If you want to talk about mind, body and spirit, Ayurveda and Yoga would have to be one of your first points. Ayurveda is India’s traditional, natural medicine system. It is the oldest system of natural healing on earth. It has been found to have been described since 3500BC!! Hindu texts refer to “vedas” or the “science of life.” Ayurveda was popularized in the U.S. by noted endocrinologist Dr. Deepak Chopra. This particular medicine practice is referred to as Maharishi Ayur-Ved. Yoga is an integral part of Ayurveda. With the emergence of conventional medicine, Ayurveda lost prevalence and popularity but has made a come back. There are the five elements or temperaments: earth, ether, air, fire and water. Another way of describing an individual would be to use the three qualities, or doshas. People who are Vata, or air,” are active and energetic. Pitta, or “fire" personalities are aggressive and efficient. Finally, Kapha, or “earth,” tend to be slower moving, stable and endomorphic. When each dosha is balanced, good health or behaviors that can disrupt each of the doshas individually This causes an imbalance resulting in illness. Ayurveda is holistic in nature. A holistic approach to examination, diagnosis, and treatment seeks the root cause or imbalance to restore health. An individual's dosha factors heavily into the plan for health restoration.
Yoga "union" is a basic tenet of Ayurveda. The union is Mind/ Body/ Spirit. Asanas are the poses that are designed to address specific dosha imbalances. Pranayama is the control of the breath. Dhyana is the meditation that is essential for yoga practice. Yoga seems to address stress/anxiety, blood pressure and heart disease. It is very therapeutic for ALL.
YOGA FOR ALL!!!
Yoga is for EVERYONE! Our focus is on fitness. Using advanced poses that most participants cannot make is contra indicated. Safe Yoga promotes fitness and wellness. Using advanced poses in a general population class is not appropriate and frankly not necessary. Many will attempt poses because everyone else is doing it instead of being coached with proper modifications. This invites injury and illness. For this purpose, I welcome and teach everyone.
It is with this spirit that I have taught general population yoga, seniors' and special populations yoga and water yoga. I have also taught yoga to soldiers stationed at Hunter Army Airfield. If I am not teaching a full yoga class, I incorporate it somehow into the class/work-out. I believe that Ayurveda serves us best when all of the senses are employed. This includes soothing aural, non-threatening visual cues with visualization, aromatherapy, breath, and awareness of the body in space and on the mat.
I also have a vision for using yoga in the counseling setting. Studies suggest that yoga can be particularly efficacious for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and children with other special needs. (Garg, S. Buckely-Reen, A., Alexander, L., Chintakrindi, R., Ocampo Tan, L.V., & Koenig, K.P (2013). The effectiveness
of a manualized yoga intervention on classroom behaviors in elementary school children with disabilities. Journal of Occupational Therapy Schools and Early Intervention. 6(2), 158-164.)
Once getting hooked on yoga, many times people wish to deepen their practice to find their best healthful balance and share it with others. My journey has led me to do just that. I am currently working toward a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training credential.
WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO WITH AYURVEDA AND YOGA?
I have been trained to teach Yoga by the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). I have, in my practice and teaching, come to appreciate Vinyasa Yoga. I love the flow. I love the use of the breath with the movement. I love the connection with others in the class.
IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING...
I do subscribe to and shape my approach to fitness and wellness by Ayurvedic medicine philosophy. Ayurvedic medicine seeks the most obvious and least invasive causes and treatments. It is holistic in nature. Everything is interconnected and each path to wellness is tailored to the individual. Ayurveda is also quite comprehensive. It allows for herbs, oils, exercise, clean living and a clear and settled mind and spirit. I appreciate Ayurveda as it puts the power to heal in each person's own hands.
Certified Yoga Instructor