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April 27, 2015
Ayurveda is an ancient system of healing that developed in India over four thousand years ago. Ayurveda is comprised of two Sanskrit syllables, "ayur" and "veda." "Veda" means knowledge and "ayur" is translated as pertaining to life and the life cycle. In keeping with its name, the ancient healing system of Ayurveda is a system of healing and balancing of the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of a human being based on an awareness of the natural cycles of the earth in order to promote a long and healthy life. Much of the Ayurveda wisdom and healing modalities employed by Ayurveda practitioners today is based on two ancient Indian medical treatises known as the Caraka Samhita and the Susruta Samhita. These great texts were written approximately three thousand years ago.
One of the core components of the Ayurvedic system of medicine is that all of life arouse from the primordial sound of Aum as it was divided into the five elements of fire, air, water, ether and earth. All human beings are said to contain a proportion of each of these five elements. When these elements are balanced, a human being is healthy, vital and robust. When these elements are unbalanced, physical and emotional disturbances and diseases may be promulgated. An Ayurvedic lifestyle that incorporates the wisdom and practices of Ayurveda into a Yogi or Yogini's life will facilitate a process of detoxification and balanced lifestyle habits that will promote vibrant good health.
Just like the practice of Yoga asanas, Ayurvedic practices and techniques shift and modulate depending on the phase of life a practitioner is currently experiencing. Ayurvedic practices can accommodate and support Yoga practitioners of all ages and health levels. For example, one of the primary recommendations of Ayurveda is to live according to the natural rhythms of the earth by rising early in the morning and going to bed by 10pm. This injunction helps to entrain the body and mind with the rising and setting of the sun and will help to remedy symptoms of circadian rhythm disturbances that can cause insomnia.
Another primary recommendation of Ayurveda is to eat regular, healthy meals prepared from wholesome ingredients. Both of these recommendations will serve many Yoga practitioners of all ages in balancing their endocrines systems and aligning their bodies with the natural rhythms of the earth. These are only a few of the general guidelines of the many thousands of Ayurvedic recommendations. By putting into practice even some of the most basic Ayurvedic nuggets of wisdom, a Yogini or Yogi is sure to benefit from increased good health and enhanced energy levels.
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