Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Anxiety is a pervasive emotional problem. There is no one who doesn’t have the feeling of anxiety at some point in their life. When anxiety spirals out of control and becomes more than “a little nervousness”, it can cause debilitating symptoms, including obsessive thinking, insomnia, migraines, intestinal problems, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. According to Ayurveda, excess vata is the major cause of anxiety. So a vata reducing regimen is prescribed.
How Yoga Can Help
Yoga can help with anxiety in a number of ways. It offers specific techniques that can reduce symptoms, both in the short and longer term. Because of its focus on tuning in to inward states, yoga can help you get beneath the surface of anxiety to figure out what might be triggering it, such as unresolved conflicts or habitual thought patterns,
One of the key yogic techniques use to counter anxiety is to focus on the breath. Perhaps nowhere is the connection between the mind and the breath more obvious than in anxiety. During anxious or fearful moments, breathing is disturbed in a wide variety of ways. It may become quick and choppy, rigid and constricted, or even stop altogether for periods of time. When you are calm, on the other hand, breathing tends to be smooth and rhythmic.
Helpful Yoga Poses and Breathing Exercises
In Ayurveda good digestion is viewed not in the foods you are eating (even though they are important), but more in your ability to digest them. When you are able to digest your foods easily, then this is a sign you have a strong digestive fire (Agni). You may be eating the best organic foods available, but still be feeling miserable. This maybe due to not having enough fuel to burn the food you are eating.
When your digestive fire is low, this turns into Ama (undigested food particles that harm your gut). Many of todays diseases start with these pesky undigested food particles. In order to nip these toxins in the bud, an Ayurvedic practitioner investigates the foods you are ingesting to understand what might be causing these toxins. Ama and digestive fire have a direct connection. The lower your digestive fire (Agni), the more toxins (Ama) you will have.
Causes of low digestive power:
-Poor diet: overeating, improper food combinations, fried foods, sugar (table sugars, starches)
vegetable oils (Canola, Corn, Soybean, etc..), Gluten and Gliadins (damage gut lining), High oxalate and phytic acid consumption
Detrimental lifestyle: lack of exercise, irregular eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, addictions (food, drugs)
Tips to improve your digestive power:
-Make sure to soak and ferment your grains and beans to make them more digestable.
-Dont eat heavy meals past 6 pm, which is Kapha time (digestive power slows down)
-Avoid liquids with your meals
-Avoid excess fibre, as this makes your digestive processes heavier
-Use appropriate spices to increase your Hydrochloric Acid
-Drink warm to hot water during the day or ginger tea to stimulate your digestive fire.
-Practice breath of fire breathing exercises to improve your digestive fire
-Exercise, exercise, exercise
-Use Ayurvedic medicines like Chitrak, Trikatu, or Triphala
What is Prana?
Prana is the subtlest form of energy that underlies all physical energies such as electricity, magnetism, light, heat, etc. Prana also sustains all mental processes such as thinking, feeling, willing, and reasoning. Prana is the universal store house of energy. Prana is the manifestation of the Supreme Spirit, as the sustainer of life and forces in this world. It is due to prana that the ocean surges, the sun shines, the stars move along their definite courses, and the earth and other planets revolve around the sun. It is due to prana that the river flows through the ocean and mountains hold their heads high in the air. Without prana, there would be no life on earth, there would be no existence of any object. Without prana, nothing would exist.
In a restricted sense, prana is the vital force that sustains the life of man by performing various vital functions and keeping the body alive. Breathing is an effect of prana. By controlling the breath and by harmonizing it a Yogi, gains control over the subtle prana. This subtle prana is linked to the mind and senses.
Pranayama is the control of the vital force through the regulation of breath. When the subtle prana is controlled by the regular practice of pranayama exercises, a Yogi conquers the distractions of the mind and is enabled to control the subtle desires of the subconscious which are the cause of mental distractions,
Pranayama is a benefit for all. By regulated and harmonized breathing, life is prolonged. Pranayama is the secret of curing various diseases. It is the most effective method of energizing the body and purifying the body and mind.
Practice pranayama from this very moment and enjoy abundance of life and energy. Whenever your mind is distracted, practice a few minutes of pranayama, you will attain calmness of mind and cheerfulness of mind.