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The Benefits of Yoga + Ayurveda By: Bethany Gadbois, RYT500, RPYT, Ayurvedic Practitioner

Yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences of India that can be traced back 5,000 years. Yoga joins the mind+body and Ayurveda is India’s Traditional System of Ancient Medicine that treats symptoms by root cause analysis of illness and disease. Yoga can be viewed as movement as medicine and Ayurveda as food as medicine.

There are many ways to get in touch with a healthier way of living. With our rat race way of working, double income standards, and on the go lifestyles, chronic stress is a household disorder. It's not always easy to create time for balance in our lives, however it is vital to our health and happiness.

It’s becoming more mainstream knowledge that the culmination of environment, genetics, nutrition, and lifestyle choices contribute to the state of your health and how you age. Whether you follow popular fad diets or utilize professional guidance, we are all seeking sustainable, long term health. We may observe how something works for someone and try it, finding it does not have the same or lasting effect and we wonder why. This is where Yoga + Ayurveda come in with their powerful healing potency and purposeful way of living.

 


Yoga, Yog, Yuji

From the Sanskrit word “yuji,” yoga means to yoke or unite. Yoga is an ancient practice that bridges the mind+body. Beyond physical poses, yoga teaches breathing exercises and meditation, alongside mindful living and eating to encourage health, wellbeing, relaxation, and stress reduction.

Yoga is the one thing that finally worked for me. I was never a workout or gym person, so when yoga became more prominent in my life, it made sense and stuck. Some people feel the same way I do about yoga as they do about weight lifting or mountain climbing. This is THE thing. Find your thing and do it for better health and state of mind. For me, it started out with handstands and then asanas leading into the meditative and internal growth practices that naturally arise with a yoga practice.

Once you begin a consistent workout practice, it can lead to an internal workout. Inner work inevitably heals you on many levels. Yoga is the practice of layers. Working on the physical begins to reveal your authentic self to live a life closer to what you are truly aligned with.

When you are aligned with yourself from the inside, it begins to reflect on the outside; from the inside out. This can lead to health of a sublime degree. Doing yoga for physical reasons alone can benefit you greatly by improving flexibility, mobility, strength, and endurance. Moreover, known as a practice of the spine, yoga inherently heals on a nervous system level. The positive impacts of breathwork, heart rate variability, and vagus nerve function are just some of the modern cutting edge research of the many advantages of yoga.

 

 

Ayur, Veda

Ayurveda is derived from the Sanskrit words Ayur (life) and Veda (science or knowledge). This translates to knowledge of life, which I recognize as an innate part of each of us. If we go outside, connect to nature and really tune in, we are in touch with this knowledge. Universal law, that which doesn’t require a label or definition- simply a knowing. This begins to scratch the surface of the depth Yoga + Ayurveda can go for each person.

For those new to Ayurveda, it is essentially holistic health, true self-healing. Comparable to Chinese Medicine, Homeopathy, and Naturopathic/Functional medicine, Ayurveda focuses on optimal digestion and nutrition for each person’s needs. It is not intended to be one size fits all and synthetic medication or surgery are only used as a last resort. Viewed as nature's medicine, Ayurveda assesses the whole person and their constitutional body type to determine what is needed in order to thrive and bring support through life circumstances.

In Ayurveda, alike yoga, we look at the layers that may have brought on a condition or a person to where they are. We essentially “peel back the onion” to reverse what has occurred to return to a time where there was homeostasis. Again, this can be found in multiple ways for any seeking a healthier lifestyle. Eating healthier looks different person to person and in Ayurveda, season to season. If we were living off the land, we would intake food and drink accessible to us. We would only consume what grows around where we live. This is different from eating what is available in a grocery store exported from other geographical locations and eating the same way all year round. How Ayurveda treats food as medicine is on an individual basis taking into consideration each person's symptoms, current lifestyle, and future goals. Specific yoga poses and practices are recommended to support the nervous system in achieving new health goals while undergoing potentially challenging changes.

Much of what we struggle with in life comes down to two things. How we digest both the food that we eat and the life experiences that we go through. If we struggle to digest foods that haven’t been in our ancestral lineage or geographical location and perpetuate an inflammatory lifestyle of stress, it will begin to show up as digestion, elimination, and mind issues. Likewise, if we struggle to digest the things that have occurred in our lives or the way our work, family, and relationships influence us, our health will suffer. Our bodies work hard to protect us and achieve homeostasis on a daily basis with these factors at play. Ayurveda can help bring healing balance into your life using effective practices to support routine, nutrition, hydration, movement, and more. Practices such as warm, nourishing cooked foods, self oil massage, breathing exercises, and herbal supplementation are just some of what may be recommended in an Ayurvedic consultation.


Benefits + Results

The benefits of yoga span from purely physical improvements to even healing trauma. There are numerous publications readily available that outline the benefits of Yoga + Ayurveda when practiced together, which is the original intent. From my studies and personal experience, yoga helped me begin a healthy relationship with my body, expanding into improving my overall health, nutrition, mentality, and relationships. I was able to heal long term chronic issues with Ayurveda that no other Western methodology could help. From this perspective, when you begin to eat healthier and live more holistically, a shift takes place as you evaluate what to consume in all areas of your life. Once you introduce these wholesome, simple life practices, you begin to see results in a matter of time. Nothing truly worth trying is a quick fix. You need to make an effort and put time in, but with consistency you can begin to see results in your health in as soon as 3 weeks. Depending on how long a chronic issue has been present, requires dedicated time to turn it around with appropriate lifestyle changes. Yoga + Ayurveda can support these changes in a simple, profound, and realistic way.





Her link in bio has some great resources for you!


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