiration, bowel movement, digestion, or the movement or stillness of our minds. Therefore, Vata is of primary importance for everyone as it is the movement or lack of movement behind everything.

Vata Dosha is comprised of the elements of air and ether

The main qualities of Vata doshas are dry, light, cool, rough, subtle, and mobile. As such, Vata types tend to be thin and lanky. They are mentally and physically active and have active imaginations. Vatas are creative people who often think outside the box. They tend to be easily distracted and have moods that are influenced by the weather, the people around them, and the foods they eat.

Vatas do best when they follow a consistent daily routine, or rhythm that allows them to manage their mobile and light qualities through meditation, pranayama breathing, or calm and creative activities.

Vata dosha has an affinity for the nervous system and so nourishing and rejuvenating on going is key to maintaining balance. To learn more about Vata’s qualities, scroll to the bottom and meet Nutmeg, our newest pack member and classic Vata type.

Signs Vata Dosha is Imbalanced

When Vata Dosha becomes imbalanced, you may notice the following:

  • Constipation
  • Anxiety
  • Changes in sleep
  • Poor circulation (cold hands and feet), muscle spasm, pain, and aches, tightness
  • Dry skin, hair, joints
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Difficulty concentrating (feeling spaced out)
  • Difficulty remembering (name search, walking in a room for something and forgetting why)
  • Anxious depression
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Dryness

7 Ayurvedic Tips for calming and restoring the nervous system

The world has been plagued by uncertainty, and many people have felt sad, depressed, isolated, and anxious.

If you’re among this population of people feeling out of sorts, Ayurveda can help. Contrary to mainstream medicine, which relies heavily on pharmaceuticals, the Ayurvedic approach focuses on treating the root cause of your distress.

In this article on taking an Ayurvedic approach to soothing Vata and anxiety, we’ll explore:

  • Why it’s difficult to feel good and grounded during times of uncertainty
  • Which doshas are associated with PTSD and anxiety
  • How to take an Ayurvedic approach to healing

Why it’s difficult to regulate well-being during times of uncertainty

From time to time, we all experience stressful, anxiety-inducing experiences that can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is especially true when unexpected events occur that we have no control over.

In response to these experiences, your body releases cortisol — a hormone that regulates and reduces stress. However, when the stress-inducing events are continual, like the riots and pandemic have been, your body may lose its ability to regulate and keep you in balance. As a result, ongoing anxiety, depression, and PTSD can occur.

Impact of Anxiety and the Doshas

We are comprised of the three doshas. These doshas, known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha help us maintain our overall well-being when balanced. However, when one or more of the doshas becomes imbalanced, physical and mental health issues arise, and disease can occur.

Vata governs movement — including heart rate, breathing, and mindset (including thoughts). As such, when Vata increases may manifest as anxiety, depression, and PTSD. You may notice that you may be waking at Vata dosha time of night. If you experience this, to calm your nervous system and to retrain your response from fight-flight to relaxa and restore.

How to Keep Vata Balanced and Heal Anxiety with Ayurveda

1. Acknowledge What Is

As spiritual beings having a human experience, each of us is gifted with something known as an emotional guidance system. This internal compass is meant to guide us through life so we can effectively process our emotions.

To access this internal system, we start by acknowledging what is. This means rather than ignoring what’s happening around us, or trying to pretend it isn’t real, instead, we fully acknowledge the current reality. This acknowledgment, in turn, allows us to fully process all our associated feelings.

Acknowledging what is will help you navigate life’s unexpected ebbs and flows — including pandemic and riot-related PTSD, without feeling stuck.

2. Practice diaphragmatic breathing

Diaphragmatic breathing is also referred to as belly breathing. This type of breathing engages the diaphragmatic muscles. It’s known to help fill the lungs more efficiently and draw the practitioner into the present moment. As a result, we feel relaxed and grounded.

Benefits of diaphragm breathing include:

  • Anxiety reduction
  • Stress reduction
  • Lowered blood pressure and heart rate
  • Enables you to feel and be present
  • Promotes relaxation

How to practice diaphragmatic breathing:

  1. Lie comfortably on a flat surface
  2. Support your head with a pillow
  3. Place one hand over your chest and the other over your abdomen
  4. Breathe in slowly through your nose, and notice how your abdomen rises as you inhale and lowers as you exhale
  5. Simply observe the abdomen as it rises and falls rhythmically
  6. Observe within your comfortable capacity
  7. Practice for 2-10 minutes.

You can practice diaphragm breathing throughout the day as your schedule permits. Include diaphragmatic breathing as part of your morning and evening routine. You may practice a few other times in the day as well, or as often as needed. Relax your focus. No need to try to make anything happen or change anything. In time, with consistent practice, the breath will correct itself. Lay back and relax.

3. Limit screen time 

According to research, overexposure to the news, social media and technology, and general, can lead to anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies. This is especially true as we live through the ongoing pandemic and are overly exposed to news stories about death, rising cases, and global restrictions.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution to overexposure — unplugging. As a rule of thumb, aim to disconnect from technology (your phone, tablet, TV, computer, etc.) after 6 pm. Sleep with your phone out of arms reach so if you wake up in the middle of the night, you aren’t tempted to scroll through social media or read the latest news. Choose one day a week for a screen fast. During this time, take a walk outside, read a book, relax, and reconnect with yourself.

4. Ground yourself with dinachayra

Vata’s best friend is rhythm, or routine. Dinacharya is a daily routine you follow that creates balance. Having a routine during times of stress and uncertainty is especially important because it soothes and grounds Vata which likes to keep moving.


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Veena Haasl-Blilie


Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner As a child, Veena fell in love with Ayurveda in her family’s home, learning about herbal remedies…

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