There are many highly effective health systems available to us at present. With Western modalities such as traditional allopathic medicine, to ancient Eastern traditions like Traditional Chinese Medicine being so readily available, we can now choose to mix and match from a variety of health lineages to treat the myriad of health concerns that ail us. Each lineage has its own strengths and value, but why is it that yogis tend to gravitate towards ayurveda?
The Sanskrit word ayurveda translates to ‘the science of life’ and it is the sister science to yoga (meaning ‘loving union with the Supreme’). Both yoga and ayurveda have their origins stemming from the ancient sanskrit texts known as the Vedas, and are founded in spiritual and material truths. While both refer to elements of health and wellbeing, Yoga in particular is directly aimed at bringing people to a point of spiritual emancipation, or Bhakti – love for the Supreme, and Ayurveda focuses more on the ‘how to live’ in order to cultivate that spiritual love.
You don’t need Ayurveda to achieve yoga; and you don’t need yoga to practice Ayurveda, but the two complement each other so well because they share the same fundamental understandings about life. Here are 3 reasons why yogis favour Ayurveda when it comes to health:
- Ayurveda recognises two energies present in this world – spirit and matter. Something that many medicine pathways fall short in is acknowledging the presence of spiritual energy, or the ‘living entity’. While all medicine is miraculous and effective in many ways, Ayurvedic medicine identifies the self and treats patients accordingly. This compliments the yoga lifestyle because yogis know that they are receiving appropriate, holistic treatment that has their spiritual wellbeing in mind.
- Ayurveda works with the laws of nature in order to elevate a person’s consciousness. While many popular health regimes focus on achieving mental wellbeing and optimal physical health, Ayurveda takes it a step further and provides healthy foundations for elevating a person’s consciousness so they foster a more favourable condition for developing a spiritual awareness – making it the perfect health regime for yogis!
- Ayurveda recognises the influence of the mind on physical, emotional and spiritual health. Ayurvedic health regimes are designed to bring balance, peace and happiness – a condition known as sattvic. In this condition we are more able to seek spiritual truth and hear insights from within. A clouded or overly occupied mind brings stress to the body and heart and makes it difficult for a person to be in the condition necessary for attaining lasting health and happiness.
The primary focus of Ayurvedic health is spiritual enlightenment, making it the perfect foundation for living the yoga lifestyle. Which is exactly why yogis tend to favour Ayurveda as a health regime!