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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Yoga and Ayurveda: Sister Sciences: Combined, They Offer Optimal Health

Aug 31, 2011 07:32AM ● By Vickie Nickerson

“Yoga and Ayurveda are two closely related spiritual or sacred sciences rooted in the Vedic tradition of India. Ayurveda is the Vedic ‘science of life’ and healing for both body and mind. Yoga is the Vedic science of self-realization that depends upon a well-functioning body and mind. Both disciplines developed together and have always been used together. Individuals who are interested in one would benefit from studying the other.”

— Dr. David Frawley, American Hindu author and ayurvedic doctor

Many people are aware of yoga and are becoming increasingly more appreciative of its many health benefits. Although yoga classes continue to grow in number, most Americans are not yet aware of Ayurveda and its connection with yoga. Both sciences, which began 5,000 years ago in India, were utilized by sages who understood that the goal of optimum well-being was best achieved when the two systems were practiced together. In the U.S., Ayurveda is considered a complimentary alternative medicine; however, this medical component of yoga not only treats chronic conditions, but also offers a preventive approach and lifestyle path to optimal health. It includes the practice of yoga postures for specific body types, or doshas.

Becoming aware of ourselves and our place in the universe is the ultimate goal and foundation of both yoga and Ayurveda. To achieve self-realization, we cannot deny the role of the physical body or its relationship to our physical world. Most individuals find it very difficult to adhere to a yoga practice when the physical body is out of balance or in a state of chronic stress or disease. Ayurveda offers that balance.

Yoga postures were originally designed to help the body become more limber, so practitioners could sit for a period of time and be rewarded with the benefits of meditation. By implementing basic ayurvedic principles that prevent injury and focus on postures best suited for particular body types, individuals can sustain a yoga practice and enjoy its numerous health and fitness benefits.

Ayurveda, the “science of life,” is a lifestyle and philosophy that, when combined with yoga, focuses on being in sync with the rhythms of nature. By using the right combination of foods, spices and herbs, a dosha-specific daily routine, yoga asanas and bodywork, individuals will be empowered to correct imbalances in the body, in order to achieve optimal health.

To learn more about Ayurveda and yoga, contact Vickie Nickerson, Envision Personalized Health, 4760 Mission Gorge Place, Ste. E, San Diego 92120. Call 619 229-9695 or visit