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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      shanto mathew
      shanto mathew
      03:41 18 Feb 23
      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
      18:41 06 Feb 23
      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!
      17:53 26 Jan 23
      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!!!!
      Christina Bertram
      Christina Bertram
      14:09 12 Jan 23
      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
      19:05 24 Nov 22
      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
      14:57 25 Oct 22
      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
      14:54 25 Oct 22
      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!!
      Paula Alves Silva
      Paula Alves Silva
      11:42 20 Oct 22
      I did not write a comment immediately after my retreat because I was looking for the perfect words to describe the beautiful and deep experience I lived at Sen Wellness Sanctuary. You might choose this place because you feel in a certain way but independently of the cause that might bring you there the truth is that you will leave with a clear, light and peaceful body and soul. At Sen Wellness Sanctuary I felt that everyone works towards making that space a home away from your home. The kindness and perfectionism that the staff provides is rare to find. By investing in Sen Wellness Sanctuary you are also investing in the community. The owner's philosophy of making the staff a priority really made the difference for me.The beautiful classes and ceremonies provided by Jamie Sol are undoubtedly memorable. I felt an immediate connection with the teachers and there are lessons that I for sure won't forget. Starting from the interior to the exterior, all Ayurvedic treatments brought me the feeling of floating. I felt many times that I was reborn over and over again. And I can not end this review without mentioning the unity created in the space between its architecture and nature to really create a unity between the all. I left with a tight heart because I really felt at home. The morning tee watching the sunrise from the cabana, the long walks between the empty beach and the immense lagoon, yoga while the sun goes up, the delicious (really delicious) food, the laughs, the sound of birds and monkeys playing around, the chat and meditation with the monk, the sky filled with stars, the reading by the pool, the long conversations, the sunbath by the stairs while waiting for treatments. The many many smiles. Oh I could go back in a glimpse.
      Bożena Teclaf
      Bożena Teclaf
      15:45 18 Oct 22
      I had a wonderful stay at Sen Wellness Sanctuary. I was traveling solo and honestly this retreat was more than I thought I ever needed. Everything - from facilities, food, treatments was just great. You can feel this amazing hospitality from the moment you step through their gates.What is important to mention - I am on a strict gluten free diet and the kitchen staff took every effort to accommodate my dietary requirements. They even made a special GF cake for my birthday!Big shoutout to Jamie and Arjuna - such a lovely teachers and mentors - I have learned so much from them about yoga, meditation, energy healing and more.To the whole staff (and especially the ones I was not able to say goodbye to) - thank you from the bottom of my heart. People are the ones who make places special and you were all so incredible and kind. I received so much love and care when celebrating my birthday there - something I will cherish forever.Everything was organized with lots of care. My transfer from and to the airport was very smooth. The area is very safe and honestly I can't recommend the retreat enough.
      Gerti van Lier
      Gerti van Lier
      14:41 16 Oct 22
      My retreat at Sen Wellness Sanctuary was exactly what I needed after 2,5 years Covid with full time home working. I was tired, both mentally and physically. As I wanted to completely disconnect from my day to day life, I chose for the 14 day package. It was the best thing I did to recover from these 2,5 years.The staff at Sen Wellness is very friendly and welcoming, from yoga teachers to the kitchen staff and therapists. I had an excellent yoga teacher Jamie, who also guided the ceremonies. We did a fire ceremony, water ceremony and a new moon ceremony. The new moon ceremony was very special. It was like Jamie sensed what I needed. Movement, dance, energy, joy, life! Perfect!The food was excellent, every meal a great variety of dishes. Even the few days that I had the luxury to be the only guest, I had at least 7 dishes for lunch and dinner.I loved the treatments, my favorite was the shirodhara. This oil treatment you have to experience. Words cannot express this experience, you float, lose track of time and space. And let's not forget the joint treatment, loosening your whole body.The yoga classes went beyond the physical postures. There was a lot of attention for both body and soul, with breathing exercises and meditation. And let’s not forget joy. The last day we went at sun rise to the beach to take pictures of my achievement. It was not about the achievement, it was about the joy of life we shared together.A retreat at Sen Wellness is a treat and transformation for body and soul.
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