yoga & ayurveda
“Ayurveda and Yoga both evolved out of a particular philosophical system called Sankhya, and they are both concerned with understanding the way in which awareness and matter interact. Ayurveda focuses especially on the basic way in which Consciousness manifests itself in matter; how can that awareness express itself most efficiently and most satisfyingly. Ayurveda focuses on sukha: on happiness, health, and creating good spaces, inside and outside the organism. And Yoga is more concerned with enhancing the ability of that organism to become transparent to the ultimate Awareness.”
~ Dr. Robert Svoboda
Principles for Integrating Yoga and Ayurveda
- Ayurvedic therapeutic theory recognizes Yoga as a class of therapy known as Sattva Vijaya which means the “victory of a balanced state of mind” and is part of Ayurvedic psychology. Yoga integrates many concepts from Ayurveda into its teachings, especially concerning prana, the life force, and the role of diet and lifestyle for supporting yoga practice.
- Ayurveda focuses on defining our unique constitution (prakriti) and current physical and mental tendencies (vikriti) for the purpose of self-knowledge, self-healing, and ultimately, self-transcendence. Hatha Yoga views this harmony as the foundation for spiritual practice.
- Yoga and Ayurveda both seek to balance the flow of prana in our bodies. The proper flow of prana is essential for sukha, which literally means “good space,” but is more commonly described as a state of good health and happiness. Living a wholesome lifestyle, eating a balanced diet, and practicing yoga asana, pranayama, and meditation are the principle means for establishing sukha.
- The right choices for our lifestyle and Yoga practice should change depending on the time of the day, time of the year, time of life, and whatever imbalances are present in the moment. The current imbalances being the most important to consider.
- There are no “bad” or “wrong” choices for yoga practice, diet or lifestyle; there is only the discovery of patterns of balance and imbalance. Changing the way we practice any asana, pranayama, or meditation will change its effect on both body and mind.