Ask the Ayurvedic Expert: Joints and Muscles


I often experience sensations and a twitching reflex in my legs. It usually occurs when I'm relaxing or meditating.
- J.K., Colorado

This is a mild case of the restless leg syndrome which is usually experienced during sleep. It's basically a Vata problem, especially Apana Vata — the downward flow of energy in the body. Vata energy likes to "run very fast." But the restless leg syndrome blocks a clear passage through the body. The pressure or obstruction is caused by accumulated impurities (ama), a muscle cramp, or build-up of too much Vata.

When the amount of Vata is high and it's moving at high speed, what happens if it runs into a temporary "roadblock?" There's an urge to move the leg and release any tension.

If Vata continues to accumulate, it will reach a critical trigger point. Then it will attempt to move and localize, causing an imbalance in a particular part of the body.

The body's natural defense mechansim says move the leg — rather than allow the process of pathogenesis to continue. That's what causes the twitching.

Sore Muscles

I began endurance training to tone up. I have a tendency to go overboard on the number of repetitions and end up with some sore muscles. How can I best deal with the sore muscles?
- S.H., Arkansas

The ayurvedic concept related to endurance training is called Balardha. Basically, the idea is that exercise should be energizing and fun. It's the opposite of the "no pain, no gain" philosophy that brings on sore muscles.

Exercise to only about 50% of your capacity. Around 50% you begin to breathe hard and break into a sweat. If you continue beyond the 50% mark, then exercise becomes a strain that generates damaging free radicals.

If you stay within the 50% comfort range, gradually your endurance will increase and you'll be able to perform at your peak, without stress, strain and sore muscles.

Diet and lifestyle tips:

  • Massage yourself with Maharishi Ayurveda Moisturizing Herbal Massage Oil before your workout. Let your skin absorb the oil for five minutes, then wipe off any excess, or shower before you dress and exercise.
  • Maharishi Amrit Kalash will help reduce exercise-related free-radical damage.

The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have any serious acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or e-mail us for the number of a physician in your area. Check with your doctor before taking herbs or using essential oils when pregnant or nursing.