Stress and Ayurveda

In yogic philosophy, there are three gunas or ‘qualities of human nature’: rajas, sattva, and tamas. These gunas are evident in our countenance, our thoughts, our words, our actions, and how we choose to approach our daily lives. Though each individual has elements of all three gunas, typically one is predominant. There is a wonderful and easy-to-read article from Jiva Ayurveda called Ayurvedic Mind Types that describe these gunas in great detail.

Stress is said to fall within the rajas guna. Though stress may be a common affliction experienced by most people these days, how we each react to our stress is very different, and has a lot to do with the constitution of our doshas or ‘humours’ of the body: vata is wind (gas); pitta is fire (bile); kapha is earth (mucus). Extreme flatulence, gastrointestinal disorders, and sinus disorders can be indicators of dosha imbalance.

I came across an interesting article on the Yoga Journal website today called Know Your Stress Type that gave a bit of great background information on Ayurvedic medicine, as well as a thorough breakdown of what each dosha imbalance looks like. It can certainly help shed some light on ways we can all manage our stress with methods that are harmonious with our guna and dosha constitution. It even provides recommended yoga poses!

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