Photo taken at Sivananda Yoga & Ayurveda Ashram-Paris, France 2010
Ayurveda is a system of healing that is rooted in the ancient traditions of India. Ayurveda means “the science of life” and is known to be the oldest system of healing alive today. Dating back over five thousand years, it is a science that springs forth from the sages of the east and is uncompromising in its adherence to the cosmic rhythms of nature. It is rooted in India’s most ancient scriptures known as the Vedas. These scriptures give detailed information about healing, surgery, and longevity. Ayurveda is not only the ancient Indian science of preventative health and healing but also a philosophy of living. Rarely treating the symptoms, Ayurveda cures by removing the root of the disease. As we are now coming to know in the west: transgressions against Nature’s laws, against our own inner wisdom are the cause of all disease. To treat our entire nature, we must address all the component parts of a human being. Ayurveda is based on deep communication with the spirit of life itself, upon a profound understanding of the movement of the vital force and its vital manifestations within our entire psychophysical system. It implores physical rejuvenation, cleansing therapies, seasonal regimen, dietary recommendations, herbal therapy, psychological and spiritual therapies. Ayurveda believes we are an expression of living consciousness that is universal in nature, which is inherently wise and which has the power to balance and transform itself once its nature is understood. Reconnecting to life and its deeper rhythms is the gift that Ayurveda offers.
My training, study and personal experience with Ayurveda has led me back to the roots of this vast and profound system of healing. Contained there is a vast array of therapies, modalities, herbal substances and spiritual wisdom that are rooted in Nature, making Ayurveda a very adaptable system that is able to evolve to suit the times in which we will bringing a profound support for health and healing not bound by culture or history. As a part of my own personal work of healing and conscious growth, I've come to recognize that we must include the body, psyche and spiritual essence, bringing each to a greater level of integration within ourselves. I strongly feel that unless we begin to engage the heart of the whole person, we will be limited in how much growth or healing can occur. There is a strong need for support on multiple levels for the individual, so that the sense of disconnection and fragmentation may be reintegrated, opening to a larger sense of Self and to the abundance of health and potential that can flow through.
Hatha yoga (the aspect of yoga that involves primarily the physical postures) has become the most known worldwide. It is a system of movement through which various postures, movement sequences, breathing techniques and meditation are emplored. By moving the body through various pathways, we are stretching and strengthening the physical body as well as opening the subtle channels of the body and the mind. In addition to the physical aspect of yoga, authentic and complete yogic practice includes the practice of meditation, mantra, breath techniques all aimed at Self-realization.
Yoga and Ayurveda-integral to one another
Yoga and Ayurveda originated together as part of the greater system of Vedic Science that is passed down from the ancient rishis of the Himalayas. These sciences are a part of a whole paradigm and are integral to one another. The meditative aspects of Yoga make up the spiritual aspect of Ayurveda, while Ayurvedic diet, herbs, and lifestyle make up the practical side of Yogic Spirituality. Yogic movements, breathing techniques, and meditation may be prescribed alongside Ayurvedic health regimens, herbal therapy and other body treatments for one’s unique constitution. Traditionally, the sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda have been practiced together to support the unfolding of each individual’s healing and knowledge of ultimate Truth.
Both Yoga and Ayurveda advocate the use of diet, herbs, exercise, mantra, and meditation for physical and mental health.