Ayurveda Life: Yoga & Ayurveda as Sister Sciences
In honor of National Yoga Month, we are excited to bring you another post in a comprehensive series on the practice of Ayurveda. ‘Ayurveda Life’ will be a weekly series of posts from some of the most influential Ayurvedic authors and organizations. We are proud to partner with Banyan Botanicals and hope that you enjoy and share these posts with your communities.
“Yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences that developed together and repeatedly influenced each other throughout history. Yoga and Ayurveda work together to enhance their great benefits on all levels”.
“The link between yoga and Ayurveda is prana, or the life force. Yoga is the intelligence of prana seeking greater evolutionary transformations, while Ayurveda is its healing power…” ~ Dr. David Frawley
As the Yoga community of practitioners continues to grow throughout the world, they are slowing coming to learn about Ayurveda, its sister science. Both Yoga and Ayurveda are born of the same root in the Vedas, a perennial wisdom from India, and comprise the most comprehensive systems for expanding consciousness and healing the mind-body relationship. Ayurveda represents the lifestyle of Yoga and it teaches the practitioner how to find greater harmony and balance on the journey of self-discovery. For the yogi, Ayurveda provides efficiency in practice and greater intimacy with nature so that each person finds their own unique way to live a life of health, wellness and greater awareness. Yoga practice without Ayurveda becomes half-hearted and can lead us into physical imbalances and sometimes lead us into boredom from monotony. Ayurveda brings Yoga alive and induces it with variety and teaches us how to adapt our practice to what we specifically need and not necessarily what the formula or teacher has in store for us. Ayurveda provides the perfect balance yogis need especially during an age of faster lifestyles, more stress and urban living that is disconnected from nature.
Healing is a natural part of life and is something we always have to think about, especially as the body ages. In life we realize more and more the importance of maintaining our health, so to enjoy our lives to the fullest potential. When I speak of health I am referring to an integral balance between the body, mind and spirit. True health as taught in the science of Ayurveda is about living in harmony with ourselves, and the elements around us. Ayurveda literally means the wisdom of life, and is one of the most ancient systems of healing in the world, dating back thousands of years from India. Ayurveda is based on the very practical concept that the body and mind are intrinsically related to one another, and without a good relationship or connection between the two, we are more susceptible to imbalance, stress and disease. Further, the body-mind relationship is also necessary to bring us into inner harmony with our spirit. Have you ever felt a sense of not knowing what you want to do with your life? A lack of feeling purposeful in your work or life in general, can come from not fully committing to your truth. This misalignment comes from not being connected to your spirit and in order to establish this deeper relationship it must begin with a sound body-mind relationship. Ayurveda’s teachings are based on placing us into accordance with natural law. This means establishing lifestyle routines that include a fourfold balanced approach to living. This approach begins with good quality relationships that provide us support, affection, friendship and enjoyment, known as kama.
The second lifestyle principle is artha or vocation, which emphasizes the importance of any work that places us into action and fulfillment. Work is something we all need to do and Ayurveda teaches us that, it’s not what we do, but how we do it that matters most in determining the quality of our lives. Not to mention, that when we do good work we are focused and manifesting a greater discipline between the body-mind relationship. Now this sets the foundation for the most powerful lifestyle principle of living with purpose and direction. When we have purpose or dharma in life, it gives the physical body great strength and resilience to seasonal weather shifts that can often throw us off balance, and living a purposeful life can also help the body adapt to the modern day stress of sensory overstimulation. The highest dharma as taught in Ayurveda is the relationship we share with nature’s laws, seasons, diet and self-care. Therefore Ayurveda teaches us how to care for the body and mind as we continue on our journey towards enlightenment. We are all given the blessing to have life, for a reason, and that is what each human being must discover for themselves. Yoga, as Ayurveda’s sister science, provides for us an incredible methodology to actualize the grander message hidden in all of life’s experiences. Yoga gives us the insight to decipher the messages hidden behind the veil of coincidence. Finally, both Ayurveda and Yoga share equal interest in the last principle of liberation or moksha. To have real liberation according to Ayurveda is to get off the perpetual swing of discomfort as fabricated by the doshas (air, fire & water) through good and consistent self-care routines. To have freedom mentally in Ayurveda is to establish the mind in its pure and calm state of being, through meditation, herbal medicines, mindful walking and breathing exercises and plenty of time in nature. Both Ayurveda and Yoga help to enlighten our efforts of finding the inner harmony we all seek. If we learn to live in harmony with Mother Nature through her wisdom as we call it “Ayurveda,” we can create a greater harmony and understanding of our inner nature and live with the spirit of our being.
Mas Vidal is Founder/Director of Dancing Shiva Yoga Ayurveda, an international non-profit educational organization based in southern California. His vision for a better today is focused on social and personal transformation through a balanced lifestyle according to the natural laws taught in Ayurveda. His teachings propagate the importance of individuality, responsibility and reflection through classical Yoga to accentuate deep personal healing. He is a pioneer teacher and lecturer of Yoga and Ayurveda and is recognized internationally for his work in propagating a unified approach to these sister sciences. Mas teaches the original Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle and Therapy Certification programs internationally and as an Ayurvedic practitioner he maintains an active clinical practice. www.dancingshiva.com