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What is Ayurveda? And how it relates to Yoga?

What is Ayurveda? | Ana Heart Blog

What is Ayurveda? | Ana Heart Blog

How Yoga and Ayurvedic Healing Work Together

Originating in India thousands of years ago, Yoga and Ayurveda are two separate but connected self-healing practices that, when brought together, give way for better health in mind and body. Adopting both practices in conjunction allow you to open your mind spiritually and be at one with nature, with the aim to reach a higher level of consciousness and, consequently, contentedness.

Throughout history, Yoga and Ayurveda have developed together and continuously, repeatedly influencing one another. Both practices are essential in Vedic methods as a means to unlocking an understanding of a single universe by achieving self-realisation, as well as enabling the body to self-heal both physically and mentally while acting as an illness prevention technique, too.

What is Yoga?

An incredibly popular practice all over the world that you’re more than likely familiar with, Yoga is a physical and spiritual practice that brings together meditation and physicality, teaching us how to be at one with ourselves while developing a better awareness and understanding of the world around us in movement and through breathing. One of the most popular forms of Yoga is Hatha Yoga, which uses movement as a way of enhancing awareness of the body for better health.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is one of the most powerful mind-body health systems, based on the principles that the mind and body are connected and that the mind, therefore, has the power to heal the body. Ayurveda can free the body of illness by bringing balance to the body, and it’s energy. An excellent example of Ayurveda at work is during meditation. When meditating, the body is relaxed and in a state of enhanced awareness which, in turn, slows your heart rate. By reducing stress and lowering your heart rate, you are telling your body that you are content which leads to a reduction in the production of stress hormones such as adrenaline, and an increase in active hormones that enhance health and happiness, including serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.

How Yoga and Ayurveda Work Together to Heal

Ayurvedic healing is a larger body of practices and yoga is one of the practices within it – the key principle is to relax the body and open your mind as a means to reduce stress, and yoga is a fantastic way to achieve that. If you’re looking to adopt Ayurveda practices in your lifestyle, begin with yoga or meditation, or combine both, a few times a week to help your mind and body relax.

Before you begin your yoga routine, discover your dosha for a unique, personalised programme. Doshas are the energies that circulate in the body; however, the amount of each energy in your body differ depending on both your physicality and mentality and how in-balance you are.

What are the Three Doshas?

 

The key to wellness is to ensure your body’s energies are balanced, which means finding your dosha and balancing your energy using different yoga methods. The three doshas are:

 

  • Vata – If you have fast reactions, are creative and enjoy physical activity, it’s likely you’re a Vata. If you feel unbalanced, try slow and steady ‘grounding’ postures, such as spinal twists, to help relax the body through a combination of calm breathing and stillness.

 

  • Pitta – If you are a passionate, enthusiastic, and courageous person experiencing bouts of anger or inflammation, it’s likely you’re a Pitta and unbalanced. In which case, try ‘cooling’ postures that release tension such as forward bends, also known as ‘heart-openers’.

 

  • Kapha – Kapha’s are robust and devoted, and signs of imbalance include congestion, procrastination, and a lack of drive. If you are an out of balance Kapha, try stimulating movements such as Sun Salutation and rapid breathing to better enthusiasm and focus.

Whichever dosha you are, strive to balance your body through yoga.

 

How to better Ayurvedic Healing

Ayurveda isn’t just about meditation. To truly embody Ayurvedic healing practices, it’s important you carry through the relaxation, spirituality, and positivity attained through yoga to other areas of your life for a thorough wellness programme that will ensure excellent health and healing.

Just a handful of ways you can better Ayurvedic healing include:

 

Eat a nutritious, vibrant diet

A balanced Ayurvedic diet means including the six Ayurvedic tastes in every meal, including sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent, which ensures all the key food groups are present and, therefore, your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs. We also recommend you create vibrant, flavourful platefuls of food as foods that are rich in colour, such as beetroot, tomatoes and bell peppers, cucumber, oranges and grapefruit, for instance, are also rich in antioxidants which help to boost your body’s immunity to illness and enhance overall health.

Get enough sleep

It is during sleep that our body refreshes itself which means a lack of sleep can be detrimental to the healing process. As you may have experienced, lack of sleep will leave you feeling run down and groggy and will reduce your immunity. We recommend you have at least eight hours of sleep a night, however, a minimum of six hours will suffice. A restful sleep is a natural sleep, which means not relying on medicine – if you struggle to get to sleep, drink a warm, caffeine-free drink around an hour before bed and instead of staring at your phone screen or television, read a book.

Exercise while embracing nature

Regular exercise is, of course, essential to good health; however, it’s also important to connect with nature rather than being cooped up in a sweaty gym. To make the most of your exercise routine, run outdoors or partake in a weekly exercise class in a park near you – more outdoor exercise classes are popping up, especially in cities, so there’s never one too far away. By exercising outdoors, you’re keeping fit while making sure your body is in-tune with nature, keeping your senses sharp and your emotional and physical wellbeing balanced and healthy.

To ensure optimal physical and mental health, combine both yoga and Ayurvedic principles. In a short amount of time, you will notice a huge difference to not only your outlook on life and the world but also your mental and physical wellbeing – you’ll feel confident and eager to enjoy life.

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