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What is ayurveda? And why does it matter to yogis?

If you've been practicing with me long enough, you've heard me talk about Ayurveda and how it deeply influences my approach to teaching yoga. I've come to understand Ayurveda as a sister science to yoga, its complement. It was established by Patanajali, the same founder of the yoga sutras. Yoga supports the ayurvedic way and vice-versa.

I really enjoyed how Lanka Princess blog expressed this, " They both originate from the same “Veda”, the same knowledge or science. It is the science of life or longevity, which teaches about the power and the cycles of nature, as well as the elements and how our life will be happy, healthy and peaceful if we live according to these rules of nature. Ayurveda takes care of your physical and mental well-being, Yoga about the mental and spiritual one. At the same time it promotes a strong, healthy and flexible body. Ancient documents state that “the foundation of Yoga should be Ayurveda and the fruit of Ayurveda should be Yoga.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov

So for yogis, an understanding of Ayurveda allows us to have a deeper and more meaningful experience in our practice. I feel like it's the thread that ties the practice together and makes it whole and complete.

She goes on to say, "They compliment each other on the way to become a complete individuum. The old Indian Samkya philiosophy teaches the concepts of Gunas (the 3 original qualities) and the Doshas (our 3 bio-energies). The 3 Gunas (Rajas, Tamas and Sattva) represent a certain state of body and mind. The 3 Doshas represent the combination of the 5 elements in our body and thus define our physical and mental constitution."

You may have noticed that I've been offering series based on the elements, and other subtle ways to incorporate Ayurveda into our practice. Most of my private clients have taken a Dosha quiz so I can better adapt their practices to their personal needs. I've enjoyed this blossoming of my teaching style and look forward to offering more yoga and Ayurvedic offerings in the coming year.

I know sometimes all the Sanskrit words can be a bit intimidating, but trust me when I say these practices are really simple and accessible. Join me for a private session, workshop or retreat to dive deeper into these topics and unpack them in an easy to digest way!


Credit to Lanka Princess for her valuable words shared in this blog.

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