By Faye Martins
Yoga and Ayurveda are intimately woven together throughout the texts of the Vedas. The Vedas are ancient Indian spiritual texts that were compiled over a period of time beginning approximately 3,000 years ago in the Himalayan region of India. These texts are considered to be divinely revealed and are comprised of oral esoteric knowledge transposed into written form. The practices of Yoga and Ayurveda are considered to be complementary modalities for living a healthy, balanced and happy life.
When practiced together, Yoga and Ayurveda offer an individual many ways to increase health, well-being and vitality while living in balance with the natural rhythms that surround us. Both Yoga and Aruyveda acknowledge and respect the profound connections between our mind, body and spirit. Practicing balance and moderation are two of the primary keys of Aruyveda. This concept of balance and moderation has its roots in the Buddhist concept of Devanagari that arose during the same time period in India. Practicing Yoga asanas, meditation techniques and breathing exercises in balance with the rhythm of the day, week and time of the year is also one of the core proponents of Vedic wisdom.
One of the primary focuses of Aruyveda is eliminating toxins from the body and mind through the practice of panchakarma. According to Ayurvedic wisdom, expunging toxins from the body on a yearly basis helps to re-invigorate the body by maintaining a healthy metabolism and keeping the digestive processes efficient while reducing strain on the liver and kidneys. Ayurvedic theory espouses the belief that when the energy channels in the body or mind are blocked, disease results. Many of the traditional Ayurvedic techniques focus on unblocking these vital channels and restoring optimal energy flow. The use of stream and sweating is also employed by Ayurvedic doctors to help dissipate blockages in a patient’s energy system.
Releasing tension and blockages throughout the energy system of the body-mind complex is complemented beautifully by a regular Yoga practice. Yoga asanas, whether they are vigorous or restorative in nature, help to release deeply-held muscular tension and increase balance and flexibility. There are even some Yoga practices that are done in a heated room further enhancing the purifying aspect of the asanas. Combining Yoga practices with the great depth of wisdom found in Ayurveda will deeply support a Yogi or Yogini in creating and maintaining physical and emotional vitality, health and well-being throughout the course of his or her lifetime.
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