Ayurveda for Asana
Letting your practice be a reflection of nature...
The following was featured in our November newsletter...
One of the most interesting approaches to yoga considers all of the natural world. Of course, I'm referring to the sister science of yoga, Ayurveda. Translated from Sanskrit to mean science of life, this ancient practice includes principles that effect everything from the foods you eat to your most common patterns of vulnerability. The idea behind the practice of Ayurveda is to find balance between one's condition (vrkritti) and one's nature (prakriti). A condition (vrkritti), refers to those common imbalances and issues that people face such as anxiety, lethargy, and aggression. One's nature (prakriti), refers to your personality type expressed through doshas, which is basically personality described through the elements. The three basic doshas are Vata (air and space), Pitta (fire and earth), and Kapha (earth and water). It's important to note that most people will identify with a blend of two doshas. Understanding your dosha and common imbalances can provide insight to some of your natural inclinations. For instance, now that the fall season is upon us, people who are Kapha types are susceptible to reclusiveness. Whereas, those who are Vata types are more susceptible to absent-mindedness and anxiety. What Ayurveda does is provide a deeper understanding not just of who you are, but of the way you can be thrown off balance by the natural constants you encounter every day. If you, like I do, believe that knowledge is power, you might find it satisfying to know that there are small adjustments that you can make on your yoga mat and in your daily life to stay in balance. So, this month's sadhana (practice) encourages you to do just that. First, CLICK HERE and take the dosha quiz, and find out what blend of doshas make up your prakriti! The next time you're on your mat, see if you notice the way your dosha expresses itself. For example, start with observing the poses that you really like. Do they fall under a certain category (backbends, forward bends, twists, etc)? Then notice your breathing habits. Can your breath consistently be described through one adjective? Are you always breathing in the same place? Then notice your temperatment while your in poses, and when you make an effort to adjust poses. What are the first thoughts that come to mind? This information is useful no matter what you come to yoga for. As my teachers often say, how you practice is just as important as what you practice. If you come to yoga for stress relief, approaching your practice from an Ayurvedic perspective shows you what your triggers are, and where your stress finds stimulation from a physiologically and cognitively. If you come to yoga for physical reasons such as strength, flexibiity, weight loss, etc this perspective provides insight into what practices are the best fit for you, and ways in which to ensure your method is safe, stable, and geared for long term results. More importantly for anyone though, Ayurveda is a fantastic way to ensure that your practice is always suitable for your lifestyle, your body, and your needs. And as we move closer to the holiday season, trust me it will be a technique well worth mastering.
I hope you will be able to join me Wednesday November 26th at 6:30pm for a 75 minute class that will explore more elements of this profound practice. The ability to create harmony in your own mind, body, and spirit is most definitely one important thing to be grateful for. Happy Thanksgiving Yogis!
Click HERE to sign up for this workshop