Ayurveda and Yoga - THE Synthesis
The paths of Yoga and Ayurveda are so closely intertwined that it is hard to imagine traveling down one path without the knowledge of the other. Both the disciplines together comprise the ancient Vedic method of holistic healing; Ayurveda being the healing side of it and Yoga the spiritual. The practice of Yoga prepares the body and mind for self- realization or union with the Divine and Ayurveda supports the spiritual journey by maintaining the body and mind in a state of balance and well-being. Putting it simply, the combination of Ayurveda and Yoga helps an individual achieve "a healthy mind and a healthy body."
The ancient Indian sages understood that good health is a great asset in the path towards self - realization and spirituality. For them the Ayuvedic principles of health and longevity formed the basis of their spiritual practice (Sadhana) and they passed on the lineage to their disciples. The tradition was handed down from generation to generation and evolved into an Ayurvedic lifestyle which was a combination of yogic exercise, ayurvedic food and nutrition (specific to an individual's body type and constitution and season), cleansing practices (detoxification), and meditation. This holistic method of physical, emotional and spiritual well being developed by the rishis (sages) contains within itself the key to a happy, healthy and stress free life.
How It Works
Both Ayurveda and Yoga are based on the same physiological and metaphysical principles propounded in the Vedas (ancient Indian texts). Auyrveda recommends Yogic Chikitsa, a group of Yoga exercises that best supplement an individual's body structure, prakruti (constitution) and vikruti (imbalance in constitution or Dosha) for restoring health and balance in the mind and body. The use of Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation is customized to the specific body type and Dosha disposition of the individual. For instance, individuals with Kapha disposition tend to be sedentary and avoid vigorous activity therefore their Yoga practice should be brisk and energetic. Hence, Vinyasa or flow style of Yoga is recommended for them because it is dynamic and moves quickly from one pose to the other, induces sweating and gets the heart pumping. In addition, Ayuvedic practitioners also recommend a nutrition and diet plan which suits the individual's temperament and balances their Dosha. In effect, what the Yoga - Ayurveda system provides is a healthy nutrition plan, exercise, healing both physical and mental, all tailored to the individual's body type and lifestyle.