Parent Waves :: Home Page Subscribe! Contact Us
Parent Waves :: by Eric Francis
 ARTICLES  <<back - next>> Parent Waves :: by Eric Francis
added July 21

Ayurveda: An Indian Approach to the Prevention
of Stress Healing

by Kelly N. Patterson

Feelings of frustration and physical symptoms of stress surface when we feel we are meeting internal or external resistance.  The following articles will introduce you to a collection of conventional and unorthodox methods of treating your feelings of frustration and stress.  But, what if you could prevent these destructive emotions?  Is it possible? 

Indians practice a holistic, integrated health care system called Ayurveda, and its six thousand-year history suggests it has been successful in restoring and maintaining vitality, emotional equilibrium, mental clarity, and physical endurance. The fundamental objective of Ayurveda is optimum health; preventing frustration is just a perk.

Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning: "knowledge of life and longevity." It is a multi-disciplined formula based o要 the principles and rhythms found in nature (it has been cited as the original holistic medicine). Ayurveda combines daily and seasonal life-style practices (such as diet, yoga, meditation, exercise, healing herbs, massage, color-therapy, aromatherapy, music therapy, and a life-affirming mental attitude) to enhance health and avert physical infections, as well as infections of the mind and spirit.

There is no separation of mind and body in Ayurvedic philosophy; there can be no mental health without physical health, and vice versa. Therefore, overwhelming feelings of frustration suggest that o要e's health is out of balance and the natural symmetry of mind and body has to be restored. The foundation of Ayurveda is self-knowledge and self-healing; there is no need for an instructor or guru with an unpronounceable name. Unlike many other alternative therapies, Ayurveda is affordable, time-efficient, easy to learn, sustainable, and you can do it almost anywhere.

Ayurveda practice begins with an in depth self-assessment to determine your specific emotional needs and physical trouble spots. Then it teaches you how to use all of your senses (sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch) as potential healing mechanisms. Based o要 your mental and physical category, Ayurveda offers individualized recommendations for diet, herbs, and spices that will fortify your physical and psychological health. Its daily routines serve to energize and improve your overall mood.

The emphasis of Ayurveda is balancing your "doshas" (the governing principles of your life) to bring the mind, body, and emotions into perfect harmony. Each dosha is based o要 your mental and physical characteristics. The result is a state of calm alertness, vigor, physical stamina, and the ability to repel stress. Imagine greeting every day with a self-massage, eating fresh spiced foods, having access to silence, experiencing more moments of "flow", efficient anger management, deliverance from minor depression, developing gratitude in simplicity, and being satisfied with who you are and what you have. How can you allow yourself to experience frustration under these conditions?

The next Ayurveda installment will examine the 3 doshas. The doshas are based o要 your mental and physical constitution and can o要ly be determined through self-assessment. So stay tuned if you wish to learn more about this ancient Indian health care system and how it can help you obtain and maintain ideal health as well as prevent stress.

Which Dosha Are You?

Ayurveda is an integrated health care system developed by Indians over six thousand years ago and it can help prevent frustration, as well as offer holistic treatment for stress. Before you learn the simple techniques of Ayurveda to help you reach optimal health, you need to assess which dosha, or governing principle, directs you. There are three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. Its physical and emotional characteristics and the related personality traits define each dosha. Every person contains all three doshas but usually o要e or two doshas predominate. So let's see which dosha dominates you! Here is a quiz; please complete the sentence with the phrase that best describes you:

1. Physically, I am
a. slim or below average weight
b. moderate build; weight evenly distributed all over body
c. above average weight or gain weight easily

2. My appetite is
a. irregular, with skipped meals
b. strong, must eat regular meals
c. constant, but can skip meals

3. My sleep pattern is
a. irregular, light, 5 to 7 hours a night and often with interruptions
b. strong and even, 6 to 8 hours a night
c. prolonged and deep, sometimes difficult to wake up

4. My gait is
a. short quick steps
b. medium pace
c. slow and graceful

5. My energy is
a. low, energy comes in powerful spurts
b. well-managed
c. good, long-lasting

6. My height is
a. below or above average
b. Average
c. Average or tall

7. I am
a. flexible, lively, enthusiastic, intuitive, an initiator, optimistic
b. practical, intense, friendly, independent, courageous, perceptive
c. calm, peaceful, content, loyal, relaxed, patient

8. My memory is
a. quick to remember then quick to forget
b. clear and distinct
c. slow to remember and slow to forget

9. Under stress, I become

a. anxious, insecure, tense
b. aggressive, angry, irritable
c. lethargic, dull, in denial

10. I speak
a. very quickly and a lot
b. at medium speed
c. very slowly

11. When making decisions, I am
a. unsure, indecisive
b. quick and decisive
c. deliberate

12. Emotionally, I
a. tend to worry, am anxious and emotional
b. get angry and irritated easily
c. stay calm and complacent

13. I love
a. travelling, art and esoteric subjects
b. sports, politics, and luxury
c. good food

14. My thinking style is
a. restless, quick
b. organized, efficient, accurate
c. slow, methodical, and exacting

15. I dislike weather that is
a. cold, windy, dry
b. hot with strong sun
c. cool and damp

So figure out how many A's, B's , and C's you acquired. If you answered mostly A's, then you are a vata. If you answered mostly B's, you are a pitta and mostly C's, means you are a kapha. Chances are likely you will score high in more than o要e dosha.

Vata represent air and space. They tend to be thin, quick, unpredictable, flexible, and enthusiastic. They are great initiators but rarely follow through with their creative ideas. When vata are stressed they are prone to anxiety, insomnia, tension, hyperventilation, and are easily susceptible to disorders of the nervous system.

Pitta are composed of fire and water. They tend to be intense with a sharp and creative mind, ambitious, hard-working, and competitive; pitta generally make good leaders. When pitta are stressed they are prone to anger, irritation, ulcers, other stomach problems, and skin rashes.

Kapha are composed of earth and water. They tend to be solid and steady, even-tempered and calm, and have impressive endurance. Kapha are warm, friendly and make excellent care-givers. When a kapha is stressed he or she is prone to weight gain, sinus problems, lethargy, and depression. For example: Imagine you are about to board a flight and at the last possible moment the flight is cancelled. Typical vata would panic for a minute and then immediately pull out his or her cell phone or palm pilot. Vata would arrange alternative plans to travel to the desired destination themselves. Typical pitta would immediately get irritated (or even angry) that an external force, out of his or her control, interrupted the planned schedule. Pitta would most likely be berating the airline passenger service agents and demand the airlines make alternative travel plans. Typical kapha would use the delayed flight as an excuse to do some more shopping or go have some ice cream at the airport restaurant.

This example is an over-simplified demonstration of the behaviors and habits of the three doshas. Next article will explain why it is important to know your dominating dosha, how your dosha naturally reacts to frustration, and what each dosha can do to relieve frustration. So which dosha are you?

Originally published at

astro Q&A
in the news
about us
Planet Waves

Parent Waves :: by Eric Francis All original contents copyright 1996-2005 by Planet Waves Digital Media. All rights reserved. Free the people. Other copyrights may apply. Planet Waves Parenting by Eric Francis and the Planet Waves writers.
WebDesign by Anatoly Ryzhenko.