Ayurveda And Yoga: Sisters For Emotional Balance and Health

Date Posted:19 July 2012 

Yoga and Ayurveda are interconnected, just as branches on the same tree. They have been considered sister sciences within the Vedic system since ancient times. These sciences use Vedic knowledge to encompass the human body, the natural world, and the universe for the sake of healing and balancing the mind, body, and spirit, or consciousness.

While Ayurveda concentrates mainly on healing the body, Yoga is used for stress relief, emotional balance, and purifying your inner consciousness and mind. However, the two are not in conflict in their roles; rather, they embrace and complement each other, and it is often argued that one cannot be properly practiced as a discipline without the other.

The ancient Yogis and rishis, or seers, were the original masters of the Vedic sciences. The Vedic system was designed to enlighten human beings on the inner workings of not only their minds and inner consciousness, but on the universe as well. Once your journey begins, taking the path of enlightenment will lead you to self-realization and understanding of how you fit in the universe as a whole. The Vedic system has not only gifted humanity with spiritual disciplines, but also has touched on all aspects of life, such as culture, art, science, and healing.

The ancient seers understood that good health was essential for emotional balance, and that you could not achieve one without working on the other. If you neglect your body, your emotional health will suffer. If you neglect the state and health of your emotions, your body will suffer. Together, hand in hand, Yoga and Ayurveda provide ways of preventing and healing bodily disorders, as well as disorders of the mind and emotions.

Besides sharing the same philosophy, Ayurveda and Yoga have many other similarities in relation to spiritual practices, cleansing practices, diet and exercise, hygiene, attitude, and nutrition. Yoga, in and of itself, has become increasingly popular for the positive changes it affects on the body. However, without embracing the principles of Ayurveda as well, current practitioners of Yoga are missing out on the total package of health, emotional balance, and self-realization they could have achieved otherwise.

More specifically, the similarities between Ayurveda and Yoga include:

  • Both Ayurveda and Yoga are ancient Vedic disciplines. Ayurveda sprang forth from Rig Veda and Artharva Veda, while the Yajur Veda is the seed of Yoga.
  • Both disciplines emphasize the importance of keeping the body healthy in order to achieve the four aims of life: desire (Kama), wealth (Artha), duty (Dharma), and liberation (Moksha).
  • Both practices recognize the importance of eliminating waste products and toxins within the body for overall good health, as well as the need to balance doshas and dhatus.
  • Both share almost the same exact physiology and metaphysical anatomy, including the seven main chakras, seventy two thousand nadis (subtle channels), five bodily sheaths and energy, or Kundalini Shakti.
  • Both Ayurveda and Yoga promote the use of herbs, cleansing rituals, pranayama, puja, asana, and meditation for stress relief, emotional balance, and healing for the entire being.
  • Both practices have cleansing rituals for eliminating toxic ama and malas. Yoga has Shat Karma, which uses six measures of purification, while Ayurveda uses panchakarma, which consists of five cleansing actions.

There are many other similarities that bind these two Vedic teachings together as well, and it does not take practicing each one for very long to see how much they complement each other. Even if you are only using Ayurveda to improve your physical health or Yoga to help with stress relief, combining both disciplines for an overall life of sadhana will help you achieve emotional balance, dosha balance, and a life full of enlightenment, beauty, and self-realization.