WHY YOGA IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF AYURVEDA?

By: Dr.Maithri Hegde

Dr. Maithri Hegade | Ayurvedalya, Banasawadi

Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of natural as well as holistic medicine basically means “the science of life”. It was developed in India thousands of years ago and believed to have been passed on to the humans from the Gods themselves. Ayurveda is believed to provide humans with the knowledge of how to prevent disease along with how to eliminate its root cause if it does occur.

When we talk about Ayurveda, we often talk of Yoga along with it. Yes, Ayurveda and Yoga are both a part of the great Indian treasure house of Vedic knowledge. Being two separate aspects of wellness, Yoga is considered as an integral part of Ayurveda. One is the form of medicine and other is a form of exercise. Ayurveda goes back to the Atharva Veda and Rig Veda, while yoga originates in the Yajur Veda. Therefore, they both share the same roots and maintain the same for healing to be complete at different levels – physical, mental, spiritual, emotional and social.

An integral part of classical Ayurvedic medicine is the practice of yoga. It is advised to every person who is undergoing Ayurvedic treatments to practice Yoga as well as meditation, as it helps in isolating the mind from all the thoughts, stress, worries and anxieties. Both of them support that every living and non living being has five basic elements – earth, water, air, fire and ether, i.e. the Pancha Maha Bhoothas.
Ayurveda insists that within nature’s balance lies all the remedies that are required for good health. It uses the inherent principles of nature to help maintain a person’s health, by keeping his body, mind and spirit in perfect equilibrium with the nature. On the other hand, Yoga makes for the union for mind, body and soul also acts as a naturopathic healing tool. It paves its way for the best possible integration of physical, mental and spiritual forces of energy. Yoga includes a scope of certain postures or the ‘asanas’, breathing exercise or the ‘pranayama’ and then the meditation, which in all give way to perfect bliss.

Both, Ayurveda as well as Yoga encompass an understanding of how exactly the body works and the effects that medicines and food have on the body. In a treatment, both advocate the regular practices of meditation and pranayama along with the use of herbs, body purification process, food and recite the mantras for mental and physical health. The body purification processes are explained as ‘Satkriyas’ in yoga and ‘Panchakarma’ in Ayurveda.

So, next time when you are taking any ayurvedic treatment, make sure you give equal importance to the yoga exercises recommended by your doctor as only collectively they can ensure speedy and complete recovery.