Keep Calm and Nourish the Nerves
Even if your constitution is predominantly vata, pitta, or kapha, we can all experience the impact nervousness and anxiety play on our bodies and mind. Typically considered a sign of vata imbalance, anxiety and nervousness can get the best of us sometimes.
When the gunas (qualities) of vata such as cold, light, and dry, are elevated and lodge into our nervous system, they can deplete the myelin sheath. The myelin sheath is the exterior, protective portion that surrounds the axons of neurons in our central and peripheral nervous systems. The myelin sheath is comprised of proteins and lipids which make a fatty layer. When this protective layer is depleted due to high vata, the flow of electrical signals in our bodies can be compromised.
Signs of vata in our nervous system include constipation, indecision, fear, dry skin, worry, and anxiety. When the myelin sheath is depleted, our physical bodies can respond in unfavorable ways that can be debilitating to our daily lives. Majja dhatu is the tissue layer that is made up of our nervous tissue and bone marrow.
While we are continuing to navigate the world pandemic and other stressors in our lives, we can look to Ayurveda for tools to calm our nerves and handle any situation with ease and groundedness.
- Ayurvedic Rasayanas’ Peace of Mind: This herbal jam is packed full of herbs like ashwagandha, tulsi, shatavari, and shankhapushi. These herbs nourish the deeper tissues to support proper lubrication and support for the nervous system. Ashwagandha is an adaptogen which provides rejuvenate relief while also offering calming support to the mind and body.
- Pranayama: Hands down, one of the top ways to nourish our nervous system is to nourish our prana. While any sort of simple deep breathing will pacify vata and our nervous system, I want to encourage you to take 5 full deep breaths into the pit of your stomach at any onset of anxiety of nervousness. Take your time. Observe your breath and the moments in between your breath. This is where the healing begins.
- Abhyanga: Abhyanga means self-love. It is a full body massage with oil, traditionally sesame oil, that warms the body and nourishes the skin. Offering calm and slow movements to your limbs, torso, neck, and back, oil massage has amazing benefits to decrease stress and calm the nerves.
Check out Beverly’s video on Vata Dosha for more information on vata dosha.
Keep calm and carry on!
Beverly Foster is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and 500-hour Ayurvedic Yoga Instructor. She received her certification from The Ayurvedic Institute in 2016 under the clinical guidance of Dr. Vasant Lad and worked directly with him as one of his herbalists. She is also a board-certified National Ayurvedic Medical Association Professional Member. She currently lives in Southern Oregon where she offers consultations, including Zoom and phone appointments. For more information, questions, or to schedule a consultation, you can contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at www.shineayurveda.com