The 13 Natural Urges which must Never be Restrained


The body’s natural urges help the body stay in balance by assimilating and eliminating whatever is necessary in order to stay in a harmonious state. Suppressing these urges results in many ailments.

There are thirteen natural urges which should never be restrained, as they could cause adverse health implications according to Ayurveda. Holding on to the natural urges can cause harmful effects to your health and wellness. These urges are commonly overlooked and ignored, which results in many disorders. The suppression of the natural urges aggravates the doshas, mainly vata dosha and causes an increase of Ama (accumulation of toxins).

These natural urges are:


Mutra Vega: The urge to urinate

Initially, restraining the urge to urinate may only cause some mild discomfort. However, holding this urge can make you vulnerable to threatening disorders such as urinary infections, abdominal pain, genital pain and kidney stones. It may cause pain in the bladder and urinary tract, create difficulty in passing urine and cause headaches. Holding the urge to urinate eventually leads to vata aggravation and causes related ailments. 


Purish Vega: The urge to defecate

Restraining the urge to move the bowels, can cause abdominal pain, headaches, difficulty in passing stool, flatulence, bloating and constipation, pain in the calf muscles, colds, and the formation of excessive wind. It will aggravate vata and Apana vayu (The downward moving prana). This is the main cause of aggravation of vata, as the colon is the seat of vata. In the long run, restraining the urge to defecate will cause vata to change paths or direction, which can cause multiple serious disorders.


Vata Vega: The urge to release gas

The restraining of releasing gas is something that is commonly practiced, especially in the presence of others. It is commonly believed that passing gas is a sign of an unhealthy condition, however it is normal to pass gas up to fourteen times a day. It is only a cause of concern if the the passing of gas causes excessive flatulence, or if it is accompanied by a foul smell. It can cause urinary retention, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, inadequate removal of bodily waste, chronic indigestion and multiple vata related disorders.


Chardi Vega: The urge to vomit

Restraining the urge to vomit can be deliberate or instigated by the administration of anti-vomiting medication. Vomiting is a defense mechanism of the body, which usually happens when pitta and kapha are aggravated, and should never be restrained. When it is suppressed it can cause itches and rashes, loss of appetite, loss of motivation, anemia, colds and flus, nausea and multiple serious skin disorders. Constant use of antacids and related medicines can suppress the urge to vomit and cause severe disorders.


Kshavathu Vega: The urge to sneeze

Disrupting the urge to sneeze can aggravate Udana Vayu, which controls the nervous system and movement of the limbs. It can lead to multiple head-related ailments, painful neck spasms. Vertigo and decreased efficiency of the sense organs present in the head. Under the most severe conditions, according to the texts it can even lead to facial paralysis.


Udagar Vega: The urge to belch

Suppressing the urge to burp aggravates Udana Vayu, the upward moving vayu. This will almost certainly cause excessive flatulence, as vata changes its direction. Additionally, it may cause coughing hiccups, loss of appetite and tremors. In the long run, it can cause the disorders of the lungs and the heart.


Jrumbha Vega: The urge to yawn

Retraining the urge to yawning aggravates Udana Vayu. It can lead to multiple head-related ailments, painful neck spasms, spasms and tremors, vertigo and decreased efficiency of the sense organs present in the head.


Kshudha Vega: The urge to eat when hungry

 Due to hectic lifestyles and alternative priorities restraining from eating when hungry is commonly practiced. Even though fasting under certain conditions is considered a valuable practice, one should be aware of the difference between the hunger which arises with healthy fasting (and provides rest to the digestive organs) and excessive hunger. It causes symptoms such as emaciation, faintness and fatigue, loss of appetite, depression and lowered mental efficiency. It directly aggravates vata and pitta and the entire digestive system.


Trushna Vega: The urge to drink when thirsty

Restraining the intake of water when thirsty causes dehydration, causes a loss in brain function and an immediate decrease in mental and physical performance. Early symptoms of dehydration are loss of hearing, faintness and fatigue and vertigo. It causes aggravation of Vata and Pitta, causing increased dryness within the body. Acute dehydration leads to blood thickening and cardiovascular ailments.


Ashru Vega: The urge to cry when sad

Stopping oneself from crying when sad is not uncommon. Tears are a natural bodily response to extremely intense emotions such as extreme happiness or sorrow. Holding the tears back, confines the emotional energy and results in a build-up in the subconscious mind. Emotional suppression leads to various psychosomatic disorders. Common ailments include torticollis, eye ailments, chronic headaches, chronic sinusitis, vertigo and loss of appetite. It aggravates vata and pitta.


Nidra Vega: The urge to sleep when sleepy

Restraining oneself from sleeping when sleeps causes repeated symptoms which include yawning, lethargy, bodily aches, loss of attention, chronic headaches and migraines, disturbed mental activity ailments of the eyes, digestive disorders and insomnia. Adequate sleep if one the pillars of health and wellbeing. It aggravates vata and kapha. It initially interferes with vata, after which it starts producing increased kapha as a defense mechanism which ultimately leads to kapha aggravation.


Shramashwas Vega: The urge to pant after exertion

The suppression of panting after exertion causes faintness and fatigue, vertigo and can cause various circulatory ailments. It leads to loss of consciousness, due to a deficient delivery of oxygenated blood to the brain. Additionally it aggravates Vata and Udana vayu. As there is a direct correlation between the respiratory rate and the heart rate, stopping oneself from panting when needed can lead to severe heart related disorders.


Shukra Vega: The urge to ejaculate when highly aroused

Suppression of ejaculation causes genital pains, bodily aches, mental stress and urinary disorders. In the long run, it can lead to impotence, various hormonal and psychosomatic disorders and diseases of the genital tract.