Tag Archive for: PTSD

Including Ayurveda in its Yoga Teacher Training is one of the things that sets Axis apart from other YTT programs. As exemplified below, students experiment with using Ayurvedic principles to balance their dosha. The application of these principles is where the real teaching begins. This student used Ayurveda to treat PTSD symptoms.

To be totally honest, I came into Ayurveda mildly skeptical.  I grew up in a family of scientist who believe only in western medicine and ideals.  This has worked for them, but I have always struggled to maintain my health both mentally and physically.

Recently (well… 7 months ago which still feels very recent) I was diagnosed with PTSD and have been trying to put myself back together ever since.  I can’t remember a time when I actually felt good and happy within myself.  Something was always out of balance.

The concept of balance in everything within Ayurveda really resonated with me and when the vata dosha was taught, I identified with all of it, especially the out of balance part.  So for my experiment I wanted to try to pacify my extremely excessive vata and see if it helped with my PTSD symptoms of difficulty sleeping, anxiety and depression.

Will a self-care routine for Vata ease some of my PTSD symptoms?

I believe that a self-care routine can take the edge off of some of my anxiety and help me sleep better.

Due to my medical constraints (medications, etc), I opted for a low intensity experiment.  I decided to add drinking warm milk with nutmeg before bed and a daily external oleation routine.  Near the end of the experiment I took up trying meditation with a mantra.

1 – a half hour before I intended to go to bed I would warm up my milk, turn off all electronics and read or just sit with it for a while, then get ready for bed.

2 – right before bed, I would oil my feet with sesame oil and sleep with that on (with socks, of course)

3 – every day before my shower I practiced an external oleation with sesame oil all over my body.  Since the time is there for me right now, I tried to really make this a treat and not to just slather the oil on, but to really enjoy it.

4 – Attempt at meditation with the gayatri mantra  (ongoing)

Overall, I would say that the self-care treatments that I started to use were effective in calming my mind and helping me sleep.  My skin is in better condition now as well!  As for my PTSD symptoms, I think that the routine of all of it really helped me the most.  I would finish all electronic things for the day and then read for a half hour with my warm milk.  I’d oil my feet before bed and this usually helped me sleep fairly well.  I have a long way to go, but I think these techniques will remain in my daily care routine.

The more I learn about Ayurveda, the more I love it and it makes sense to me.  From growing up in a very scientific household, this has been a truly new way to view the world and people.  I really like the idea of trying to find balance and that the things we eat and do directly impact our health.

Though I didn’t do a dramatic cleanse or anything, I still feel that my experiment was a success.  I learned a lot and learned that taking care of myself should be number one priority.  The little things in life really do add up.

In moving forward from this, I plan on maintaining the warm milk and oleation routines and trying to build upon the meditation.  I truly struggle with meditation and introspection and maybe the advice I received during this experiment will guide me in the right direction to having a solid practice.