Yoga and Ayurveda are two interrelated branches of the same great tree of Vedic knowledge that encompasses all of human life and the entire universe. In this regard, it is important to understand the respective roles of Ayurveda and Yoga in the Vedic system.
How can Ayurveda support your Yogic lifestyle? Perhaps you are just wandering into the world of Yoga, or perhaps you are deeply entrenched in Yoga. Wherever you are on the journey, Ayurveda has much to offer you.
As complimentary Vedic sciences, Ayurveda and Yoga originated from the same source and share a common history, language and cultural foundation. Integrating Ayurveda into your practice can bring about a greater sense of balance, harmony, self-awareness and health.
If you have a vata constitution, or imbalance, this article describes how you can customize your yoga practice to encourage the opposite qualities that naturally bring vata back into balance.
A yoga practice for a pitta individual should encourage compassion, acceptance, relaxed effort, and be cooling in nature. Pittas can cultivate this by following some basic guidelines.
A yoga practice for a kapha individual should be one creating space, stimulation, warmth, and buoyancy. Kaphas can cultivate this by following some basic guidelines.
Nadi Shodhana, also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing, is a powerful breathing practice with wide reaching benefits. Nadi is a Sanskrit word meaning "channel" or "flow" and shodhana means "purification." Therefore, nadi shodhana is primarily aimed at clearing and purifying the subtle channels of the mind-body organism, while balancing its masculine and feminine aspects.
Kapalabhati Pranayama, also known as Skull Shining Breath, is an energizing breathing practice that clears the lungs, the nasal passages, and the mind. In Sanskrit, Kapal means "cranium" or "forehead" and bhati means "light," ‘"perception," and "knowledge." Kapalabhati therefore brings lightness and clarity to the frontal region of the brain.
Full Yogic Breath is a deeply balancing pranayama (breathing exercise) that benefits vata, pitta, and kapha. It is sometimes known as three-part breath because it works with three different sections of the torso and naturally engages all three lobes of the lungs.
The pose described here is sometimes called “Roaring Lion Pose” and is known in Sanskrit as Simhagarjanasana. Simhasana is also known as “Lion Pose” and includes a quiet, meditative variation that does not involve extending the tongue, nor any vocalization.
So Hum Meditation has existed in India throughout the ages. It synchronizes the movement of the breath with the mantra that fits naturally into the inhalation (So) and exhalation (Hum). So is felt and said mentally during the whole phase of inhalation and Hum during the exhalation.
There are many meditation techniques, but Empty Bowl meditation is one that calms the mind, awakens kundalini shakti, and unfolds a blissful state of awareness.
Bhastrika Pranayama, also known as Bellows Breath, is a heating breathing practice that mimics fanning a fire with a steady flow of air. Bastrika is a Sanskrit word meaning "bellows," and it describes the active filling and emptying of the abdomen and lungs during this practice.
Bhramari Pranayama, also known as Humming Bee Breath, is a calming breathing practice that soothes the nervous system and helps to connect us with our truest inner nature. Bhramari is the Sanskrit word for "bee," and this pranayama is so named because of the humming sound produced at the back of the throat during the practice—like the gentle humming of a bee.
Ujjayi Pranayama, also known as the Breath of Victory, is a widely used pranayama in the yogic tradition. Ujjayi comes from the Sanskrit prefix ud, which means “bondage” or “binding” as well as “upward” and “expanding.” This prefix is combined with the root ji, which means “to conquer” or “acquire by conquest.” In other words, ujjayi pranayama is about obtaining freedom from bondage.
Sheetali Pranayama, also known as Cooling Breath, is a breathing practice that very effectively cools the body, the mind, and the emotions. Sheetali comes from the Sanskrit root sheet, which means ‘cold’ or ‘frigid’. Sheetal translates roughly as ‘that which is calm, passionless, and soothing’.