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THE CONNECTION BETWEEN YOGA AND AYURVEDA

Yoga and ayurveda are inseparable siblings. Both originated as part of a greater system of Vedic knowledge. We can say A Nurturing Mother.

Yoga originates in the yajur veda, while ayurveda originates in the Atharva veda and Rigveda. The philosophy and methods behind yoga and Ayurveda are similar, with the two systems both relying on natural methods to achieve their aims. Where the yoga is holistic approach in physical, social, mental, behavioral, cultural, and spiritual dimensions. Similarly, Ayurveda, which literally means “Knowledge of life”. Knowing about yourself and your body. The concept of Triguna, and Tridosha are mentioned by ancient yogis of both sciences. Both has similar concept such as Nadi Srotasa” (energy channels), Shuddhi Kriya, “Panchkarma (therapeutic procedure for harmonizing systems). Yama, Niyama and Sadvirtta (disciplined lifestyle).

Ayurveda prescribes a lifestyle that helps in the promotion of health and prevention of disease. Both ayurveda and yoga are known to reduce the aging process and are found to be useful in the other disorders related to aging. Both are powerful sciences that are aimed at the proper modulation of prana in the human being, and when administrated together in an integrative manner these can be extremely effective with regards to storing health, as well as managing or curing disease.

 

YOGA FOR YOUR TYPE-

Ayurveda follows the concept of understanding the doshas to heal oneself. Also, we all know that the world is made up of five elements. Akash (space), Prithvi (earth), Agni (fire), and Vayu (air), Jal (water). A combination of each element results in three humors or dosha known as Vata, Pitta, Kapha. These doshas are believed to be responsible for a person’s physiological, mental, and emotional health.

As with the elements, all three of the doshas can be found in everyone and everything, but in different proportions. The different individual has different qualitative nature as in foods, species, behaviors, and individual personality.

 

DOSHA

QUALITIES VIKRUTI (IMBALANCE BODY TYPE NATURE) PRAKURITI (BALANCE BODY TYPE) SUITABLE PRANAYAMA

SUITABLE ASANA (POSTURE)

VATA

(ether +air)

Dry, light, cold, rough, subtle, mobile, clear. Anxiety, constipation, lack of focus, dry skin, weak bones, irregular periods, poor memory. Creative, energetic, adaptable, good communicator, Nadi shodhana. (Alternate nostril breathing), left nostril breathing.

Calming and grounding yoga pose. (Slow yoga practice)

PITTA

(fire +water)

Hot, sharp, light, liquid, spreading, oily Heartburn, loose stools, red, oily, acne, anger, diarrhea, hives, Intelligent, sharp, organized, warm, friendly, leader. All the cooling pranayama practice- sheetali, shitkari, left nostril breathing.

Gentle Backward and forward bending pose are not held for very long. (moderate yoga practice)

KAPHA

(water + earth)

Heavy, slow, cool, oily, smooth, dense, soft, stable, gross, cloudy(sticky) Heavy, bloating, mucous stool, excessive sleep, excessive weight gain, dull pain, stiffness, slow digestion Calm, stable, grounded, strong endurance, caring, loving, kindness. Kapalbhatti, bhastrika, right nostril breathing.

All the dynamic exercise practice. (Dynamic yoga practice)

Yoga and ayurveda are the twin precious gifts from India to the world. Just as yoga channelize the potential of the mind and body, ayurveda helps achieve and maintain health. The fundamental goal of yoga and ayurveda is to unleash the power of the mind including physical wellness and health towards the ultimate enlightenment also attainment of the total health and harmony in all stages of life.

BALANCE THREE DOSHA WITH CONSISTANT YOGA PRACTICE

As it’s already mention that in ayurveda, people are classified as per their predominant qualities, known as doshas. These doshas are three in number Vata, Pitta, Kapha which represent all 5 elements and are responsible for movements, transformation, and stability in the body. Just like diet, lifestyle, and herbs, even Asana recommendation are given to a person as per their dominant body.

