Managing Stress with Ayurveda

manage stress

    Manage stress with Ayurveda

    Harnessing the power of Ayurveda to manage stress is one of the most promising modalities. As more people seek natural remedies to manage stress, Ayurveda draws upon ancient wisdom to bring harmony back into the body, mind, and spirit.

    What is stress?

    Stress, as a term, is highly subjective—it defies definition. Simply put, stress is not what happens to you but what happens within you. It’s a physiological reaction inside the body in response to some physical, emotional, or environmental stimulus. 

    We fall out of balance when we ignore our body’s natural rhythms. Modern-day normality, such as multitasking, consuming media, eating artificial foods and beyond, all draw us away from the natural world. The more we become disconnected from the natural world, the more likely stress will manifest in our bodies. This affects our mood, sleep, digestion, immunity, and beyond.

    From an Ayurvedic perspective, everyone represents a microcosm of the larger world. And thus, the stress we feel internally is a representation of the external chaos and vice versa. Your environment has a significant effect on your mental peace. 

    What are the most common symptoms of stress?

    Symptoms of stress range broadly from person to person and can vary in different situations and environments. Some of the most common symptoms of stress include:

    • Exhaustion
    • Hypersensitivity
    • Constipation
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Panic attacks
    • Moodiness
    • Irritability
    • Fatigue
    • Sleep problems
    • Indigestion

    To manage stress, Ayurveda aims to quiet the “modern world’s” implications on the body, mind, and spirit. The goal is to alleviate this vata energy. According to Ayurveda, vata is what drives disease in the long term. Pacifying and nurturing vata is a primary consideration for health and longevity.

    Ayurvedic techniques to manage stress:


      It’s the most simple thing that you can do everyday. Earthing is all about connecting our body to earth, it encourages us to plant our roots back into mother nature through natural movement. 

      Simply walk barefoot on a beach, grass, soil, spend time near a stream of water that’s flowing, get exposed to early sunlight, or swim in the ocean. Earthing reconnects to the five elements on earth, it neutralizes our electric potential. Earthing can hugely relax the body, reduce stress, and reconnect you to the healing power of nature. Take off your shoes and socks and walk barefoot on the raw earth!

      Pranayama / Breathwork:

      Ayurveda and yoga are interconnected. Pranayama is a yogic concept that means breath control. Breathwork is a potent tool that is free and can be used anywhere. We can recalibrate our systems through different breathing techniques and shift our body from a sympathetic state of fight-or-flight to a calm parasympathetic state.

      Technique to try:

      • Inhale for a count of 4.
      • Hold at the top for a count of 2
      • Exhale for a count of 6.

      Repeat this for as long as you would like, we recommend a minimum of 5 minutes. Tip: you may try and open your mouth for an audible sign as you exhale, this helps welcome deeper release and relaxation. Read more about optimal breathing here.

      Physical touch and massage:

      Physical contact, massage, and self-massage can help lower cortisol levels significantly over time. One specific type of massage that Ayurveda highlights is Abhyanga. Abhyanga is an incredibly healing practice that you can do to yourself. Simply use a body oil that is dosha specific, and massage yourself, starting at the head and working toward the toes. Let the oil sink into your tissue, and then take a shower or bath to wash off the oils. Create a weekly ritual of taking 30 minutes to give some love back to your body!


      In an over stimulated world, meditation is a respite from the chaos that so often controls our lives. Meditation is about stillness and inner reflection, not blocking out feelings and emotions, but being aware of them and learning to observe them without judgment. Try this Chakra Meditation to alleviate stress.

      Detox and Retreat:

      For those seeking a supported stress relief programme, we recommend fully immersing yourself in a retreat at the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is structured to support your system in returning to balance and harmony; regulating your biological rhythms, metabolism, hormonal balance, mood and contributing to wellbeing and longevity. Further, we offer juice cleansing, water-fasting, and intermittent fasting programmes to support your body in releasing stress. You can read more about our retreats here.

      Stress can be a topic that is variable for everyone. It is essential to honour the way you are feeling and take actionable steps that work for you. An array of Ayurvedic techniques have been used for lineages to manage stress for you to explore. We encourage you to try some of the methods above. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can support you on your journey.

