The Connection Between Yoga and Ayurveda
Yoga and Ayurveda are two paths intertwined in such a close relationship that it is hard to imagine traveling down one of these paths without knowledge of the other.
Ayurveda, which means “knowledge of life” an ancient art and science of keeping the body and mind balanced and healthy. Yoga is the ancient art and science of preparing the body and mind for the eventual liberation and enlightenment of the soul.
Fundamentals of Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, the universal life force manifests as three different energies, or doshas, known as Vata, Pitta, & Kapha. We are all made up of a unique combination of these three forces. This unique combination, determined at the moment of conception, is our constitution, or Prakruti.
The three doshas constantly fluctuate according to our environment, which includes our diet, the seasons, the climate, our age, and many more factors. The current state of these three doshas most commonly defines our imbalance, or Vikruti.
Understanding our prakruti and vikruti offers each of us the potential to make correct choices.
The three doshas are generally described in terms of the five elements: earth, air, fire, water, and ether (the subtle energy that connects all things).
Devoted / Stable
SIGNS OF IMBALANCE
POSTURES THAT CAN HELP
Recommend slow, steady, grounding postures
Mountain pose(Downward Dog)
Deep, calm breathing to cultivate stillness, nurture, and self-care.
Cooling, relaxing postures to release heat & tension.
Vigorous breathing exercises such as Kapalabhati can help foster enthusiasm, heat, and focus.
In Ayurveda, balancing the effects of the doshas is only half of the formula for creating health and well being. The other half is developing a more Sattvic lifestyle and learning to express our Sattvic nature: that aspect of ourselves that, through an awareness of our connected-ness to Spirit, allows us to express our highest or most virtuous qualities.
Yoga, practiced in harmony with each person’s unique nature, is part of the Ayurvedic path toward balancing the doshas and enhancing Sattva. Through this path, each of us can reach our full potential.