The word Sanskrit Yoga means union integration. By practicing Yoga regularly and correctly, you close a link between your body, mind, emotions, and spirit (your highest level of consciousness).Ayurveda Yoga.
As a result, you achieve a strong, flexible, purified, and healthy body; a beautiful posture; a clear mind; a calm and loving heart; developed spirituality; external and internal balance; self-knowledge.
If the benefits are so many and so promising for everyone, the combination of Yoga and Ayurveda comes to enhance this integration further. Happiness, well-being, and vitality become even more accessible. When you integrate, you defragment.
The man in the modern world suffers and becomes ill because he lives “in pieces” in the noisy routine of life. The disunity of all aspects of life is the cause of all suffering.
Some masters come to define Yoga as the spiritual aspect of Ayurveda, and Ayurveda as the therapeutic aspect of Ayurveda Yoga, so deep the existing connection.
From Ayurveda, each individual is unique and has a potential for self-healing. It focuses on treatment taking into account respect for that individuality, which generates particular needs for each being. The patient receives guidance on the use of the most appropriate herbs, diet, routine and lifestyle, meditation, thermal protection, etc.
Now, looking at it this way, if each person has their biological mood (Dosha) that permeates and determines them all the time, why is that not observed in the practice of Yoga as well?
And, as Ayurveda Yoga also has instruments to work on self-knowledge and to eliminate the practitioner’s dysfunctions caused by the imbalance of Doshas, the adequacy of integrating the two approaches in achieving physical and mental balance is evident. The result is far more efficient practices on the path to well-being and healing.
How would that look in practice?
- PITTA patient: you will benefit from a therapeutic practice with introspective asanas, refreshing pranayama, Sweet, Heart-Melting Singing of Sacred Mantras, can calm but a dynamic class command.
- VATA patient: you will benefit from a gentle practice, balancing asanas, harmony-generating pranayama, mantras chanted sweetly and softly, quiet class command, low tone of voice.
- KAPHA patient: you will benefit from a more vigorous practice, with revitalizing asanas, energizing pranayama, firmly intoned blankets, stimulating class command, a well-punctuated tone of voice.
Yogic practice from an Ayurveda perspective opens up a new dimension not only in the field of health but also in the understanding of behavior from an energetic and emotional point of view.
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In this way, deep connections can be rescued, freeing all suffering, including physical (diseases). Diseases have emotional roots, as they are messengers of what the inner being has generated for itself.
As Ayurveda Yoga classes are recent among us, they still occur only in individual sessions, usually at the patient’s residence, twice a week. But this limiting factor ends up resulting in an asset since the teacher starts to visit the student’s home, strengthening ties, offering support, knowing a little about the person’s routine and domestic habits, allowing feedback to the doctor, who in general is only with the patient once a month.
The patient’s focus, which falls on that professional and often generates an anxious dependence on his cure, ends up being diluted when divided with the instructor, with whom he has more constant contact. And with the coexistence, there is an increase in persuasion about changing habits and observing treatment recommendations. Ayurveda Yoga.
There is no way not to perceive Yoga and Ayurveda as allies that complement each other, acting as pillars that together give support towards the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual fullness of the human being.
Ayurveda Yoga And The Mind
Ayurveda’s practice and philosophy are useful not only to restore balance to the body but also to the spirit. Just as we can identify our predominant doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) and cultivate habits consistent with our needs, we must recognize our mental patterns, which will determine how we perceive and respond to external stimuli.
Such patterns are called Gunas and would represent our mental tendencies: Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas. A mind with a predominance of Sattva, the principle of contentment, peace, and harmony, is purer, more positive, and joyful. It is typical of sensitive and perceptive people. The predominance of Rajas, the principle of energy, generates movement, change, emotion, and imbalance.
A person with a Rajasic mind is usually irritable, passionate, agitated, and dominating. Tamas is the principle of inertia; in excess in mind generates people who are rigid, depressive, and resistant to change.
These three energies coexist within us, and we must recognize them to be able to preserve their balance. To live harmoniously, Sattva must be predominant, with hints of Rajas and Tamas that bring movement and rest in the right measure.