      With Love,

      Sen Wellness Team


      Coming from a lineage of healers, Lina works with somatic embodiment, breathwork, energetic healing, sound, and naturopathic nutrition. She channels her practice into words and thoughts to share with you. Her warmth and radiant energy will capture you through her words

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      Roberta G
      Roberta G
      My experience at the sanctuary was out of this world - I booked online & I didn’t know how my husband and I would have found it, but the experience definitely outweighed my expectations. It is a dream location with Km’s of secluded beach and fabulous cabins. The food is all vegan and honestly outstanding and very varied. We did not miss having meat at all, they even had fish twice but only because it was a fresh catch. The treatments are also fantastic. I was on the verge of a burnout when I went to Sen Wellness and honestly came back feeling like a human again. So much so that I still think about the little moments and my husband and I have decided to go again next year. We can’t imagine our March trip to be the last one to this magical place.
      Lozzy Emily
      Lozzy Emily
      Fantastic retreat, I loved the personalized approach a lot of other retreats do not provide this you really do feel part of a family. The staff were so attentive and relaxed even the way they cleaned around you was relaxing! I enjoyed all the treatments I would just warn that you will be asked to remove underwear for some massages and steam baths for me I felt a little uncomfortable being massaged naked and couldn’t fully relax. You can tell this to the doctor prior to them scheduling treatments. The food was so delicious I enjoyed everything I ate in the 5 days I was there. There were yoga sessions twice daily however I would say they are definitely meditation/breathing workshops. It would have been nice to do some active yoga to get the body moving but still enjoyed the breathing and gong baths. I would advise if you struggle with the heat to upgrade to a cabana with AC as the rooms were so so hot! I did so much research on retreats in Sri Lanka and I’m 100% certain this is the best for a wellness retreat/spa. It showed me a new way of looking after my body with sleep and nourishing food Thank you!!!
      This is a rare jewel of a place. Nestling in forest, beside a sacred stretch of protected ocean, where endangered turtles ay their eggs and give birth. Just to witness this alone is a life changing experience. Everything about Sen gently lulls you into your heart, tensions melt away, with incredible organic food, camaraderie of other like minded souls there to relax and heal, and a smiling staff who genuinely care about your well-being. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with the co founders, even the story of how this stunning yet simple structure came into being, exudes love, heart and above e all vision and bravery. In a corporate, unfeeling world gone mad, intent on destroying all life on our planet, this place offers a glimpse of hope. Where kindness is the currency and healing and transformation the aim above all else. World class yoga, breathing, Ayurveda, and if you are lucky enough a treatment or tow with sam the co founder. This is something not to be missed. Just go there and see for yourself how it revitalises and offers a new perspective on life. now that is something that money cannot buy.
      shanto mathew
      shanto mathew
      I recently stayed at San Wellness Sanctuary in Sri Lanka for nine days to treat my long COVID brain fog and shortness of breath. Overall, my experience at the sanctuary was excellent. The staff and people there were incredibly welcoming and made me feel at home right away. The food was also fantastic - I looked forward to every meal.While I didn't see much improvement in my long COVID symptoms after the treatments, I still greatly appreciate the care and attention I received. The treatments themselves were great, and I felt like the practitioners really knew what they were doing.Overall, I would highly recommend San Wellness Sanctuary to anyone looking for a peaceful and rejuvenating retreat. The location is beautiful, the facilities are top-notch, and the staff is truly exceptional. Thank you for a wonderful stay.
      Ankur Kamalia
      Ankur Kamalia
      Having known Sam for a few years, I finally made my way to the Sen Wellness Sanctuary in Sri Lanka in Jan 2023. And what an experience it has been. Words (and pictures) will never do justice to the care, warmth, generosity, expertise and the beauty of the 9 days I spent at the Sanctuary.Whether it was the morning wake up with a gentle and persistent "Good morning, Sir" at 5.30 and a hot cup of cardamom tea being held outside my room (till one got out of bed and opened the door), the morning yoga sessions (for the first time I was able to drop into that practice), the pre-breakfast walk to (a good little work out too!) and dip in the rock pool or a gentle raft-ride along the mangrove lagoon, the Ayurvedic doctor customising a daily treatment plan which included 3+ treatments a day, the early evening meditation (or sound healing or Breathwork) sessions, the ceremonies, an opportunity to be with the Reverend Monk or the little mini-excursions they organised, was all really special. Add to this the delicious and locally sourced food, the incredible team, the small community where we ate and checked-in together and the beautiful sanctuary itself and their cabanas. All that one needed was to be embedded in nature, and on the luscious beach, a protected turtle sanctuary (with an opportunity to see the turtle come out and lay eggs!) - which I enjoyed too.I have come back refreshed, rejuvenated and excited to enjoy what 2023 has in store. I will certainly be heading back - perhaps this time also to their sister Forest Retreat center in addition to the Sanctuary. Thank you Sam, Sudheera and the kind, generous and capable team at Sen Wellness.PS: Their selection of reading materials while lazily lounging waiting for the "next" treatment, was a treat and Sam's clinic in London, has been a real blessing and gift too!
