Both Ayurveda and Yoga are scientific systems that cultivate higher states of health. While the goal of both is similar, Ayurveda primarily focuses on correct diet, a healthy lifestyle, and the use of herbs. Yoga primarily emphasizes physical and mental practices. When used together Yoga and Ayurveda keep you healthy and balanced. Here is why:
1.) Maintaining Energy Levels
a. Ayurveda explains the nature of our being through the science of our vital energies or Doshas, (Vata, Pitta & Kapha). It provides diet, lifestyle and herbal practices for maintaining and restoring proper energy levels.
Ayurvedic herbs to balance aggravated doshas:
i. Vata – Pippali, Ashwaganda, Ginger
ii. Pita – Amalaki, Coriander, Brahmi
iii. Kapha – Ginger, Cardamom, Black Pepper
b. Yoga provides specific postures (asanas), breathwork (pranayama) and meditation practices to keep energy levels balanced.
Yoga practices to balance aggravated doshas:
i. Vata – Regular daily practice that is soothing and gentle
ii. Pita – Challenging yoga practice at the cooler times of day
iii. Kapha – Vigorous yoga practice at least 5 times a week
2.) Maintaining Healthy Digestion
a. According to Ayurveda, a powerful digestive fire or Agni, (pronounced: “ugh-nee”) transforms all that we ingest into useful energy. Using Agni igniting herbs like ginger, black pepper, long pepper and licorice, we can maintain a healthy digestive fire. A great nutritional supplement to help you build a healthy digestive fire is Herbal ZAP digestive and immune support beverage. (www.herbalzap.com/ayurveda).
b. Yoga postures like reclined knees to chest posture, seated or standing twist to help cleanse and ignite the digestive system. Watch yoga instructor Erika Wulff show you how to do these simple postures here: http://bit.ly/1kkBIau
3.) Dealing with Change:
a. Ayurveda teaches that we are in a constant state of change. Changes due to age, fluctuations in digestion, mental & emotional states, relationships and environment can cause imbalance in our health. By modifying diet, regulating lifestyle and using appropriate herbs, Ayurveda can help regain balance. Find which dosha is aggravated and modify for that imbalance. Keep in mind it is not always your dominant doshas that may be out of balance!
b. Yoga is the practical science that gives us the tools to become conscious of changes in our body, mind and spirit. Through awareness and meditation practices (like simple breath awareness or mantra) we can keep changes from becoming as disruptive. Don’t wait until you are faced with a stressful situation, the best method to deal with difficult change is to maintain a consistent practice.
These are just three of thousands of ways that the sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda work together to create a strong and balanced state of being. Just remember to be consistent and always listen to your body and mind to find the right practices for you.
To learn more about how Ayurveda and Yoga can work together to keep you healthy and balanced visit http://www.herbalzap.com/ayurveda
Genevieve Gilbreath founder, HERBAL ZAP Ayurvedic supplements [www.herbalzap.com], is a longtime student and teacher of Yoga and Ayurveda. Her passion for learning led her to live in Varanasi, India, along the banks of the holy Ganges, for five years. She studied Yoga philosophy, Ayurveda and Sanskrit in the traditional guru śiṣya method. Genevieve now splits her time between raising her son in Austin, TX and collaborating with Ayurvedic physicians in Sri Lanka, to bring conscious new products to the United States. She combines the sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda, tapping into the rich healing power of nature to create balance and lasting good health for ourselves and our communities.