Natural Urges You Should Not Suppress
Natural Urges You Should Not Suppress – Adharaniya Vega
Vagbhat shares this in the presentation on the prevention of disease, opening the topic with 13 natural urges you should not suppress. The presentation encourages us to consider the importance of allowing the body to express these urges to keep energy moving, to prevent blockage, improper directional flow of vayu and allowing toxins to move out of the body in proper time.
Working with clients individually, we see these urges suppressed more often than one may suppose. Between the demands of daily schedules, social etiquette and modern lifestyle approaches, attention to the subtleties of these natural rhythms–which often speak to us quite clearly–are often ignored. Even when incorporating many mindful self-care, diet and lifestyle practices we have seen symptoms presenting related to these natural urges you should not suppress, which surprise the client themselves; but are often easily remedied so they don’t continue to root an imbalance. Conversely, there are also many people who may experience excessive flows of energy through these conduits initiated from habituated patterns of behavior or willful intent, which may need to be addressed differently. Vomiting and crying are two good examples of natural urges you should not suppress, which can occur organically or become a chronic pathology, necessitating other treatment methods to reduce the regularity of occasion. They key to enhancing your awareness entails writing this list out and sharing it within or throughout your home as a reminder to break this pattern of forgetting or persevering so that we can address these natural urges appropriately, swiftly and safely.
Natural Urges You Should Not Suppress
- Urge to Pass Gas
- Urge to Defecate
- Urge to Urinate
- Urge to Sneeze
- Urge to Drink when Thirsty
- Urge to Eat when Hungry
- Urge to Sleep when Sleepy
- Urge to Cough
- Urge to Pant upon Exertion
- Urge to Yawn
- Urge to Cry when Sad
- Urge to Vomit
- Urge to Ejaculate
Natural Urges You Should Not Suppress
Passing Gas- Adhovata Rodha
This is a great ice breaker for teaching this subject to anyone and especially children. Understanding and accepting passing gas as a means of continued health is generally delightful to them and many people, increasing the enthusiasm and interest toward the topic albeit with a bit of humor. Suppression of “moving wind” in a downward flow resulting in flatulence can create issues of holding excess air in the system. This can create abdominal tumors, bloating, pain in the abdomen, exhaustion without exertion, blockages to smooth movement of feces and urine, blurred vision, reduction of agni (digestive fire), and heart disease.
Defecation- Purisha Rodha
We all know the discomfort and distraction that occurs from not eliminating when Nature calls and many know the accumulated frustration when you don’t even receive the call! This is one reason why getting on a regular elimination schedule is so beneficial to allow the body to fully release all toxins before entering the world and leaving home for the day. Suppression of the urge to eliminate can result in pain in the calves, runny nose, headaches, bloating, belching, pain in the rectum, vomiting and all effects listed above in the urge to pass gas. Treatment includes drinking warm water upon rising, warm packs over the abdomen, oil massages and warm baths or steam therapy. If this becomes a chronic occurrence it would be wise to visit with your Ayurvedic Health Practitioner to support regularity of elimination through lifestyle practice and potential herbal therapy.
Urination- Mutra Rodha
Unfortunately in our modern culture, is a commonly held urge you should not suppress. School age children are often told to wait to use the bathroom and adults in the workplace may hold their urine for long periods of time without understanding the long term effects. Anyone who has been on a long car trip may be able to relate to these effects. Suppression of urination can create pain all over the body, formation of urinary stones, pain in the bladder and groin. Additional effects listed in the urge to pass gas and urge to defecate are also applicable. Use of ghee is recommended for chronic conditions in regards to withholding urination. Seeking out the support of an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner is advised for specific treatment outlines. Home practices that are safe to utilize include gentle warm abdominal massage and steam showers.
Urge to Sneeze- Ksavathurodha
This is a tough one to actually suppress though we may find ourselves in public places where we try to, especially now where sneezing around others is considered not only rude but potentially dangerous. Withholding a sneeze can result in headaches, debility of the sense organs, stiffness of the neck, and facial paralysis. If you have suppressed a sneeze you could try inducing one through inhalation of stimulating herbs, sun gazing or doing self-oil massage and steams to reduce the imbalance created.
Urge to Drink when Thirsty- Trsarodha
While we do not want to over consume liquids it is important to drink when thirsty! If water is not available when the body asks for it the internal response can be quite agitating and uncomfortable. Not drinking when thirsty can create emaciation, weakness, loss of consciousness, giddiness and heart conditions. If any of these arise, application of cooling herbs and therapies would be recommended for immediate relief. One may need to seek guidance from a medical professional in extreme cases.
Liquid intake should be reduced around meal times and be sipped with solid foods. A general rule of thumb is that the meal should contain 50% food, 25 % liquids and allow 25% air for proper digestion. This should all bring the system to 75% fullness so one doesn’t feel overwhelmed with food and liquid intake.