YOGA practice for Vata constitution

Vata represents the air elements, which creates the movement and rhythm and it works in walking, breathing, intake of food, transforming nutrient and eliminate the waste product from body.

Excess Vata in the body often results in an erratic heartbeat, poor breathing, pain, gas, joint pain, constipation etc. Emotionally it can make us anxious, fearful, and restless.

  1. Vata also has dryness quality which will make stiff joint and arthritis, so they (those fall in this category) special needs joint mobility exercise including all the small joints. They also need to warm up well to improve the blood circulation to avoid the morning stiffness during the winter time. Exercise phase should be slow.
  2. Vata trends to accumulate in the colon, to release it, they should include all the spinal twist and side bend.
  3. All the standing forward bend, sitting forward bend postures, inverted postures etc. will calm down the mind and can reduce the excessive Vata
  4. Vata personality should add more of breathing exercise in their practice. And focus more on building strength.

 

DietVata types do best with a heavy and wholesome diet which can include milk, ghee, rice etc.

YOGA practice for PITTA constitution

Pitta predominant personality represents the fire element, but it also has some water element. It manifests itself in your metabolism. Hydrochloric acid found in our stomach is a pitta product as it is “fire in a liquid form”. Fire generates heat and light thus gives warmth, digest our food, brings clarity in thinking, and gives us higher perception. In Vikriti (imbalanced pitta) metabolism becomes Hyperacidic which result in ulcers, frequent burping, inflammation, or fever in the physical body. Emotionally it makes us prone to anger and irritability.

  1. As these personality people are hyperactive, and they sweat a lot, they need to make sure their practice doesn’t become an aggressive workout. They need to keep moderate practice schedule and be mindful of that.
  2. Gentle back bends that are not held for very long like cobra pose, bow pose, camel pose, can be helpful as they have cooling effect once we come out of it. Repeating them a few times is better than holding for too long.
  3. All the forward bend posture calming the fire element.
  4. All the inversion postures are restricted for pitta people as they are already hot headed.
  5. Also, sheetali, shitkari, left nostril breathing, alternate nostril breathing and meditation can help in subside the excess fire.

 

Diet- because of their high digestive fire they should avoid spicy food. They can add coriander, cumin, fennel, green juice, grains, coconut oil, cool flavor combat the pitta fire.

YOGA practice for KAPHA constitution –

Kapha represent the water and earth element. It has the grounding quality and keeping things together. It also represents stability, heaviness and cold. An imbalance in Kapha causes excess mucus in our body which can bring their quality down and come up with the Vikriti such as excessive fat in the tissues, weight gain (obesity), internal withdrawal, desire to be alone, dull, lethargy, physical laziness.

  1. As Kapha personality represent the cold quality so they should do more dynamic practice like vinyasa flow, also, slowly they should build their stamina.
  2. Moreover, their cold quality needs warmth. Therefore, they need to include intense practices that increase internal heat. All the inversion postures are good to rejuvenate fire in their body.
  3. Imbalanced Kapha also has quality of lethargy. It can be change with yogic practices like pranayama – kapalbhatti, right nostril breathing (if they don’t have any cardiac issue) and introducing some challenging postures.

 

Diet- People with a Kapha dosha need to stimulate their metabolism, consequently they require mostly warm, cooked meals. Dry, light, pungent, and bitter flavors help in easy digestion. Also, foods that are sour, salty, sweet, oily or high in protein should be avoided.

Conclusion-

Ayurveda has clear purpose of the prevention and protection from disease and promotion of positive health. But its guidelines on lifestyle and behavior are based on Yoga theory. As we all know the body and mind are continuously interacting and responding to our environment. The seasons, changes in lifestyle, and any diseases or ailments. For example, if we have a joint pain and constipation in arid climate, we can benefit from Vata vinyasa practice. Similarly, if we have cold or congestion, we can continue the Kapha reducing practice. That’s how Ayurveda and yoga works together to balance between mind and body by addressing the needs of our lifestyle.

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