Natural urges in Ayurveda

Block 1 Student

There are two types of urges in Ayurveda. These are suppressible urges and non-suppressible urges. In short suppressible urges are those that should be suppressed to prevent disease. In contrast, non-suppressible urges will cause disease if they are suppressed.

The difference between these are pretty simple to understand. Suppressible urges are the characteristics or traits that humans all possess in one form or another and are generally not healthy. These are greed, grief, fear, anger, vanity, shamelessness, envy, and attachment. In my mind, these all relate to attachment in one form or another. We may be envious of somebody who has more than we do or have a great desire for more and more money to build up our material fortress. Or we may be angry that we did not get our way because we are attached to a certain outcome in one form or another…. By allowing these urges to dominate and control our existence will not only lead to a disturbance in dosas and cause anxiety, loss of sleep, and depression but they will also lead to an empty life if allowed to control us. Keeping these in control and at bay through any enhancement of our connection with nature or spirit (meditation/pranayama) will keep these urges under reasonable control.

Non-suppressible urges are simply those that should not be suppressed. Essentially suppressing these will be violating the harmony with nature. These consist essentially of bodily functions such as urination, defecation, flatus, vomiting, sneezing, hunger, thirst, tears, sleep, cough, ejaculation, or breathing deeply during exertion. Obviously not urinating when your body calls for it will lead to pain, cramps, UTI’s, or other trouble with kidneys or bladder. Similar outcomes will come if we try to control or hold our urge to defecate. While not the most sexy of topics, it is incredibly important to not only allow for but encourage elimination in this area. Going down the list, it is clear that not honoring the basic calls of the body will have a negative effect on overall health. This includes both the incoming and outgoing of fluids or food through the body. If we don’t drink when we are thirsty, we will be dehydrated which can lead to low agni, low prana, and ojas and if we don’t urinate when we have to, this can lead to symptoms described above.