Urge to Eat when Hungry- Ksudrodha
Do you get hangry when you are overly hungry? It’s quite common, along with giddiness and confusion. Other symptoms may include cutting pain in the body, loss of appetite (as the digestive fire slows down from lack of fuel), emaciation and pain in the abdomen. The best way to treat excessive suppression of hunger or starvation is with small amounts of easy to digest foods with healthy fats and sugars. Over time the quantity can be gently increased to a normal sized meal.
Urge to Sleep when Sleepy- Nidrarodha
This is one urge that for some the body will not suppress and you may find yourself nodding off if overtired or pressed beyond a comfortable limit. Ignoring the urge to sleep can cause delusion, heaviness of the eyes and head, yawning, squeezing pain in the body, and confusion. If you have experienced long days, especially around travel or stressful situations that have kept you from sleeping, try a self-oil massage and warm shower or bath and then head to bed. This can help relax the body and mind preparing you for restful slumber with greater balance and ease.
Urge to Cough- Kasarodha
Holding in a cough can create deep internal discomfort and increase agitation of the coughing urge itself. It can also cause difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, heart issues, emaciation and hiccups. Treatments for the root cause of a cough would be recommended to ease the discomfort and frequency. Due to cause variations depending on season, constitution and lifestyle it would be efficacious to consult with your healthcare practitioner for specific treatment protocols.
Urge to Pant from Exertion- Sramasvasa Rodha
Holding in the urge to breath heavily during or after exercise or exertion can increase pressure within the body. This can cause tumors of the abdomen, heart issues, delusion and agitation. It is very hard to hold in this urge. If this has occurred, rest would be recommended to along with therapies to reduce excess Vata dosha like warm oil massage, meditation or relaxation techniques and very gentle full yogic breathing to stabilize the respiratory channel to a normal breathing cycle.
Urge to Yawn- Jrmbha Rodha
Similar to suppression of sneezing the suppression of yawning can create headaches, stiffness of the neck and debility. Sleep and therapies to pacify Vata dosha would be recommended as listed above.
Urge to Cry- Asrurodha
Holding back tears can create a runny nose, pain or pressure in the eyes, head and heart, stiffness around the neck and upper back, loss of appetite, giddiness and tumors of the abdomen. Vagbhat’s recommendations would be to get good restful sleep, drink wine and listen to pleasant stories. Over stimulation of this urge through willful intention or as a result of emotional imbalance can further contribute to the exacerbation of this energy and does not reorient the natural flow of vayu in the system. Individuals who may find themselves regularly weeping outside of a localized circumstance may wish to consult their healthcare provider.
Urge to Vomit- Vamathurodha
This is another urge that is extremely hard to control once stimulated. Holding back vomiting can result in rashes, irritation and pressure on the eyes, pallor, fevers, coughs, nausea, swelling of the face, and pigmentation issues on the skin. Gargling, mouth washing, fasting and purgation would all be recommended as treatment if you have withheld this urge. Oil massage with salts and bathing are also supportive to calm the system down as suppression of this urge can be Vata-agitating through a somewhat violent response or withholding during suppression.
Urge to release Semen- Sukrarodha
Often suggested for spiritual renunciates, to aspiring sexual tantric enthusiasts and harbored among those with varying sexual pathologies, holding in semen can create pain, swelling of the genitalia, fever, heart pain, cutting body pain, urinary stones and impotence. Vagbhat recommends treating this suppressed urge with poultry, rice, beer, oil massage, bathing and loving touch. Suppressing this natural urge is not recommended in Ayurvedic practice because it alters the natural flow of energy and creates a multitude of imbalances. Unnatural stimulation of this urge is also harmful because it is not manifesting in an organic, natural manner; falsely or excessively stimulating an urge which was dormant can have the same deleterious effects physically and psychologically. Proper stimulation and release of this urge occurs naturally and beautifully through loving relationships.
Prevention of disease can be supported by understanding what natural urges you should not suppress. The force created by them and suppression of their release is one of the main causes of many common imbalances found within the body and mind. Explore your own relationship to these areas. Acting with the energy of Nature by allowing their movement reduces the aggravation of Vata dosha, supports clear channels in the body and supports energy to move with the grain in the direction intended.
Urges that Should be Controlled- Dharaniya Vega
There are some urges that should be suppressed for the one who is looking to obtain happiness in this lifetime that include the blocks of greed, envy, hatred, jealousy and desire. It is also advised to gain control over the sense organs. This can be maintained through dinacharya (daily regimen) and studies of Traditional Yoga.
Treat yourself with care and be mindful of these 13 natural urges that should not be suppressed! Your body will thank you!
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* Adharaniya Vega can be found in Vagbhat’s Ashtanga Hridayam Sutrasthana Chapt 4*