The fifth philosophy of Ayurveda is Yoga. It is important to understand that both systems are separate but related healing forms from India. Yoga overlaps into Ayurveda on various levels. Yoga means “union”-the union of the lower self with the higher self. It was formed through the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali- one of the six systems of Vedic Philosophy (shad darshanas). Ayurveda has accepted Pantanjalis organized yogic discipline through his Sutras for healing purposes. These sub yogic categories prescribed are; asana, meditation, and pranayama.
Ayurveda is one of the four Upavedas or secondary vedic teachings. These Upavedas apply vedic knowledge for the quest of wholeness and liberation. Yoga connects with Ayurveda because it outlines the principles for developing the meditative mind that is the basis of all vedic knowledge.
Ayurveda recommends that one of the best forms of exercise is asana, which is the physical practice of yoga. Exercise is important for circulation in the body every day. Yoga is recommended because you exercise at half your capacity, (unless you’re doing hot yoga which is not recommended) just until sweat comes to the forehead, under the armpits and along the vertebral column. Yoga only uses half the energy necessary for maintenance of physiological functions of vital organs like heart, kidneys, lungs, and liver. Vigorous exercise beyond your capacity may lead to dehydration and can cause constipation. A regular yoga practice is better for the Shleshaka kapha. This is a thick, sticky, liquid oil that is present all over the body and especially in-between the joints. It is important to be gentle physically on your joints because it can aggravate the Shleshaka kapha, leading to arthritis or sciatica.
Asana can be an adjunct for physical therapy for the treatment of diseases that may be prescribed by an Ayurveda practitioner. The yoga asana is a way of bringing awareness into action in a certain position. You learn how to control the mind by stilling the mind, so that perception becomes the self. Yoga brings attention to yourself so you can find value in yourself. Certain poses are names of animals, flowers, structures (lotus, lion, and staff) When you put yourself in these postures you can become these things and there is a communication between the mind, body, and consciousness. Every asana has “siddhi” which creates biochemical changes in the body. It is very important to reintegrate asana and Ayurveda in order to bring out the full healing and spiritual potential in each person.
Meditation is one of the 8 limbs of yoga. Meditation is essential in prescribing a health regimen for clients. Meditation empties the content in the brain, creating space and consciousness that is necessary to live a pure life. With a daily meditation practice you can become aware and let love be the answer. In an effortless state of meditation, the para ojas becomes active. When this happens you realize your true nature, which is PEACE AND LOVE. In Ayurveda this para ojas becomes soma, which releases molecules of bliss throughout the body and throughout your day.
Pranayama is also one of the 8 limbs of yoga. Pranayama is essential to control prana (our energy life force). Different breathing techniques are prescribed depending on your metabolic constitution. For instance, Kapal Bhati breathing helps to improve alertness, concentration, strengthens muscles and helps burn calories. So it is most beneficial for Kaphas who are more on the lazy side. Nadi Shodhana can benefit all constitutions (tri-doshic) and is stimulating and calming.
We must bring yoga into Ayurveda to add a spiritual and physical dimension to Ayurvedic treatments. Ayurveda prescribes the daily regimen and health guidelines for an optimal yogic practice. Yoga provides the spiritual basis to receive the optimal benefits for an Ayurvedic practice. When practicing a daily regimen of cleansing, meditation, pranayama, vedic diet, and asana on a routine schedule in congruence with the sun, moon and cosmic force you will see how yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand.
Coconut Nectar Sweet Potato Oats
-2 cups of quick oats
-4 cups of H20
-1 Tbsp cinnamon
-1 Tsp nutmeg
-1 Tsp ginger powder
-1/4 Tbsp chai spice
-1 cup of cooked sweet potato
-1/4 cup of coconut nectar syrup
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
-1/4 Tbsp chia seeds
Mix all ingredients together and cook of medium in pot for 4-5 minutes. Sprinkle with chia and pump seeds!:) yum yum.