The Yoga And Ayurveda Connection

Ayushi Khandelwal ·
The Yoga And Ayurveda Connection

by Shanice Miranda, Cora Health. 

It is invaluable to dive deep into a state of pure bliss and intimacy with nature, your companions and most importantly, yourself. Yoga, one of the systems of Vedic philosophy, is a potent way to do this. It allows you to slow down and listen to every muscle in your body. You can notice the parts of your body that may need more love and attention and act on that specifically. You can take the knowledge gained from Ayurveda (a.k.a ‘the knowledge of life’) and implement it in your yoga practice. The two work hand-in-hand to enhance self-realization.

Each one of us is so unique and hence, every one of our bodies’ is differently built with varying capabilities. Yoga is not a one-size-fits-all solution and that is the beauty of it. Some benefit from a faster/power yoga style practice, while others prefer a slower stretch. It takes time to figure out what is in sync with your body’s language. Even on a day-to-day basis, what your mind and body require might look completely varied. Some days, you may be holding a lot of tension in your back and may need to stretch that area more. Other days, it may be your legs or hamstrings. You will only understand which part of your anatomy needs to be your focal point after you have established a strong enough relationship with your body and mind. 

Yoga And Its Benefits: 

Yoga is a spiritual practice, or sadhana, in Vedic culture. It is a healing ritual for both spiritual and physical aspects. It is believed that yoga is one method to understand our true nature, beyond the conditioning of society, our experiences and all the false notions we hold about ourselves. In the Buddhist tradition, it is considered to be one of the ways to increase longevity and free yourself from suffering. Overall, the big picture is the same- yoga is a form of preventative medicine. (1) Some of the benefits yoga imparts are: 

  • Improved strength and flexibility 
  • Consistent metabolism 
  • Better respiration and heart health 
  • Combats sleeping issues 
  • Relieves stress and anxiety 
  • Relieves headaches 

This is just the tip of the iceberg and the health benefits should not be the intention behind your practice. Instead, we recommend you slow down, breathe into each pose and feel the energy dissipate from head to toe. What comes next? – That’s up to you. If you are looking to start your yoga routine, do some research. Try out a few of the following types and see what resonates with you- 

  • Hatha yoga
  • Ashtanga yoga 
  • Yin yoga 
  • Vinyasa yoga 
  • Power yoga
  • Bikram yoga
  • Jivamukti yoga
  • Iyengar yoga
  • Anusara yoga
  • Sivananda yoga
  • Viniyoga and Kundalini yoga. 

According to Ayurvedic principles, humans are made up of three doshas – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These forms of energy make up your unique physiology and psychology. Based on your predominant energy, certain yoga asanas can equilibrate that dosha and counteract all the negative side effects caused by the imbalance. 

Yoga For Vata: 

Vata is driven by the of elements space and air. This implies a cool, dry, light temperament. The type of yoga that Vata-dominant people could practice includes grounding, slower movements. Anything that works on the pelvis, lumbar spine, intestines and colon may balance vata. These include poses like Tadasana, Vrikshasana and Virabhadrasanas. Instead of a fast pace, it can be more effective to hone in on every subtlety and allow yourself to relax in each asana. For vata, a slower Surya Namaskar (sun salutation) and longer Savasana and Pranayama are suitable. 

Yoga For Pitta:

Pitta is rooted in the fire and water elements and hence, cooling and heart-opening asanas are beneficial for this dosha. As pitta is related to healthy digestion, working on the abdominal area is suggested. Forward folds and heart openers like Bhujangasana (Cobra) and Dhanurasana (Bow) are effective for pitta. Chandra namaskar (moon salutation) can have advantages for this dosha as well. Cool, calming breaths in Pranayama can be used to balance this dosha. 

Yoga For Kapha: 

Kapha is defined by the earth and water. To balance the slow and cold kapha, a vigorous ‘power’ style routine may be more effective. The abdominal area and the chest can be focused on for this dosha. Some of the asanas that are suited to this type are Ustrasana (Camel) and inversions like Sirsasana (Headstand). Regular incorporation of Surya namaskar is beneficial due to the apt generation of heat in the body. 

No matter who you are or how athletic or flexible you are, you can always find a safe space in your yoga practice. Show up authentically, with dedication and the purest of intentions and you will see the changes within you. Find ‘home’ on your mat and take that same energy off it, to live a full and happy life #TheAyurvedaWay




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