Both Yoga and Ayurveda are ancient sciences that provide a holistic approach to a sound mind and body. Their teachings have been brought down through the ages and are based on the three basic Vedic principles of Trigunas (sattva, rajas and tamas) and the panchamahabuthas (earth, air, fire, water, space). Yoga and Ayurveda also encompass an understanding of how the body works through its Constitution (Dosha), Tissue (Dhatu) and Waste Material (Mala) and the effect that both food and medicines have on the body. The two are so closely intertwined that learning more about one consequently leads to a deeper understanding of the other.
A closer look at both and one can make a clear distinction between the two. In simple terms: Ayurveda is a science and Yoga is the practice of science. Yoga was introduced to bring balance to the mind for the sake of self-realization and awareness mainly through the different practices such as asanas (various postures), pranayama (breath manipulation), meditation whereas Ayurveda is a devoted science to balance the mind in relation to the body. It was first developed as a system for diagnosing imbalances in the body and mind in the form of illness, disease, and other symptoms of discomfort as well as treating those imbalances through the use of herbal medicine, treatments, and other natural remedies.
Both of these sciences, Yoga from the classical Patanjali’s Ashtanga perspective and Ashtanga ayurveda have eight branches or more commonly known as “eight limbs”.
- yama (moral restraints) – how we relate to others
- niyama (observances) – how we relate to ourselves
- asana (posture)
- pranayama (moderation of the movements of prana: life force and breath)
- pratyahara (moderation of the sense organs)
- dharana (concentration)
- dhyana (meditation)
- samadhi (meditative absorption)
This points out to a common understanding of the health of the body: which is dependent on the health and balance of the mind. Both recognize that keeping the body healthy is vital for fulfilling the four aims of life presented in Indian scriptures: dharma (duty), artha (wealth), kama (desire), and moksha (liberation). With that in mind there are some daily practices that are recommended by both Yoga and Ayurveda. These practices can go a long way in ensuring you stay healthy, both mentally and physically.
Start your day on the right side of the bed. Beginning your day by checking emails or worrying about work will drain your energy reserves. Create a daily ritual where you partake in activities that make you feel happy. Ayurveda and Yoga prescribes sattvik activities to be done during the morning. While Ayurveda suggests activities such as being one with nature, meditation and prayer; Yoga prescribes asana, pranayama and, as Ayurveda, meditation as well. Sattvik activities like those should be ideally part of your morning ritual.
Yoga and Ayurveda vastly prescribe a good wholesome diet. Being conscious about what you eat will help improve digestion thereby improving your overall immunity and potency helping you to be healthier, and more peaceful as well. Drinking a glass of milk in the morning or having some fruits would be an ideal start of the day. Although consuming both simultaneously is not recommended as it may lead to toxin build-up. Curd is one form of milk that goes well with fruits. During the day avoid snacking or eating on the fly. Eat on time and avoid overeating especially during the night.
Balanced sleep is a staple of optimal health. Sleep is a natural time for the body and mind to rest, reset, detoxify, and rejuvenate. Keeping a schedule of when you sleep is just as vital as getting adequate sleep. Avoid staying up late, as your body’s natural tendency is to sleep during the night. When you sleep, ensure that you room is in a quiet place where you are not inclined to be disturbed.
It’s a surprise to see how Yoga and Ayurveda are interrelated, in its holistic approach towards health and wellness. The combination of various Ayurvedic medications and different asanas will help you to attain the most balanced level of health possible. It also works wonders for patients who are suffering from various diseases such as malignancy, diabetes, increased cholesterol and helps you deal with stress related problems.