Have you started to notice how great you feel in your yoga practice? Do you actually feel healthier from rolling out your mat? You aren’t wrong. Hand in hand with yoga, is Ayurveda. You may have heard of this, often labelled an “alternative medicine”, which like yoga, has its roots deep in India. But what is Ayurveda, what does it have to do with yoga and how can it help you? Let’s explore.
Ayurveda is the deep healing and balancing of the body. It is a mind and body health system that was created by the Sages of India. Using herbal compounds, minerals and metal substances, along with yoga, meditation, nature, exercise, proper digestion and sleep, it is believed, we can heal the body and put ourselves into balance. The various components of this approach are far reaching, covering areas like paediatrics, ear nose and throat, toxicology and even aphrodisiacs. Yes, Ayurveda can help you with your love life!
Balancing our health
The main idea behind Ayurveda is that our health begins when we are in balance. This holistic approach to health, looks at the ways in which our mind and body are out of sync and hence hurting us instead of helping us. Both the mind and body need to be balanced and calm in order for us to be fit and healthy. One or the other is not enough. It explains why even though we may be eating right and exercising and taking our vitamins, that if our mind is cloudy or stressed, we are out of balance and therefore, sickness can enter the body. Balancing our health is best done when we use the law of the least effort, which simply means we need to take it easy. Finding your health balance doesn’t have to be a huge expenditure.
Inside our body are fluid channels, which transport fluid all throughout our body and systems. When these srotas become blocked (by tension or stress) it is believed that this can create disease in the body. Adding massage into our routines, especially with essential oils, can help keep our srotas flowing freely.
Ayurveda and Yoga
What’s the yoga connection? How can yoga help us take the Ayurveda approach to our health? Ayurveda is the health system of balance and mind power; and so your daily practice of yoga and meditation is just what the Ayurveda doctor ordered! When we meditate we calm our minds, and in turn our bodies. Meditation helps brings us into self-awareness. By slowing down we can start to feel what our body is trying to tell us; some tension in the neck, a tight shoulder, or perhaps we are holding our breath too much. When we practice we start to let go; of tension in our bodies but also of negative thoughts that may be keeping our mind out of balance. The kindness and compassion that shines through yoga and meditation is also important, as Ayurveda includes the personality. Basically our physical (yoga), mental (meditation), and personality (compassion), when in balance, is how we create health.
Even if you are not on board with holistic approaches to your health, you cannot deny how great you feel when your yoga practice and mediation is on point. Open your eyes to Ayurveda. Use the benefits of your practice to boost your health! Why not? If you are interested to find out more, there are many local persons who specialise in Ayurveda, or ask your local Yogi for more information. An Ayurveda practitioner will use your 5 senses to diagnose you. Or just keep rolling out your mat and check, taking care of my health, off your to do list.
Want to know more? Check out the latest in Ayurveda with Chara Caruthers, our in house Ayurveda expert. You can find out more about Chara and watch her Ayurveda classes here.