Yoga and Ayurveda – Two sides of the same coin

Yoga and Ayurveda are known as sister Vedic sciences which have been practiced for several years for healing the mind, the body as well as the consciousness. In simple words, Ayurveda is concerned with the health and well being of the body while Yoga is concerned with purifying and harmonizing the mind and the consciousness, but actually, both of these ancient practices complement each other.

When practiced together, Ayurveda Yoga techniques offer many ways to improve well-being, health and vitality. Both of these practices respect as well as acknowledge the connections between mind, body and soul. Moreover, Yoga and Ayurvedic treatment mutually support and also offer several ways to heal and prevent various disorders by advocating the daily practice of yoga asanas, meditation and breathing techniques and use of oils and herbs.

Let’s take a look at some of the similarities between Yoga and Ayurveda.

  • Both of these practices are a vital part of the ancient Vedic texts. Yoga originates from the Yajur Veda while Ayurveda has its origin from Atharva Veda and Rig Veda.
  • Both the practices lay their emphasis on maintaining a healthy body to fulfill the four aims or goals in life: Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha.
  • Yoga and Ayurveda training advocate the use of asana, meditation, diet, mantra, astrology, pooja, prayer and the rituals to heal the entire well being of the body.
  • Both recognize that maintaining a balance of doshas, dhatus, and malas are vital for having good health.
  • Both the practices encourage healthy physical as well as emotional, mental and spiritual well being.
  • Yoga and Ayurveda share the same viewpoint on psychology. They understand that the attachment of the body is the cause of all pain and suffering and ultimate health can be achieved when a person abides in total peace, regardless of the state in which the physical body is.
  • Both of these practices are essentially cleansing methods for our body which encourage the removal of toxins as well as waste products through natural ways of elimination. Yoga uses Shat Karma, the six purification measures while Ayurveda uses Panchakarma, the five cleansing actions.
  • Both share the same metaphysical physiology and anatomy that consists of 7 main body chakras, five bodily sheaths, and Kundalini Shakti.

Ayurveda health focuses on how the body will work through the doshas. So knowing the doshas in your body will help you to personalise your yoga regime accordingly which will in turn help to obtain the best of benefits. Yoga helps to balance the Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas of the body as several poses offer different effects.

While all the forward bending yoga poses help to deal with Pitta dosha, the twisting yoga postures help to deal with the Kapha dosha as it helps better digestion. Besides, the backward bending yoga poses are known to build up the heat in the body and therefore help to balance the Vata Dosha.

Here are some of the yoga poses recommended for individuals of different constitutions.

  • Vata:

People having the vata dosha may experience signs of insomnia or anxiety. Therefore, they should practice slow yoga poses like the Tadasana, Ardha Matsyendrasana, Sirsana among others.

  • Pitta:

People having this dosha may have a competitive mentality and anger issues. Hence, they require some sort of relaxing yoga poses to help get rid of the tension and health from the body and promote compassion such as the Utrasana or the Dhanurasana.

  • Kapha:

People having this dosha may have signs of congestion, dullness and procrastination. They, therefore, require yoga poses that encourage focus and enthusiasm such as the Surya Namaskar, Kapalbhati and Ujjayi Pranayam.