Ayurveda And Yoga
Ayurveda And Yoga
It’s Called The Science Of Life. Ancient Historical Records Put Its Age At More Than 5000 Years. The Ancient Wisdom Of This Healing System Has Surpassed The Test Of Time, Proving That Its Philosophy Of Healing Has Magical Results. Welcome To The World Of Ayurveda, The Ultimate Panacea.
Though Ayurveda Is Practiced All Over India Its Practice Is Followed As Per Age-Old Traditions And Disciplines Only In Kerala Where It Originated And Was Passed On From Generation To Generation Through Ayurveda Physicians. This Ancient Science Focuses On Creating Health As Well As Curing Disease And Takes Into Account The Patient’s Entire Being – Body, Mind, And Spirit.
Pronounced Eye-yer-say-duh, Ayurveda Is The Art Of Healthy Living That Enables You To Create Harmony In Daily Life By Applying Self-knowledge And Self-care. The Word Ayurveda Originates From The Ancient Indian Language, Sanskrit, And Literally Means Knowledge Of Life (Ayur = Life, Veda = Science). Inherent In Ayurvedic Principles Is The Concept That You Are Capable Of Taking Charge Of Your Own Life And Healing.
The Ayurvedic Approach To Life Involves Listening To And Addressing The Unique Needs Of Your Body, Recognizing And Balancing Your Mental And Emotional States And Deepening Your Connection With Your Spirit. Ayurveda Recognises Three Main Energies That Combine To Form All Things In The Universe. These Are Recognised As Being Fundamental To All Life And Are Seen In The Processes Of Growth, Maintenance, and Decay.
Ayurveda Calls These Energies Vata, Pitha, and Kapha. In Western Sciences, They Are Called Anabolism, Metabolism, and Catabolism. These Energies Combine In Limitless Ways To Create The Unique Qualities Of Each Individual. When You Become Aware Of These Qualities Within Yourself, You Take The First Steps Towards Creating A Healthy Life.
There Are Four Main Classifications Of Management Of Disease In Ayurveda:
- Shodan (cleansing)
- Shaman (palliation)
- Rasayana (rejuvenation)
- Satvajaya (mental Hygiene)
The Treatment Mainly Comprises Of Powders, Tablets, Decoctions (boiled Teas) And Medicated Oils Prepared From Natural Herbs, Plants And Minerals. Because The Medicines Are Made From Natural Sources And Not Synthetic, They Are Accepted And Assimilated In The Body Without Creating Any Side Effects. Medicine, Proper Diet, Exercise And Life Style Are Also Advised.
Treatments Under Ayurveda
Panchakarma Literally Means "five Actions" Or "five Treatments". This Is A Process Used To Clean The Body Of Toxic Materials Left By Disease And Poor Nutrition. According To Ayurveda Imbalanced Doshas Create Waste Matter. Panchakarma Removes Excess Doshas (or Imbalances In The Dosha) By Means Such As Sweat Glands, Urinary Tract, Intestines, Etc. Thus, Panchakarma Is A Balancing Operation. It Involves Daily Massage And Oil Baths And Is An Extremely Pleasant Experience. Ayurveda Recommends Panchakarma As A Seasonal Treatment For Toning Your Mind Body System.
Sweat Treatments (swedana)
Sweating Leads The Doshas To Fluidity, Making It Easier For It To Flow Out Of The System. It Opens Up The Pores And Rids The Body Of Impurities Through The Sweat Glands. This Is Achieved By Active Heating Done Within A Well Heated Chamber, Medicated Steam, Sauna, Hot Water Bottle, Sunbathing, Exposure To Fire (or Use Of An Infra-Red Lamp), Plasters Of Hot Substances Such As Mustard, Hot Baths Or Showers (especially With Medicated Oil Or Water), And Hot Packs.
Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
Abhyanga Is A Massage Done By Experienced Massage Therapists Using Herbal Oil. The Oil Is Specially Selected For The Particular Body Constitution. The Process Is Long And Thorough. More Force Is Used To Loosen The Excess Doshas And Direct Them Toward The Organs Of Elimination.
There Is A Related Treatment Called Shirodhara, In Which Warm, Herbalized Sesame Oil Is Dripped In A Stream Onto The Forehead To Profoundly Relax The Nervous System And Balance The Prana Vata, The Dosha That Exerts Control Over The Brain.
