Yoga and AyurvedaKnown as “The Science of Life,” Ayurveda is an ancient healing system originating in India more than 5,000 years ago. It utilizes diet, lifestyle, and herbal medicine to help realign our bodies back into harmony.
The word Yoga actually means ‘to join’ or ‘unite’. Patanjali, the father of the ‘Yoga Sutras’, defined Yoga as "the stilling of the modifications of the mind”. Ultimately this means that which brings you to reality – the reality of being in union with our inner Self. Nowadays the word Yoga is commonly understood to mean ‘Yoga Asanas (exercises)’; so from this perspective, this practice is part of the process that helps align one’s vital life force energy (prana) to manage life’s daily stressors and ultimately reach a state of complete peace or enlightenment.
When talking about Yoga below, we are looking at the more common interpretation of Yoga ‘exercises’.
How Do Yoga and Ayurveda Work Together?According to Ayurveda, there are three distinct seasons, late winter/spring (kapha season), summer (pitta season), and fall/early winter (vata season), all of which carry distinct elements and qualities that give them meaning. We can optimize our energy during these seasons through our yoga practice by adopting the golden rule in Ayurveda — like increases like and opposites attract. Thus, every new season may invite a different style of Yoga to work alongside nature to bring us to balance. To support fall’s light, airy qualities, we can incorporate more grounding Yoga asanas into our dinacharya to find a new sense of harmony.
Dinacharya is one’s daily routine. The things we practice every day, from brushing our teeth to our morning cup of coffee. Just like our Yoga practice can bring balance, so too can our other daily rituals. We can find harmony during this fall season by updating our dinacharya with techniques that bring a sense of grounding and connection.
Below is an example of a balancing dinacharya for the fall (vata season), incorporating Ayurvedic practices and Yoga asana.
Wake with the sun — as the sun begins to rise later, take it as an invitation to do the same. Our bodies need to rest more during this time of year.
Practice your oral care ritual — as the gateway to the body and the beginning of the body’s entire digestive system, the mouth affects all the major systems including the immune system. Oral care essentials like tongue cleaning and oil pulling help remove toxins from the mouth, where the first stage of digestion occurs. Try DrTung’s Stainless Steel Tongue Cleaner and Oil Pulling Concentrate to improve your gut health.
Sip on warm water or tea — after your oral care routine, one of the most effective ways to flush out toxins from the digestive and elimination tract is to sip on warm water.
Find a moment of silence — to keep mental anxiety at bay this fall, try incorporating 5 minutes of meditation into your dinacharya for a joyous reconnection to yourself.
Standing Yoga asana — focus on standing and seated asana to cultivate heavy, grounding qualities that will help alleviate the energy of fall. Try this 20-minute slow flow to relax.
**Please note, this is just an example of a general fall routine. Tune into your own body and discover what feels best for you.**