Yoga is an art, a science and a Philosophy, which touches the life of man at every level (physical, mental and spiritual). It is a practical method for making one’s life purposeful, useful and noble. A key of Happy and Healthy life, yoga basically is a process of education of the total personality, helps in steadying the mind. Since an unsteady mind is the source of disease, it happens that the practice of yoga helps the management of almost all diseases. Yoga allows a healthy mind to reside in a healthy body.
Meditation: Dhyana or Meditation is an effortless, single thought condition. In yogic texts Meditation is defined as the one in which concentration upon the self is achieved after eradication of all worries. Meditation is characterized by complete relaxation and continuity in thought like the flow of oil. A good Meditation slowly motivates extreme happiness. Yoga and Meditation are often taken together; they are connected but not synonymous. It involves exercise with your breathing. Meditation is not only a way to awaken your spirituality and conscious awareness but also to improve the quality of life in daily routine. Harmony of mind & body brought about by deep Meditation creates an atmosphere of love and peace.
PDI conducts Yoga and Meditation education/ training courses to bring about tremendous changes in the personality of a human being, health and fitness through yogic principles, which helps one to achieve mental health, self control, positive thinking and develop will power and inner stamina besides longevity.
The relation between Yoga & Ayurveda
A Complete System of Medicine
The effectiveness of a therapy depends upon the medical system according to which it is prescribed. The medical system on which Yoga therapy is depending upon for its diagnosis and treatment is Ayurveda and vice versa, to get the full healing potential of Ayurveda we need to integrate Yogic principles in our life. To harmonize both healing systems is for our eternal benefit. Healing body and mind and realizing the souls journey in relation to the environment in which it’s existing should be the goal in our life. Both Ayurveda and Yoga recognize the role of consciousness as the prime factor in our well-being. Yoga tools like Asana, Pranayama and Mantra meditation together with a Natural Healthy Lifestyle (Dinachara), proper diet, herbs, massage and Ayurvedic treatment help to counteract balance disturbance in the physical and mental plane of our existence. In other words, Yoga and Ayurveda provide the knowledge and foundation to live a healthy life free from disease.
So what is the relationship between classical Yoga and the traditional system of medicine Ayurveda. Both Ayurveda and Classical Yoga arose more than 5000 years ago in the ancient Vedic period even before the rise of Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism and Islam. Thus we understand that both Yoga and Ayurveda are coming from the Vedic civilization and are considered the most ancient healing systems relating to mankind serving the human race since time and memorial. Classical Yoga manifested as a spiritual practice with the aim at Self-realization (which lies beyond above the physical and mental plane) and not at the treatment of physical disease. That is the reason why traditional Yogic texts say little about disease, diagnosis, or treatment. When we find Yogic texts address health issues, they usually do so according to the terminology and approaches of Ayurveda. On the other hand, in the system of Vedic sciences we will find that classical Yoga is part of Ayurveda as a branch that specifically deals with physical and psychological disease and focuses on their treatment.
We could say that Ayurveda is the traditional Yogic system of medicine. Even (Tibetan) Buddhist and Jain traditions in India and abroad have integrated certain Yogic aspects and principles and rely on Ayurveda for their medical applications. Ayurveda takes the philosophy, principles, and practices of Yoga and orients them towards the healing of body and mind. It extends the Samkhya philosophy, on which classical Yoga rests, into an integrated system of mind-body medicine. It takes such prime Yogic principles as Purusha, Prakriti, the five pranas, and the five elements and shows their implications at the level of health. It provides a sophisticated view of anatomy, physiology, constitution, and the disease process through such factors as the three doshas (biological humors), seven dhatus (tissues), and the srota or channel systems. It considers the role of the mind, meditation, and the Purusha, or higher Self, for both mental and physical health. Ayurvedic practitioners, particularly those trained in traditional Ayurveda, commonly prescribe Yoga practices of asana, pranayama, mantra, and meditation, along with natural healing methods of diet, herbs, and massage according to a persons biological constitution.
If yoga teachers have realized knowledge on Ayurveda, its view on the body and mind, health and disease, including a persons biological constitution and Ayurveda’s natural approach to healing and living, they and their students derive immense benefit from it. Studying the Ayurvedic view of anatomy and physiology, the constitution and the disease process, which follows the energetics of prana, will greatly enhance the Yoga therapist’s view of disease and how to treat it in a Yogic manner. Studying the Ayurvedic view of how physical diseases are connected to psychological diseases developed from the lack of connection with our inner consciousness will greatly expand the realm of Yoga psychology. It is recommended and helpful for Yoga teachers to learn the role of Ayurvedic therapies that work well with Yoga therapy, including diet, herbs, massage, and Pancha Karma. Thus Yoga can be more effective if applied along with Ayurvedic lifestyle guidelines (dinachara) and treatment measures. It can be very helpful for Yoga teachers to use Ayurvedic treatment protocols for the application of Yoga therapies like asana and pranayama. It is therefore of great importance to know a persons disease which imbalances his or her constitution before recommending the proper asanas and yogic techniques.
For example, the asana’s, pranayama, or meditation recommended for a person with high vata dosha will naturally be different than those for one with high pitta dosha. Ayurvedic guidelines help Yoga therapy be more attuned to individual needs and differences. Even for people suffering from what is the same disease according to modern medicine, like rheumatoid arthritis, Ayurveda with its more specialized diagnosis can provide additional insights as to how to manage the disease at an individual basis.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, Ayurveda provides another set of guidelines for applying Yoga therapies; not only asana and pranayama but all the eight limbs of Yoga. Ayurveda views the yamas and niyamas of Yoga as the basic principles of right living for both physical and psychological health for everyone. Ayurveda considers asana as the “external medicine” of Yoga, useful primarily for musculoskeletal disorders, but having an indirect value for most health problems, specifically for vata dosha, the biological air humor.
Ayurveda regards pranayama as what we could call the “internal medicine” of Yoga. From an Ayurvedic perspective, more emphasis should be given to pranayama because it has a greater ability to affect the internal workings of the body in terms of respiration, circulation, digestion, and the transmission of impulses through the nervous system. Pranayama works on prana, which is directly connected to vata dosha, the most important of the three doshas, and has a strong therapeutic value in reducing kapha dosha, which causes diseases of mucus and congestion in the stomach, lungs, and heart. Pratyahara, with its reduction of sensory overload, is a key factor in stress reduction and is emphasized in Ayurvedic sensory treatments and massage. Indeed, the patient who receives a deep oil massage in Ayurvedic treatment is also being given a pratyahara therapy. Pratyahara is central to healing because it allows the healing prana to be taken within, rather than dispersed outwardly. Yogic concentration, mantra, and meditation practices are important for treating all psychological disorders, according to Ayurveda, and are a necessary part of any healthy lifestyle for body and mind. They not only help to balance the doshas but also to increase sattva guna, the quality of inner harmony, balance, and contentment that is another important concept in both Yogic and Ayurvedic healing.
These are but a few brief examples of how Yoga and Ayurveda can work together. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a future for Yoga therapy in which Ayurveda is not a important factor. Ayurveda can help us add the medical background, diagnosis, and greater treatment options that can make Yoga therapy part of a full Yoga system of medicine.