Ayurveda and Yoga are called “sister-sciences”.
Do you know why?
Both Yoga and Ayurveda are the fruits of the teachings of the ancient sages of India going back thousands of years
Yoga in its essence is a system for Self-realization. The Self with a capital S indicates our spiritual nature.The original aim of Yoga is to help us realize all aspects of who we are, from body to mind to spirit. AND harmonize them so we live a congruent life.
This is extremely challenging to do!
Most of us are experiencing dissonance or dis-ease. Meaning, our bodies are experiencing symptoms, our minds are riddled with distress and we are disconnected from our spirit’s deepest desires!
That’s where Ayurveda comes in.
Ayurveda is a system of self-healing. Ayurveda helps us understand how to cultivate and maintain a healthy body that can be a vessel to a healthy mind.
Mens sana in corpore sano, a healthy mind in a healthy body.
In my line of work, I often hear clients share that after experiencing balance for even a short amount of time, they feel clearer, less afraid, less confused and anxious.
There are elements of Yoga in Ayurvedic treatment and elements of Ayurveda in Yogic practice.
Elements of Yoga in Ayurveda:
- Specific yogic postures or asanas are prescribed to pacify bio-energies that are out of whack.
- Breathing techniques called pranayamas help release physical, but also mental and emotional tensions. It is common knowledge now that our breathing affects the nervous system- decreasing sympathetic responses (fight, flight, freeze) and increasing parasympathetic responses (rest and digest).
- Meditation techniques called pratyahara and dharana are used to decrease mental and emotional stress as well as strengthen our motivation, commitment and discipline.
Elements of Ayurveda in Yoga:
Yoga teaches us to eat Sattvic foods. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a foundational text of Yoga, describes what these foods are and their tastes. This is an element of Ayurvedic practice.
“The Yogi should take nourishing and sweet foods. It should nourish the dhatus (basic body constituents) and be pleasing and suitable.” Chapter 1, Verse 63
We also learn detoxing practices that are used in Ayurveda and Pancha Karma treatment such as: dhauti– stomach, tongue and teeth cleansing; basti– enemas; and neti– nasal cleansing.
Yoga and Ayurveda work really well together because they are based on the same philosophical model.
When we practice them together, we can more easily tune in to the subtle changes happening in our body-mind. That in turn keeps us motivated.
True change is spiritual transformation
I mean, don’t get me wrong, the outer changes are real and sometimes quite phenomenal but I’ve observed that they’re not always enough to keep us on track.
Even when we achieve our goals, it’s hard to maintain them when we only rely on outer changes.
I think that’s because, when we say we want to lose weight, feel good in our body, have more energy, be symptom-free, etc., what we’re really seeking is to be… whole.
Practiced together, Yoga and Ayurveda can give us a taste of what being whole feels like.
They assist us to experience a magical and mystical state of grace that is: feeling complete and enough.
Do you know what I mean?
The 2 wings that help you fly!
If you’re practicing any type of Yoga, Ayurveda can really help you dive deeper in your connection to yourself. It can help you deepen your meditation practice and avoid all types of imbalances.
If you’re embarking on this healing journey with Ayurveda, I highly encourage you to be open to what true Yoga can afford you.
In my programs, I introduce to you many Yoga elements. However, for a deeper immersion that will help you sustain and nurture the state of balance you experience living an Ayurvedic lifestyle, it is important to seek guidance with a Yoga Master.
I’m fortunate enough to have amazing Ayurveda and Yoga Teachers and Mentors. I must have good karma!
This reminds me of a quote from one of my Ayurveda teachers, Dr. Marc Halpern,
“Let Ayurveda help you to remember. In the end, healing is remembering how to be healthy. Enlightenment (or Self-realization) is remembering how to be whole.”
What are you going to do today, this week, this month to remember how to be healthy and whole?
Share it with me!