Yoga and Ayurveda are often referred to as sister sciences. Both systems have their origins in Vedic knowledge and these two disciplines work together in harmony to bring about health and healing to all levels of our being.
Yoga is the Science of Self-realization and is concerned with spiritual practice. Yoga emphasizes the importance of meditation as an aid to move beyond the mundane existence of daily living where we are subject to the conditions of the world and experience the effects of pain and sorrow. According to yoga all things in life are of a temporary nature, life itself is not a permanent condition, therefore humans are subject to the ever changing quality of life and find it difficult if not impossible to maintain a permanent sense of peace and happiness that is constant and unchanging. Ultimately, all human beings want experience this permanent state peace and happiness as this is the nature of our true “Self”.
Yoga therefore teaches us how to move away from the external world and the ego identity (I-ness) to the inner world of the spirit or the Self that dwells within the heart of all humans. The goal of all spiritual practice is to uncover the true nature of our reality, (the Self) only then can we hope to find permanent joy and happiness.
The question we must ask ourselves is “who am I”? Who is this spirit within me that ignites the power to see the world outside? To hear, to move, to feel! Who is this spirit within me who seems ageless, timeless, never changing? “Who am I?
The goal of all yogic meditation to inquire about the Self, and to realize that there is a far greater reality than what our worldly consciousness allows us to perceive. Life is a journey, a mystery, we may assume that life will go on in the same manner tomorrow as it did today it may or it may not, we can only hope and assume, we cannot be certain. Likewise we can assume that “I am this body, with this personality”, when in fact we are so much more than this.. Yoga encourages us to take the journey inward to find out the truth of who we really are, only then can we hope to find true peace and happiness.
The purpose of the yoga asanas is to prepare the body so it will be strong and healthy. The pranayama practices aim to purify the mind, bringing it into a state of stillness in preparation for meditation. The word yoga means “union” it is the union of the body, breath and mind in the first instance that induces the meditative state, preparing the practitioner to embark on the journey towards Self-Realization.
Ayurveda is the science of Self-healing, it is a science aimed at preventing and relieving the disease processes of the body and the mind. Classical Ayurveda is also concerned with restoring wholeness with our inner Self through Self-Realization as it views this type of healing to be the ultimate goal of all healing.
Ayurveda’s prime concern is in alleviating bodily and mental diseases and promoting physical and psychological wellbeing. Ayurvedic healing methods show us how to attain optimum health not merely for worldly enjoyment but to provide a healthy foundation and sufficient energy to undertake the spiritual quest.
From what we have observed so far we can conclude that to return to wholeness we must first heal ourselves at the deepest levels of our being and this can only be done through connecting to our source,
our true “Self”.
Yoga brings about transformation and Ayurveda is the healing power. These two disciplines working together in harmony give us the ability to return to a radiant state of health and wellbeing at the physical mental, emotional and spiritual levels of our being with extraordinary levels of vitality and creativity. The physical side of Ayurvedic healing through the use of diet and herbs is only a small part of the system. Ayurvedic healing methods place much emphasis on the healing of the subtle body and the mind through the application of yogic techniques.
All yoga therapists, yoga teachers and serious students of yoga should enhance their knowledge with the principles of Ayurveda to gain a broader understanding of how these two systems are interrelated and dependent on each other to achieve maximum healing potential. All traditional yoga deals with the spiritual side of life and Ayurveda deals with both the physical and mental diseases as well as the providing us with the knowledge of how to establish healthy lifestyle regimes.
Ayurveda is a system of the study of nature and the laws that govern the harmony of all nature. If we choose to ignore these laws, then imbalances will begin to appear. These imbalances result in disharmony and in the manifestation of disease in the body and the mind. Through the understanding of Ayurveda, everything is expressed as energy. This is the basic foundation and belief of Ayurveda. The elements that we refer to are:
Ether (space or consciousness)
Water (universal solvent)
Earth (structure and form)
All of these elements are present in each of us and in nature. Nature is constantly seeking balance, and we are a part of that nature so it is inherent in us also to seek balance. Ayurveda presents us with the idea that we are able to bring ourselves back into balance so we can consciously work with these energies when we begin to lose our sense of balance and harmony. This system of medicine understands our deepest connections with the whole universe and the influences of the energies that make up the universe.
A person should resort to Yoga, which is the fruit of the Wish-Granting Tree. The Yogi destroys diseases by the postures, Karmas by breath control, and mental disturbances by withdrawal of the senses from the external world.
A Yogi in the highest state of Samadhi is not affected by time or any other action.