Both Ayurveda and Yoga are scientific systems that cultivate higher states of health. While the goal of both is similar, Ayurveda primarily focuses on correct diet, a healthy lifestyle, and the use of herbs. Yoga primarily emphasizes physical and mental practices. When used together, Yoga and Ayurveda keep you healthy and balanced. Here is why:
Yoga and Ayurveda can help in the maintenance of energy levels. Ayurveda teaches that the nature of our being plays a key role. Everyone has specific energies, or doshas, that influence vitality. The Doshas include vata, pitta and kapha. Ayurvedic medicine provides diet, lifestyle and herbal practices for maintaining and restoring proper energy levels. When doshas are aggravated, herbs are one way to balance them. For those with a vata body type, pippali, ashwaganda and ginger are helpful in restoring harmony. Amalaki, coriander and brahmi are ideal for those with a pitta dosha. Kapha doshas stand to benefit from ginger, cardamom, and black pepper.
Yoga provides specific postures, or asanas, as well as breathwork (pranayama) and meditation practices to keep energy levels balanced.
All three doshas benefit from yoga, which can be helpful in creating balance. Regular daily practice that is soothing and gentle is ideal for those with a vata dosha. Pitta energy is stabilized through challenging yoga practice at the cooler times of day. Kapha doshas are encouraged to engage in a vigorous yoga practice at least five times a week.
According to Ayurveda, a powerful digestive fire, or Agni (pronounced: "ugh-nee"), transforms all that we ingest into useful energy. Using agni to ignite herbs such as ginger, black pepper, long pepper, and licorice, we can maintain a healthy digestive fire. A great nutritional supplement to help you build a healthy digestive fire is Herbal ZAP digestive and immune support beverage.
Yoga postures like reclined knees to chest posture, seated or standing twist to help cleanse and ignite the digestive system.
Adjustment to Change
Ayurveda teaches that we are all in a constant state of change. Changes due to age, fluctuations in digestion, mental and emotional states, relationships, and environment can cause imbalance in our health. By modifying diet, regulating lifestyle and using appropriate herbs, Ayurveda can help regain balance. Find which dosha is aggravated and modify for that imbalance. Keep in mind it is not always your dominant doshas that may be out of balance.
Yoga is the practical science that gives us the tools to become conscious of changes in our body, mind, and spirit. Through awareness and meditation practices (like simple breath awareness or a mantra) we can keep changes from becoming as disruptive. Don’t wait until you are faced with a stressful situation to use these methods. The best way to deal with difficult change is to maintain a consistent practice.
These are just three of thousands of ways that the sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda work together to create a strong and balanced state of being. Just remember to be consistent and always listen to your body and mind to find the right practices for you.
Open Your Heart Along with Ayurveda
When you combine yoga, ayurveda, and meditation, you're even closer to becoming whole and healthy. The Yogi’s Heart will guide you on a path to awareness of the most important energy center in your body — the anahata chakra, or the heart chakra. Translated from Sanskrit, anahata means unstruck, the innately whole and intact nature of our emotional center. Yet too often our hearts become wounded, closed by life experiences.