We have heard that Ayurveda and Yoga are related, and know that each of these sciences have been for thousands of years. But if you are like me, you have wondered how these two forces hooked up before dating apps were a thing.
Ayurveda is “the knowledge of life”: the study of maintaining health, preventing disease, and treating illness by balancing properties in and around us. Yoga is “union”: controlling your mind in order that you may experience complete union with “The One”, who or whatever that may mean to you.
Both Ayurveda and Yoga share the philosophy of Samkhya, which provides the evolutionary framework in the Universe. The premise of Samkhya is dualism, whereby everything is either derived from Purusha (pure consciousness) or Prakriti (matter). Prakriti has 3 Gunas:
From these 3 Gunas, the Five Great Elements are manifested, as well as the five sense organs, the five motor organs, and the Mind – 24 Gunas in all.
According to Ayurveda, when all of these Gunas are in balance, optimal health is maintained. Most of those who practice Yoga are familiar with the Doshas and their basic features. Yoga (the asana limb) is another tool to add to your box of tricks as you work to keep yourself even-steven.
Vata is characterized by mobility, cold, lightness, and expansiveness. If you are of Vata constitution or are experiencing a Vata imbalance, add opposing qualities, both in types of asanas and how vigorously you practice. These adjustments will bring support and grounding back into your lifestyle.
Pitta consists of sharp, hot, dry, mobile, and light qualities. If you are primarily Pitta or are experiencing an exacerbation of Pitta, try easing up on the depth of your poses and/or intensity of your practice. Consider these guidelines:
Kapha Dosha is represented by dense, stable, cool, and wet qualities. In order to counteract these forces, an extra amount of intensity and effort needs to be applied to create heat and energy. If you are Kapha or have a Kapha imbalance, try these suggestions in your Yoga practice:
Ayurveda and Yoga are twins separated at birth. They work together naturally to promote wellness, prevent disease, and keep us feeling our best. I have heard it best described as this:
“We practice Ayurveda so we are able to feel the effects of Yoga.”
I am all about keeping it real: making choices to suit your individual lifestyle that aren’t crazy hard so you can still be healthy and feeling good without being an extremist. When food and drink options are endless, and even types of Yoga classes to attend have menus of their own, all I can say is this: Be Smart, Choose Wisely.
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