      Staying at the Sen Wellness Retreat in Sri Lanka was one of my best experiences from the moment I entered the retreat I was enveloped in all the warmth and love you could possibly wish for. The delicious food, Ayurvedic treatments, relaxing on the comfortable furnishings in the common areas and the well appointed bedrooms. The thrill of enjoying the sunrise while doing kundalini yoga on the golden sand where the turtles had struggled up the beach the night before to lay their eggs. Sunset yoga, meditation and sitting around the fire chatting to my new family is unforgettable - I am planning on returning in November!! A pool would be lovely - Sam had best start digging!!!!
      Thanks to Sen Wellness I'm starting my year completely refreshed from the inside out. It's the most beautiful, serene, welcoming place located between the sea and a lagoon. The team has gone over and beyond looking after every single guest with individual treatment plans and always being around to support. Not to mention the amazing food.. I've only stayed 6 days and would have loved to have some extra days. Can only recommend it and hope to be back again!
      Arjuna Devas
      Arjuna Devas
      Whether you are looking to take a break from the busyness of life, a complete overhaul of the mind, body and soul or just a place to completely relax and get a good sleep, look no further. You have the ability and opportunity to completely unplug here with no outside distractions. Completely rest and rejuvenate at this very private location with super comfortable beds, nutritious food, amazing daily Ayurvedic therapies and supportive staff. It is called a sanctuary for a reason. The only distraction may be your minds addictive behaviors, for most the rabbit hole of the internet. With the limited wifi, you can turn off your phone for your entire stay or limit it to an hour a day. Then you may get to discover what truly makes you happy from within.My partner, Jamie, and I worked here for 3 months as therapists, yoga teachers and hosts. We fell in love with the place and the staff, we now call friends, that we would often here laughing while they worked. Something that we have discovered working at other retreat centers was not the case.We also noticed the pure synchronicity and harmony of the individual guests who showed up. Most of them became, not only friends with each other, but the perfect support persons in their transformative processes and I'm sure many will stay in touch for years to come.Please consider staying here to not only find your light but to turn it up so bright so you can be a lighthouse onto everyone around you. This world needs more light-bearers.Last but not least when considering how long to stay we noticed guests who stayed for less than 7 days felt their time was cut short and were only starting to get into a rhythm. Those who stayed for 2 weeks or longer were completely transformed and were literally floating by the time they left.Jamie and I look forward to coming back, for our own wellness and to support others in finding theirs. OM.
      Jonathan Z. Lee
      Jonathan Z. Lee
      What an incredible, transformative week at Sen Wellness. A beautiful coccoon for the soul, in such a beautiful location. It's hard to describe what happens here, with the great yoga sessions, personalized Ayurvedic treatments, workshops, meditations, ceremonies, and mindful just all works together to provide a healing experience, one which expands the mind and heart, and gives the soul room to breathe. Stress lines and wrinkles noticeably vanished from everyone's faces over a few days, bodies began to unfold and stand strong once more, and smiles continued to grow day after day. Everyone at the center was incredibly kind and attentive, and it was a joy every morning to greet them. Madhu at the main desk was a ray of sunshine, Dr Harnika radiated peace and warmth, and all the therapists and kitchen staff took such good care of us. A very special thank you to our yoga teacher (and SO much more) Jamie, who helped to create a safe and nurturing space while helping us to free our bodies and minds. She is an exceptional guide, and a powerful beam of light, helping strangers from all over the world turn into a supportive community. And such deep gratitude for Arjuna who has what can only be described as the most healing hands, who helped me work through my chronic pain of 10+ years in such an intuitive manner - I'm still speechless!!Thank you so much Sen for helping so many people in deeply personal ways. 🙏
      Manuela Capelle
      Manuela Capelle
      Thank you Sen Wellness for providing an outstanding stay for Jon and myself. It really felt like a warm cocoon, a safe space to be guided towards our essence, to feel nurtured, grounded, healthy, and to be allowed to just be. The yoga was very integrative to all levels, and Jamie helped us understand and integrate the true meaning of yoga beyond the classes. The ceremonies led by Jamie and Arjuna were so great and genuine heart openers for people from all walks of life. Arjuna’s massages were out of this world, and with a lot of love.Beyond this, the whole staff was incredibly friendly - every single one of them.Madhu’s smile simply unforgettable. Best wishes and we will hopefully be back very soon!!
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