Yoga and Ayurveda are complementary practices to promote and nourish a better mind-body connection. Yoga practices bring harmony and unite body, mind and spirit through body movements, breathing and mindfulness. Ayurveda shows the way of coherence and symphony between daily life and rhythms of nature. The Combination of Ayurveda and Yoga together offers an integrated way to be happy, fulfilled and tools to foster health and vitality.
Ayurveda is a comprehensive, holistic and traditional healing system of natural health care that originated in ancient times in India. Ayurveda is a science of right living aimed at achieving optimal health, longevity leading to the path of self-realization and simple lifestyle.
This ancient wisdom is not about treating the disease or symptoms, rather the diagnosis goes to find out the root cause of the disease and talks about how to be healthy physically, mentally and emotionally. It was evolved with a quest to have a happy life, through a deep understanding of creation and maintenance of a healthy and holistic lifestyle.
Ayurveda is “the science of life’’ and endorses controlled breathing, meditation, diet restrictions, use of herbal formulations and massage procedures to flush out toxins from the body. Ayurveda can also be called as yogic system of medicine as it lays down rules related to daily and seasonal regimes which can help in disease prevention and promotion of overall wellbeing.
Ayurveda views every person as a unique, complex identity and advocates body is made up of basic elements ether, air, fire, water, earth and so as this universe is made up of. These five elements are expressed as three characteristics humors (doshas): Vata (ether and air), Pitta (fire and water) and Kapha (water and earth).This combination is called Body Constitution or Prakruti. This body constitution is like fingerprint or DNA, so it is necessary to determine once prakruti to understand and heal the person. For example, one food may be good for person A but the same food may not be good for person B, though both of them are suffering from the same disease, because the because body constitution or prakruti is different. Most of the individuals are a combination of two of these humors like Vata + Pitta, Vata + Kapha, or Pitta + Kapha. Few may have only one prevalent, and fewer may have all three present in same amount.
The Ayurveda Physician recommends herbs, foods, yoga and other treatments to bring individual doshas into balance and promote optimal health. A technique of pulse diagnosis is also used to determine an individual’s constitution and imbalance.
Yoga is the discovery of one’s true nature through the integration of mind, body and spirit to unfold higher potential in life. Yoga is an instrument to look inward to our real self and spirit, being healthy and happy through an evolutionary process to reach higher levels of consciousness. Some of benefits of yoga include reduction of stress management, weight management, management of psychosomatic diseases and boosting of immune system.
Regular yoga practices leads to release of feel good hormones like dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins, reducing the mood states like anxiety, depression and cultivating emotional and mental well-being. Yoga techniques help to reconnect with ourselves and make us learn how we react to the world around us through the five senses. It is an instrument to take us inward, address personal conflicts, anxiety, fears, hopes, expectations and mechanism to respond to them.
Through the physical postures, the practitioner builds up stamina, strength, bestows stability and suppleness of body limbs.
During the time we experience stress, the sympathetic nervous system triggers the flight or fight response, giving us energy to respond the stressful situation. During stress breathe becomes shallow and fast, we start to breathe from chest and not from lungs. Such situation makes you feel short of breath and body starts to produce stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol leading to higher blood pressure, faster pulse rate, disturbed metabolic activity. Conscious and right practice of breathing ‘‘Pranayama’’ induces a state of relaxation, emotional stability, better cardiovascular and respiratory health there by improving the immunity. These practices stimulate the Vagus nerve which releases acetylcholine, the more it is released, the more chances of lowering the anxiety levels.
Our brains keep processing a lot of information, as per a lot researches meditation helps to reduce the beta waves, responsible for information processing. Mediation is how to train this chattering monkey mind. We are constantly thinking, solving problems, anticipating future scenarios, reinforcing our values, opinions and beliefs. The practice of Meditation gives you the ability to silence your inner chatter and explore the world within. The mind keeps jumping from one thing to the other and to the next without questioning or taking a break, meditation gives that inner stillness of being aware and relaxed at the same time.
Yoga and Ayurveda are most precious gifts of India to the mankind, and the time has come in this global well-being revolution to adopt these holistic practices in our lives to get the best out of them.
The Writer Mr. Gaurav Vohra is a Yoga Guru and a Teacher of Indian Culture at High Commission of India, Nicosia. He holds a post-graduation in Yoga and Management. He travels around the island talking and teaching about various aspects of Yoga and related disciplines. He is been instrumental in opening up Yoga Clubs in schools, universities, municipalities and organizing various events to promote Indian Culture. He can be reached on +357-96492297 and firstname.lastname@example.org.