How Yoga and Ayurveda are Complementary Practices

By Yoganosh Staff|

If you're looking for the ultimate health-and-wellness package and for ideal mind-body balance, look no further than Ayurveda and Yoga! While almost everyone has heard of yoga and its array of health benefits, many people are not as familiar with Ayurveda. Yet unbeknownst to them, Ayurveda and Yoga are actually complementary disciplines of healing, highly interrelated, and when they practice one they are in essence also practicing the other!

So what do Yoga and Ayurveda have in common? What are their respective roles in promoting mind-body ease and how can you integrate Ayurvedic and Yogic principles into your daily routine?

Ayurveda and Yoga Similarities

The truth is that these two time-honored practices have so much in common that they are often referred to as "sisters." So here's the scoop on the Yoga-Ayurveda connection:

  • Both hail from India and the Samkhya school of philosophy
  • Both have been around for over 3,000 years
  • Both appear originally in ancient Sanskrit texts and are branches of the Vedas system of knowledge
  • Both have made a modern comeback and are some the most popular forms of health and wellness techniques of the 21st century
  • Both are transformative tools for fostering deeper self-awareness, greater inner peace, mind-body balance, stress reduction, and promote numerous other physical and mental health benefits
  • Both advocate physical changes which also affect the mind, emotions, and consciousness/spirit
  • Both share at their core the premise that there is a living consciousness connecting all creatures and all of creation
  • In Sanskrit, Yoga means "union," referring to the union of mind, body, and spirit/soul. The goal of Yoga is Atma, the union with the True Self
  • In Sanskrit, Ayurveda is derived from ayu or "life/life span" and veda, or "knowledge." The goal of this 'science of life' is the integration of mind-body-soul
  • Both Yoga and Ayurveda outline an entire set of lifestyle protocols and daily living recommendations which include correct diet, breathing techniques, meditation exercises, mantras, herbs and spices, and more

Ayurveda-Yoga Differences

So is there a difference between Ayurveda and Yoga? Do they part ways and contrast or are they simply mirror images? In fact, while they build upon and support one another, it has been said that the science of Ayurveda is a system of medicine providing guidelines for treatment and maintenance of health conditions, while the practice of Yoga is a tool for increasing spirituality and reaching enlightenment.

How You Can Maximize the Benefits of Both Ayurveda and Yoga

Did you know that the interplay between these two disciplines make them the ultimate 'dynamic duo' for health and wellness? For example, Yoga is known to help dissolve physical and mental stress, making it an ideal aid for achieving the goals of Ayurveda, which include improving digestion, rejuvenating the body, and calming the mind. On the flip side, with so many types of Yoga to choose from nowadays and the list constantly growing, it's hard to know which Yoga class to attend and which poses, breathing techniques, and meditative practices will personally serve you best! This is where Ayurveda can help.

Simply take the Dosha Quiz to find out what your dominant "dosha" or basic constitution is. Based on the results, you may have a Vata, Pitta, or Kapha personality. An Ayurveda expert can then direct you to the versions of yoga that are most fitting for your particular characteristics and that will help balance your overall system.

So add Yoga to your daily exercise routine, follow Ayurveda guidelines for healthy living, and enjoy reaping the rich rewards!

Yoganosh Staff

Yoganosh Staff

We are a team of published writers, adventurous travelers, and academics dedicated to enforcing an honest lifestyle of yoga, Ayurveda, and meditation.

How Yoga and Ayurveda are Complementary Practices
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