Ayurveda is the healing side of yoga, and yoga is the spiritual tradition from which Ayurveda emerged. Through yoga one prepares the body and mind for self-realization or union with the Divine. Through Ayurveda one supports the spiritual journey by maintaining body and mind in a state of balance and well-being. The paths of yoga and Ayurveda are so closely intertwined that it is hard to imagine traveling down one without knowledge of the other. Using the wisdom of Ayurveda, a yoga practitioner can choose asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing practices) and mantra (sacred sounds) specific to his or her unique constitution in order to maintain health. The Ayurvedic practitioner prescribes specific practices to prevent illness and assist the healing process.
More about ayurveda
Ayurveda means "science of life" and combines natural therapies with a unique system that allows the doctor to match the treatment to the persons body type.
Ayurvedic doctors are trained to look for certain physical and emotional traits in a patient to help determine their body type, also known as doshas. The patients dosha helps the doctor predict what diseases a person may tend to get. Each body type will also thrive on a different diet, type of exercise, and lifestyle.
Most people cannot be classified as a single dosha, but they are a mixture of doshas with one dosha usually more important. The three body types are vata, pitta, and kapha. These three classes help the ayurvedic doctor understand the patients weaknesses and strengths.
The vata body type is slender, with large joints and veins and cool dry skin. Vatas tend to have sleep problems, premenstrual syndrome, and constipation. The vata type has a quick mind, a strong imagination, and easily starts projects but has a hard time finishing them. They can be unpredictable, moody, and are often anxious.
The pitta body type is more predictable than vata. Pittas usually have an average build and more constant energy. Pitta types need regular meals and adequate sleep each night. They are quick, smart, and very active. Pittas tend to have problems with acne and their stomach.
The kapha body type is relaxed. Kaphas are solid, heavy, and strong. Everything a kapha does is slow. Kapha types have slow digestion, and are slow to act, slow to eat, and slow to anger. They sleep long and deep. A kapha type tends to be stubborn and likes to put off jobs till the last minute. Kaphas have trouble with high cholesterol, weight problems, allergies, and sinus problems.
After a doctor has decided a persons healthy body type, they can choose the proper treatment for the persons illness. Ayurvedic doctors can offer a treatment that includes diet, exercise, meditation, herbs, massage, and breathing exercises.
Ayurveda is good for the prevention of disease and helps with many chronic conditions such as poor immune function, arthritis, ulcers, high blood pressure, and digestive problems. Some studies have proven the effectiveness of the commonly used Ayurvedic herbal remedies and more research is underway.
For more information
American School of Ayurvedic Sciences (206) 453-8022.
The College of Maharishi Ayur-Veda Health Center (515) 472-5866.
Sharp Institute for Human Potential (800) 82-SHARP.
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