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Ayurveda

Ayurveda and Yoga – Sister Sciences

DENISE O’DUNN

By DENISE O’DUNN,
CAP, LMT, E-RYT500

Ayurveda and Yoga share the same Vedic roots, yet offer different paths to the common goal of self-understanding and ultimately merging with pure consciousness. Both Ayurveda and Yoga originated as a means to end all suffering, presenting an approach to life that is in harmony with the laws of the universe.

Yoga is a path to liberation of the spirit. Practicing the asanas (physical postures) of hatha yoga assists in maintaining a meditative state without the distractions of bodily aches or stiffness. In this steady state of mindful ease, you can better attain spiritual freedom.

Ayurveda also offers a path to pure awareness by maintaining harmony between physical, mental and spiritual health. Ayurveda teaches that through a balancing lifestyle and daily routine that include, dietary, herbal and yogic practices, the body, mind and spirit transcend worldly limitations and experience cosmic consciousness.

Ayurveda offers guidance to live according to your individual nature within the constant changes in flow of life. Accordingly, your hatha yoga practice should honor your prakriti (original doshic type) and the ever-shifting state of vikriti (current doshic state.)

The objectives of an Ayurvedic asana practice are to balance the doshas, improve the structural condition of your body, facilitate movement and development of prana (life force energy), and to calm and energize your mind.

One of the fundamental principles in Ayurveda is that opposite actions create balance. Dosha yoga incorporates methods that help to reduce excess or manage the balance of the doshas; vata, pitta and kapha.

VATA (Ether & Air) - The light, cold and unstable nature of vata requires an approach to yoga that encourages nurturing action, mindfulness and warmth. Practice at a slow, smooth and steady pace. Conserve and restore your energy. Create stability at the base of your pose by maintaining a strong foundation and staying connected to the earth. Remain fully present and inwardly focused. Practice in a warm room or layer your clothes.

PITTA (Fire & Water) - The fiery, dynamic and intense qualities of pitta are managed with a yoga practice that encourages relaxed effort, compassion and acceptance. Surrender, relax and enjoy your practice, pausing to reflect on the perfection of ‘being’ instead of ‘doing’. Let go of judgment and competition in the pose, instead, find contentment. Practice in a moderately cool room with good circulation.

KAPHA (Water & Earth) - The slow, dull and heavy tendencies of kapha can be reduced by practicing yoga in a way that encourages invigorating activity, free space and personal challenge. Increase your energy and metabolism by practicing with purposeful intensity and dynamic precision. Experience freedom by lengthening your spine, lifting your arms and expanding your chest. Practice in a moderate or warm temperature.

The Ayurvedic approach to hatha yoga also includes consideration of the doshic influences of the time of day, season and stage of life. Refer to the following list when choosing how to practice, based on the doshic contributions.

Time of Day

Season/Weather

Stage of Life

Disclaimer: This article was written for educational purposes only and is based on the tradition of Ayurveda. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prescribe or heal any health condition or to replace standard medical treatment or advice.

Denise O’Dunn, president and founder of Balance & Bliss Inc., is a certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Licensed Massage Therapist (ma58502) and yoga teacher. She received her degree in Ayurveda from the Florida Vedic College and is a professional member of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association. She can be reached at balanceandbliss@gmail.com or visit www.balanceandbliss.com

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Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Getaway Motoring Cuisine Astrology Art/Youth Books Yoga Music and Dance Fashion Movies Techno Corner Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Classes/Places of Worship Content Find us on Facebook! Real Estate Nutrition