Ayurveda teaches that we are responsible for our health and how to be selective about food, thoughts, and actions. Breathing techniques, asanas, and meditation are some of the resources of this ancient Indian health system that help us to balance the Gunas and to live more pleasantly and fully, calmer and integrated with our nature. Ayurveda Yoga.
Benefits Of Ayurveda Yoga In Old Age
Ayurveda Yoga and the Elderly
According to Ayurveda, from the age of 60 onwards, there will be an influence of Vata energy in our body, causing the elements of Air and Ether to predominate over others.
This influence can generate imbalances, which will manifest themselves through various signs and symptoms such as insomnia, cold sensation, irregular digestion, constipation, joint pain, dry skin and mucous membranes, weak memory, etc.
Vata generates irregularity, instability, the excess of Vata, so prevalent in the elderly, can be combated with a dietary correction and the adoption of a new routine of habits that will generate more balance and, consequently, health.
Ayurveda’s recommendations for this age group aim to avoid the excessive accumulation of “ama,” a Sanskrit word for toxins, and rejuvenation (Rasayana). Rejuvenating for Ayurveda means slowing down aging, restoring body functions and stimulating cell and tissue renewal
Nutritious, hot, and humid food (to combat the lightness, cold, and dryness brought by Vata), giving priority to the sweet, salty, and astringent flavors. A diet based on fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and dairy products (without exaggeration) brings vitality and integrity to the body-mind.
Avoid canned, frozen, or reheated foods whenever possible. They all have one thing in common: lack of vital energy. Between the last meal and bedtime, a space of at least 3 hours should be allowed to ensure restorative sleep. Meals should always be at the same time, in an atmosphere of tranquility. Particular attention must be paid to drinking fluids – mainly water – to reduce dryness.
For a healthy mind, some Ayurveda tips: regular intake of seeds, such as nuts and almonds, of medicinal plants, such as turmeric (Curcuma longa), and moderate use of ghee, clarified butter. Doing a detox with each change of season is an Ayurveda recommendation to ensure good health over the years.
Learn to control stress and increase energy with Abhyanga
Self-massage with medicinal oils – Abhyanga – is one of the best ways to control Vata at this stage of life: in addition to the countless benefits of this practice, which acts on all body systems, it brings freshness and shine, making it more robust. Foot massage before bed reduces anxiety and deepens sleep.
The most suitable oil for massage is sesame, traditionally used in India. Still, there are other options on the market that different mix oils, such as olive, sesame, and wheat germ, with essential oils, such as Ylang-ylang, geranium, and lavender.
Avoid spending many hours in front of the TV, which ultimately dulls the thought; you must train your brain to keep it healthy – memory game, card games, reading, crosswords, drawing, painting … simple things that stimulate memory,
Above all, positive thinking and self-esteem must be cultivated.
The modern world, especially our western side, is dominated by a youth culture, which makes us feel worse and worse as we get older. However, in the Vedic tradition, as in all traditional societies, older people are considered to be guardians of the family, of the community, share their experiences and advise young people: this is the healthy social reality.
The aging of the body is part of life, and we will all get there; what doesn’t seem very natural to me is social aging, which harms the health of these people.
The elderly should not isolate themselves with thoughts such as “I don’t want to be a job,” “I don’t want to be a nuisance.” It should not be confused with living alone.
An older person may well live alone but not be isolated; she interacts with her family, makes friends, lives the present moment with joy. On the other hand, there are older adults surrounded by people all the time, who are nevertheless actual islands.
To be healthy, you need discipline; this is true at any age, it is an illusion to believe that you can get fit by taking a magic pill that you can buy at the pharmacy. Not. At each stage of our life, we need to take stock, a self-analysis.
Ayurveda’s differential is precisely there, because it puts in our hands the responsibility for our health, and not the doctor or the psychologist or the therapist. In the Third Age, we can think about changing a bad habit for a healthier one; why not? This crystallized thought that “now is too late” is what imprisons our being complete.
We must always remember that real youth is in our mind; it is in the way we perceive and react to things in the intensity with which we live in the moment. A light and unbiased mind is a free mind, and this is how we should be so as not to be hostage to the circumstances around us. Seniors can be the best time of our lives if we know how to appreciate their true beauty.