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Ayurveda's Holistic Psychology

Updated on January 23, 2015

A Holistic Psychology

The holistic psychology of Ayurveda offers us a path back to happiness and joy without the use of prescription drugs. This "Science of Life" gives us all the tools we need for self-healing…like the Spaciousness Breath technique for letting go of painful emotions and meditation for increasing awareness (consciousness).

In this blog you will learn more about Ayurvedic Psychology and experience the Spaciousness Breath, a simple guided meditation for releasing any painful emotions like anxiety. You will discover how to increase your conscious awareness and how to let go of stress, anger, grief, loneliness and "not feeling good enough."

The Art of Releasing Painful Feelings

Spaciousness by Cayenne Graves
Spaciousness by Cayenne Graves | Source

“True awareness is the ultimate cure for all psychological disorders.” Dr. David Frawley, Ayurvedic Physician

Ayurveda is the 5000 year-old system of holistic healing from India. It is the medicine of the future coming to us from the distant past. In the West, Ayurveda has been championed by Drs. David Frawley and Deepak Chopra.

Ayurveda is especially good for treating the maladies of the mind…the worries and the hurries.

In Ayurvedic philosophy, mental distress comes from the accumulation of deep-seated negative emotions like anger, grief, deep disappointment, hatred and fear. These emotions, or samskaras, are guaranteed to create mental unrest...feelings of anxiety, stress, loneliness, and lack of connection. Mental distress also comes from an unending stream of negative thoughts and worries, repetitious negative self-talk.

The first step in letting go of painful negative emotions is to realize you are having them.

Step two is to release them, using a number of tools… like the various forms of meditation, including the guided visualization featured below.

Painful emotions that are not released can bottle us up. They leave us feeling trapped, disconnected from others.

If you feel that way, the warning light is on...warning of a life out of balance.

Trapped in the Bottle of Repetitive Thoughts and Negative Thinking

"Bottled Up" by Cayenne Graves
"Bottled Up" by Cayenne Graves | Source

Breaking the Bottle

When our minds are filled with worries and hurries, we become anxious... trapped in the bottle of repetitive thoughts. No longer aware of life within and around us, we feel isolated from ourselves and from the love and connection of others.

To break out of the bottle, first realize what is creating the anxiety: a constant absorption in negative thoughts and counter-thoughts, like "I'm not good enough" or "I'll never get ahead."

Most thoughts are not new. We have thought them before. Some estimate that humans have about 50,000 thoughts a day, many of which are the same worries from yesterday and the day before.

Letting Go of Painful Thoughts and Emotions: Stop Thinking and Start Feeling

Feeling your feelings, even painful ones, is the first step toward releasing them. However, we must learn how to feel and release them safely.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and scan your body for any sensations that the mind has created in the body, e.g. tightness in your chest, a lump in the throat, nausea, tears. Feel the feeling. Then use your breath and the guided Spaciousness Breath Meditation below to move the stuck energy, until a feeling of spaciousness is experienced.

The Spaciousness Breath Guided Meditation

As soon as you are aware of a painful feeling don’t wait…do the Spaciousness Breath.

it doesn’t matter if what you are feeling is from something happening right now or is coming from a memory in the past.

The Spaciousness Breath (video by Cayenne Graves)

Whose Not Good Enough?

Whose Not Good Enough by Cayenne Graves
Whose Not Good Enough by Cayenne Graves

Book Excerpt: Acceptance and Contentment

"Stepping up to the dreaded mirror, with angst on autopilot, the woman is filled with feelings of inadequacy. Seeing a damaged or imperfect self-image, she wonders, “Why can’t I get it right? I’m just not good enough.”

Notice her slight smile in the reflection of the mirror as she perceives her radiant, already whole, inner light – her essence in the present moment. This essence is her true identity, not a mere image of what’s ‘good enough’. Stand up to your mirror and see past your self-image to your core being, which is your eternal spirit filled with light and radiating love.

By relinquishing the feelings behind the negative thoughts and self-doubts, and replacing them with something positive, such as loving kindness or gratitude, you are creating new neural circuits that will actually alter your experience of life. These new, positive, neural grooves facilitate feeling less stressed, with fewer cravings and less irritability. The result is an increased resilience and responsiveness, making life more enjoyable on all levels. This newfound ability to be happy happens naturally when we aren’t agitating our minds with negativity.

Contentment is born from acceptance, which means no longer being driven by either attraction or aversion. There is neutrality... not viewing things as right or wrong. Things simply are what they are. When one is content, conditioning and intellectual positions are surrendered.

Contentment requires letting go of expectations in order to feel good about yourself or others. This makes you much easier to get along with, and relationships will blossom.

Contentment comes from the inside, not from demanding that other circumstances or other people make you happy. It is the end of loneliness and the beginning of the enjoyment of solitude. Silence and solitude are the origin of connection with your source: your Soul-Self.

Contentment is where you are meant to be, yet it still holds all the unpredictability and possibilities of true potential."

Excerpt from How to Put the Wag Back Into Your Tail…The Art of Releasing Painful Feelings and Taking The Journey to Joy, by Cayenne Graves.

"Frozen in Fear"

Frozen by Cayenne Graves
Frozen by Cayenne Graves

The Cry of Separation From Awareness of Universal Consciousness

The Cry of Separation by Cayenne Graves
The Cry of Separation by Cayenne Graves

Who am I?

Perhaps the most important goal of Ayurveda is to develop a higher awareness, a higher consciousness. Then it is possible to understand our place in the Universe, beyond time and space and our physical bodies.

How do we develop this awareness (consciousness)?

The first step requires a deconditioning of ourselves from the deep-seated habits and tendencies accumulated over the years. This is accomplished through meditation, the most important tool in Ayurveda for calming and healing the mind.

Meditation hits the reset button for the body-mind. Meditation is now becoming recognized as one of the best antidotes for a stressed-out modern society. For more on meditation, please see my next blog, where we will explore some of the easiest types of meditation for healing the mind.

The goal is to relieve us of all suffering and sorrow. The emphasis is on connecting the individual self (the personality self) with the higher Self, the true Self, the Soul Self, the Atman.

By identifying with this immortal nature... beyond the physical body and troubled mind...all mental difficulties are overcome.

According to Dr. Frawley, “Ayurveda provides a real solution to our health problems, which is to return to oneness with both the universe and the Divine within. An Ayurvedic lifestyle is about cultivating clarity and peace, living in harmony with Nature and our inner Self."


If you have comments about this blog or artist Cayenne Graves paintings, please email her at

She is also available for counseling by phone and email.

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