WHAT IS AYURVEDA?
Ayurveda is an Indian-rooted holistic health and wellness system. It is comprehensive- recognizing that the well-being of the spirit, mind and soul play an equally important role. It is customized - embracing individual differences. It recognizes that our bodies and minds are made up of 5 elements: ether (space), air, fire, water and earth. The elements manifest themselves in 3 mind-body constitutions (doshas): Vata (ether and air), Pitta (fire and water) and Kapha (earth and water). Each person is born with a unique proportion of these elements. When we consciously and intentionally adopt daily practices and seasonal routines (dietary and otherwise) that sustain this unique proportion, we are optimizing our overall health. When we engage in behavior that increases or decreases certain elements, our bodies and minds may become imbalanced. Over time and if left unchecked, the imbalances travel deeper and may lead to more serious health complications or disease. Ayurveda provides guidance on how to maintain our natural state of balance and as well as correcting imbalances so as to prevent disease down the road. More beautifully, however, Ayurveda also offers important insight on how to achieve optimal emotional, mental, spiritual and body states. In that way, good health is not just defined of not having disease, but rather encompasses so much more.
CONSCIOUS & INTENTIONAL BREATHING
Conscious and intentional breathing provides effective nourishment to our bodies. With each deep inhale, we have the potential to increase the amount of oxygen that is reaching our body’s tissues and organs. With each deep exhale, we have the potential to increase the amount of carbon dioxide that is being expelled from our body. Unfortunately, when we breathe normally, we are not taking deep breaths, but rather shallow breaths. During normal breathing, we are only inhaling and exhaling 1/8th the amount of oxygen than when breathing deeply. By consciously and intentionally controlling our breath, we can optimize the amount of oxygen reaching our body’s tissues and organs thereby providing vital nourishment to our bodies.
What is the Relationship Between Yoga Postures, Breathing Exercises, and Meditation?
From a Vedic perspective, asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation are interconnected. The asanas help center the body and bring you inward. The breathing exercises help to slow the mind by slowing the breath. In that way, it is a progression - starting with asanas, then pranayama and ending with meditation.
Ayurveda’s Application to All
Although Ayurveda and Yoga have its origins in the Hindu Vedic texts, this wisdom can benefit all - regardless of your religious or spiritual affiliations or beliefs. Yoga & Ayurveda provides valuable insight into living a healthy and fulfilling life that is nourishing and balancing to our many bodies - the physical, energetic, mental, intellectual and bliss. It will empower you to reconnect with these many bodies in an intuitive and organic way.