Ayurveda (the wisdom of life) & yoga (derived from the word “Yuj,” meaning to unite) are sister sciences that share the same philosophical basis of the ancient scriptures of the Vedas.
Yoga cultivates the physical-mental-spiritual link, which is a reinforcing practice that serves to encourage non-violence and oneness. This is the foundation of clear consciousness and balanced health, our essential nature and higher goal.
Ayurveda is a complete and universal science of life. Within this vast body of knowledge is the health science that we simply refer to as ‘Ayurvedic Medicine’. This is a unified science whose field of application joins ancient philosophy with psychology and physics—where spirit meets the senses and the mind meets matter. As a result, it can support all levels of health for the individual, naturally.
We can observe a close and integrated relationship between Ayurveda and yoga through classical periodic texts. The classical yoga period is defined by the Yoga Sutras, composed by Patañjali and the classical Ayurveda period is defined by the Samithas composed by Charaka and Sushruta.
The Yoga Sutras (words of wisdom) expound the practice of yoga into an eight-limbed path of self-transcendence. Similarly, the four volumes of the Charaka Samitha expound the practice of Ayurveda in eight limbs.
Charaka, Sushruta and Patañjali all believed that every individual is composed of Prakrti (matter) and Purusha (spirit) and that the goal of yoga is to free the spirit from the material world and the intention of Ayurveda is to attain optimum health & longevity.
In the Vedic cosmic philosophy, a human is considered a “small universe” or microcosm within the larger universe or macrocosm. This human microcosm continually divides into smaller and smaller worlds. The organs become a “small world” in the human body and similarly the cell is a “small world” in the general composition of the organs. This is a reflection and symbol of a universe within a universe, or a world within a world, and is the journey between consciousness and matter.
Ayurveda-Yoga is the process of understanding the world within us and outside of us. When practices are implemented in alignment with the wisdom of life “Ayurveda” and an individual routine or “Sadhana” is implemented in accordance with yoga, the state of balance and oneness can be attained both inside of us and outside of us.
Ayurveda-Yoga is not another style of practicing yoga.
It is a practice of honouring…
- All classical styles/forms of yoga;
- Individual unique constitutions (prakriti) in cohesiveness of the current state of wellbeing, time of the day, time of the year and location.
Unlike the term “one-size-fits-all”, one yoga style does not fit all human beings or all constitutions.
Ayurveda-Yoga mindfully examines the prakriti (your unique constitution) and the current state of health and well-being for the pure purpose of providing an integrated Ayurvedic approach between lifestyle, diet, self-care and appropriate yoga practices– inclusive of the yamas and niyamas.
Ismat Dhala Nathani, Doctorate of Natural Medicine (Canada), MSc Integrative Medicine (UK), Bachelors of Naturopathic and Yogic Sciences (India)