Be Healthy. Be Happy. Naturally.
Yoga literally translates as “union”. The main goal of Yoga is to give us balance and well-being in mind, emotions and consciousness. It gives us practices to purify the mind and considers disease to be a blockage to developing peace of mind.
In the west, we tend to focus on asana; the yogic practice of physical postures as a type of exercise routine. Asana is important for relieving stress in the body and calming the mind, so we can focus inward. By calming the body, we calm the mind. By calming the mind, we calm the body. Both relieve stress which in turn increases health and well-being.
In addition to asana there are several other branches of yoga such as breath work and meditation. These, too, can be chosen to support our health and well-being when and if we are ready for them.
Have you ever wondered why you might enjoy a calm and slow yoga class, but get irritable in a fast paced competitive one? Or why your friend might have the opposite reaction? Ayurveda has the answer for you. Ayurveda teaches us that what may be healthy for one person may be detrimental for another; we each have our own path to disease and our own path to wellness and perfect health.
Ayurveda, literally “the science of life”, is a complete system of mind-body medicine that considers all facets of diagnosis and treatment. It contains a vast wealth of healing wisdom that can be applied to all aspects of life. Its primary goal is to maintain the health of a healthy person and to return health to an unhealthy one.
A main principle of Ayurveda is that we each have a unique constitution, a unique way in which we respond to the world around us, and gives us the wisdom to make the right choices for staying healthy on a moment to moment basis. Although we instinctually understand how to maintain good health, the influence of modern living sometimes confuses our ability to listen to our own innate wisdom. Ayurveda reminds us to live in balance with the natural rhythms that surround us. By living a natural and healthy life we can prevent disease as well as eliminate the root cause of manifested disease and suffering.
By applying Ayurvedic principles to our yogic practices we can maintain and regain balance. We can choose practices that are calming or invigorating, cooling or heating, depending on our current state of health. For instance, in the intensity and heat of summer, we apply the opposite qualities of coolness and calmness. In addition to using cooling foods and drinks, we can practice cooling yoga postures, in a calm and gentle manner and use a cooling type of breath work to keep us in balance. We should finish a yoga practice feeling nurtured, revitalized and calm, never spent and tired.
Combining Ayurveda with yoga is one of the best paths to experience balance, happiness and health in the body, mind and spirt. Ayurveda tends to focus on keeping the body and mind healthy. Yoga is traditionally used to balance the mind and senses. We use the gifts of both to help us stay balanced. So if you are already interested in yoga, go ahead and look into Ayurveda too. As you add the practices of Ayurveda and yoga into your daily life, you make it easier to continue to lead a happy, peaceful and productive life. In this way, you can accomplish what you are uniquely meant to do. That is why you are on this planet, after all.
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