Did you know that Ayurveda and Yoga combined can provide even more powerful healing effects, even deeper senses of calm, and greater mind-body balance? Simply add Yoga to your daily Ayurvedic routines or use Ayurveda techniques to further the wellness benefits you are already receiving from your Yoga practice. Better yet, you can use what you know about your Ayurveda body type (Vata, Pitta, or Kapha) to select the type of Yoga that best compliments your basic constitution.
Ayurveda and Yoga Basics
If you're new to Ayurveda or Yoga, here is some basic 101 to get you started:
At the core of both these time-honored sciences - which have been advancing health for thousands of years - is the premise that when the body, mind, and spirit are balanced, a person is healthy. When one or more of any of these elements is out of balance, illness and dis-ease may set in.
In addition, there is an energetic life force that underlies all of creation and which manifests in mankind in the form of energies called "doshas." The three primary doshas - Vata, Pitta, and Kapha - are present in everyone, yet each person is comprised of a different combination of these elements, giving rise to his or her particular makeup - i.e. his or her one-of-a-kind physical traits and characteristics, temperament, inclinations, aversions, and more.
Personalized Approach to Health
What does all this mean for you? Well, it's good news because it means a highly personalized approach to health, healing, and illness prevention from Ayurveda, as well as a rich set of exercises and lifestyle protocols provided by both Yoga and Ayurveda to help you become the best version of yourself! And although both of these Vedic disciplines are known to address the physical body, their array of wellness benefits include:
- Greater emotional stability
- Enhanced self-awareness
- Union of mind-body-spirit
- An elevated sense of consciousness
- Increased happiness
- Reduced stress
- Renewed energies
- Upgraded sense of vitality
How to Incorporate Ayurveda into Your Yoga Practice
All over the globe, and especially in the Western world, the popularity of Yoga practice has been soaring. Wherever you go, not only can find a Yoga class to attend but you have myriads of Yoga varieties to choose from, and the numbers appear to be rising. While this is welcome news for some people, it leaves many of us in a conundrum: Which Yoga class should I attend? How do I choose? What are their differences, benefits, and drawbacks? Which type of Yoga is best suited for me?
Well, this is where Ayurveda can help! One of the best things about the Ayurvedic approach to wellness is how it views each person as constitutionally unique. And while there are only three dominant doshas or body types, there is still no "one-size-fits-all" health prescription since our mind-body balance is also influenced by our exposure to elements in the environment, by stresses, by changes in the weather, and especially by our lifestyle choices - i.e. diet, exercise, sleeping habits, and more.
The secret, then, to successfully combining Ayurveda with Yoga, is to learn which Yoga poses directly influence your body type and have the ability to restore your natural state of balance. If you haven't yet identified your Ayurvedic body type, take our Dosha Quiz to discover what your dosha is.
Balance Your Doshas with Yoga
Here is just a taste of some of the guidelines provided by the experts:
- Vata personalities need Yoga poses which are grounding, reduce stress, relax their muscles, and calm their nerves
- Pitta personalities need Yoga poses which induce calmness, improve digestion, enhance circulation, and which are not "hot" or overly exerting
- Kapha personalities require Yoga exercises which get their circulation pumping, stimulate digestion, and remove congestion
More Ayurveda and Yoga Tips
Keep in mind that not all doshic personalities are the same, and hence an asana that benefits one Vata type may not benefit another. Yoga asanas also vary in degree of difficulty so each person must decide if they are personally physically capable of performing it. For example, if a certain headstand, bend, or twist is recommended for your body type, you still need the proper musculature strength and structure to support that movement.
The bottom line? Always listen to your body! If particular Yoga poses or asanas cause you discomfort or are too difficult or frustrating to execute, choose the type of Yoga practice that suits you.
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