Although yoga from Buddhist practices is common nowadays, Ayurveda yoga may be unfamiliar workout territory to the non-yogi. As it turns out, Ayurveda is a mind-and-body philosophy that precedes the origins of Buddhist yoga. Often considered a sister science to yoga, Ayurveda contains the same traditions of healing mind and body to promote overall relaxation. Yet Ayurveda yoga has several untapped health advantages that can prove beneficial to your mind and body.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda’s main focus is on categorizing everything around us into natural, basic elements. This means our minds, bodies, food, energy and interactions are broken down to five basic elements: Earth, water, fire, air and ether.
Every individual has a unique combination of these elements in his/her body and mind, which is a preset personality or “dosha” that remains unchanged throughout life. These combinations are often in imbalance, where someone might have more fire in their disposition than another. Ayurveda seeks to bring everything into balance through the essential principle of “like increases like,” to apply opposite qualities to bring yourself to the center.
How to balance mind and body
To reach the ideal balance of mind and body, try practicing Ayurveda yoga. The first tenet of Ayurveda yoga highlights timing, which makes early rising essential. Because the last phase of our biological clock is from 2 to 6pm, it is considered the period of vata or movement, which lets our bodies rest. Your mind then seeks to dream, maintaining a connection between your slumber and mental processes. Ayurveda yoga wants you to stay in sync with nature, so it’s best to rise before the sun, where there is natural movement in the atmosphere after a well-rested sleep.
Take in the morning peacefully while cupping your hands in front of your heart. This gives you an intention for the day, while also affirming that power of wisdom and love are yours to control. It’s also important to focus on your breathing and posture when practicing yoga poses to incorporate Ayurveda thinking. Stand up straight and rotate your arms in a circular motion from front to back while breathing deeply. This will help promote movement in the ether space and induce relaxation. Moreover, practitioners often use tongue scrapers to cleanse the body of toxins, which is worth considering.
Ayurveda concentrates its focus in the realms of mind and body, while also adding in taste and human interactions as contributing factors. To integrate Ayurveda into your everyday routine, try practicing its principles of timeliness, breathing and posture with relaxed yoga poses. While definitely different from your usual routine, Ayurveda can actually lead you out of your comfort zone and help relax you for a fulfilling workout.
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