Yoga and Ayurveda: The Mind and Body Connection
As Yoga continues to increase in popularity, many Americans are beginning to realize that this ancient practice benefits much more than the physical body. Recently, more people have started to focus on Ayurveda, the traditional Vedic health care system. Both Yoga and Ayurveda stem from the Vedic tradition of India, while sharing a similar goal of creating a healthier style of living. Yoga being primarily associated with physical postures and cleansing the mind, while Ayurveda focuses on a natural form of healing.
So how exactly do these two seemingly separate entities fit together?. First it is important to realize that mind and body are connected; one cannot have harmony with the mind without having harmony with the body; and vice versa. There must be a balance between the physical and the mental, and essentially this is how Ayurveda and Yoga connect. Basically, Ayurveda provides enormous support for Yoga practices; without some sort of Ayurvedic background, Yoga could be considered only a physical activity, not mental. Ayurveda completes Yoga as Yin completes Yang, as alpha completes omega.
Traditionally, most Yoga schools have generally taught Yoga positions (asanas) along side of Ayurvedic philosophy. In ancient times Yoga students would live alongside Gurus in order to better learn healthier practices. Nowadays this isn’t the case, but these past practices still serve as a basis for learning Yoga and Ayurveda together.
As you become more active in Yoga positions, you begin to detoxify your body from all of the toxins that have accumulated over the years. This comes out in either the form of sweat or bowel movements. However, practicing these positions isn’t enough. It is also essential to purify the body through diet and lifestyle, and this is how Ayurveda helps to complete the Yoga experience.
Ayurveda helps Yogis because it provides a natural way to cure the body of various ailments. When you are sick it is important to heal quickly and properly, and many people prefer natural methods to Western medicine. Many Ayurvedic practitioners use massage, oils, and herbs to help with the healing and cleansing processes. Since each individual has a different genetic makeup, it is important to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before beginning a regime.
Yoga and Ayurveda are sister practices dating back thousands of years. Although they focus on purifying the body in two separate ways, they both strive for the same goal. By following both practices it is almost a guarantee that your physical and mental health will improve. Many even believe it to be a way to prevent disease and to prolong lifespan. Since both practices are intertwined it is important to focus on them simultaneously instead of separately.