Yoga & Ayurveda: Sister Sciences in Harmony
Ayurveda is a holistic medical system dating over 5,000 years, and can be traced to the region known as the Indus Valley. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as “Knowledge of Life.” The Rg-Veda, the oldest recorded document from the Aryan civilization, contains abundant references to plants and herbal medicines. Today, Ayurveda includes methods of healing that focus on diet, herbs, yogic practices and lifestyle regimens. Ayurveda takes into account an individual’s specific constitution (dosha type) to provide insight to create a way of life in harmony both with the physical world and our higher Self.
Two Aligned Goals
The sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda are rooted in the Vedic tradition and have developed together, repeatedly influencing each other throughout history. While yoga is concerned with spiritual practices leading to Self-realization, Ayurveda is primarily a science of Self-healing aimed at preserving and restoring health of body and mind. Where Yoga shows us how to realize the Self, Ayurveda shows us how to live in such a way that our physical and mental actions do not deviate from it.
The science of Ayurveda teaches us that most psychological problems, physical diseases, and emotional disorders are rooted in us living out of harmony with nature. When we live out of balance, we develop symptoms or disease. Ayurveda works to promote our natural healing ability to regenerate the physical body.
Additionally, Ayurveda enables us to individually personalize yoga practices by use of specific therapies to reduce doshic excesses. Dosha-specific asanas and pranayamas can help bring the body to equilibrium. These dosha-balancing therapies include herbs, asanas, pranayama, mudras, meditation, panchakarma, and lifestyle management. Panchakarma is the most comprehensive of Ayurvedic treatments and helps in cleansing and rejuvenating the body and mind. Panchakarma therapies purify the body of toxins, bringing balance and improving bodily function.
Cultivating a state of balance through Ayurveda’s lifestyle regimen is the first step in moving toward a state of balance. The link between Yoga and Ayurveda has been there since the beginning. It is beneficial for us to learn how to use these sister sciences together in order to live in harmony with the inner and outer worlds. Special thanks to David Frawley for his “Yoga & Ayurveda” which is a great resource in this field.
Want to support your yoga practice and health by learning more about your constitution? You could start with this article “Know Thyself by Knowing Thy Type” or an Ayurvedic consultation.
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