Yoga & Ayurveda

by Sharon Gannon |
October, 2000

Ayurveda teaches us how to have a long and healthy life. Yoga teaches us how to efficiently use this long, healthy life to attain happiness and enlightenment.In other words, Ayurveda gives us a healthy body and Yoga gives us a reason to live.

Ayurveda and Yoga are practical, not theoretical, approaches to health and happiness. Both systems concentrate on the elimination of toxins to bring about the sought after goals of health and happiness. The foundations of these two philosophies are the inherent perfection and natural happiness of the true Self or soul.

This happiness may be suppressed due to toxins or ama (the sanskrit word for toxin) which may be physical or mental. Ayurveda eliminates physical toxins that are generated from the food we eat, the air we breathe and the environment we live in by helping us make correct food choices for the body.

Yoga eliminates mental toxins created by negative emotions such as anger, jealousy, greed, selfishness and a general lack of self-confidence by teaching us how to train our mind to let go of these habitual negative and emotional responses. However, the body and mind are integrally connected – what you do to the body affects the mind and what you think affects your body. Therefore, as we learn to free the mind of negative habits with yoga and care for the bodywith correct diet through Ayurvedic principles, the end result is joy and happiness.