This Breaks Down Into Two Types Of Preparatory Treatment: “Snehana” And “swedana.” Snehana Involves Massaging Herbal Oils Into The Skin To Help Eliminate Toxins. Blended Oils Treat Specific Disorders Such As Stress, Anxiety, Insomnia, Arthritis Or Circulation Problems. Oils Can Also Be Massaged Into The Scalp For Depression, Insomnia And Memory Problems. Snehana Can Sometimes Involve Lying In An Oil Bath, Which Is Thought To Be Even More Effective For You To Absorb The Herbal Oils’ Properties. This Is Combined With Swedana( Described Above) But On Different Days.
Samana (Herbal Remedies)
After Detoxification The Practitioner May Prescribe Herbal Or Mineral Remedies To Correct Imbalances In The Doshas.
Herbal Remedies Are Usually Prescribed In Liquid Form Or As Dried Herbs, Although They Can Also Come As Powder Or Tablets. The Ingredients Are Pre-prepared But The Blends Are Prescribed Individually. Each Ingredient Is Classified By The Effect It Has On Lowering Or Increasing Levels Of The Doshas.
The Treatment Is Elaborate But Effective. It Also Demands Strict Compliance To Diets, Medications and Adherence To Post Treatment Requirements Prescribed By The Ayurveda Physicians For It To Produce Effective Results. Whilst Most Resorts In Kerala Now Have An Ayurveda Centre That Provides General Ayurveda Treatments And Rejuvenation Massages, There Are Specific Ayurveda Centres For Those Seeking Long Term Treatments. For Details Of Ayurveda Resorts In Kerala Please See Pages 189 To 193.
The Word Yoga, Too Most Of Us, Conjures Up Images Of People Sitting Cross Legged With Closed Eyes And Serene Expressions On Their Faces. To Others Who Have Witnessed More Advanced Yoga Poses It Brings Back Images Of People Tied In Knots. Well, If You Think Impossible Poses Is What Yoga Is About... Think Again.
Yoga Is An Ancient Indian School Of Knowledge And Like Ayurveda, Dates Back To More Than 5 Millennia. The Word 'Yoga' Came From The Sanskrit Word ‘yuj’ Which Means ‘to Unite Or Integrate.’ Yoga Is Therefore About The Union Of A Person’s Own Consciousness And The Universal Consciousness.
Ancient Yogis (practitioners Of Yoga) Believed That In Order For Man To Be In Harmony With Himself And His Environment, He Has To Integrate The Body, The Mind, And The Spirit. For These Three To Be Integrated, Emotion, Action, And Intelligence Had To Be In Balance. The Yogis Formulated A Way To Achieve And Maintain This Balance; Which Was Through Exercise, Breathing, And Meditation - The Three Main Yoga Structures.
In Yoga, The Body Is Treated With Care And Respect Since It Is The Main Instrument In Man’s Work And Growth. Yoga Exercises Improve Circulation, Stimulate The Abdominal Organs, And Put Pressure On The Glandular System Of The Body, Which Can Generally Result In Long Term Well Being.
Breathing Techniques Were Developed Based On The Concept That Breathing Is The Source Of Life. In Yoga, Students Gain Breathing Control As They Slowly Increase Their Breathing. By Focusing On Their Breathing, They Prepare Their Minds For The Next Step - Meditation.
There Is Also This Great Misconception That When Meditating One's Mind Has To Go Completely Blank. It Doesn’t Have To Be So. In Meditation, Students Bring The Activities Of The Mind Into Focus Resulting In A ‘quiet’ Mind. By Designing Physical Poses And Breathing Techniques That Develop Awareness Of Our Body, Yoga Helps Us Focus And Relieves Us From Our Everyday Stress.
Six Branches Of Yoga
There Are Six Main Branches Of Yoga Which Are As Follows:
- Hatha Yoga Or Yoga Of Postures
- Bhakti Yoga Or Yoga Of Devotion
- Raja Yoga Or Yoga Of Self-Control
- Jnana Yoga Or Yoga Of The Mind
- Karma Yoga Or Yoga Of Service
- Tantra Yoga Or Yoga Of Rituals
Yoga Being A Word That Creates Visions Of Mystic Chants And Spirituality, There Are A Lot Of Misconceptions About It, One Of Them Being That Yoga Is Connected To Religion. In Fact, Yoga Has Nothing To Do With Religion. It Is More Of A Set Of Techniques Which Can Help Us To Find Spirituality.
Being Synonymous With Words Like Peace And Relaxation, Kerala, Is An Ideal Place For Those Seeking Yoga And Meditation.