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When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use.
When diet is correct,medicine is of no need.
Yoga & Ayurveda


Once my patient asked me Dr. Dave what is relationship between yoga and ayurveda. Then I replied simple explanation was, "Ayurveda is a Indian medical science and yoga is the practice of the science."
Yoga and ayurveda are inseparable sisters. Both originate as part of a greater system of Vedic knowledge.Yoga originates in the Yajur Veda, while Ayurveda originates in the Atharva Veda and Rig Veda.
Both yoga and ayurveda are based upon the principles of Trigunas (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) and the Panchamahabuthas (Earth, Air, Fire,Water,Space).Yoga and Ayurveda also encompass an understanding of how the body works (Dosha-Dhatu-Mala/humor-tissue-waste material theory) and the effect that food and medicines have on the body (Rasa-Veerya-Vipaka/taste-energy-post digestive effect concept).
Both of these sciences have eight branches: Ashtanga Yoga and Ashtanga Ayurveda. The two have a common understanding of health of the body being dependent on the health and balance of the mind. They share virtually the same metaphysical anatomy and physiology, which consists of 72,000 nadis (Subtle channels), seven main chakras (energy centers), five bodily sheaths and the Kundalini Shakti (Energy).
In treatment, both yoga and ayurveda advocate for the regular practice of pranayama and meditation as well as the use of herbs, body purification procedures, food and chanting of mantras for physical and mental health. In yoga, the body purification procedures have been explained as "Satkriyas" whereas in ayurveda they are known as "Panchakarma".
Both recognize that keeping the body healthy is vital for fulfilling the four aims of life: Dharma (Duty), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desire), and Moksha (Liberation).
It is quite a revelation to see how yoga and ayurveda are interrelated.

Yoga Therapy Today

Modern Yoga has defined itself primarily in terms of asanas or physical postures. These are usually taught en masse in exercise classes for people primarily seeking physical well-being. We commonly identify Yoga teachers as those who conduct asana classes. Some of these Yoga teachers may have some knowledge of the greater system of classical Yoga. This situation impacts what is popularly regarded as Yoga therapy, which is colored by the Yoga as asana emphasis.
Yoga therapy or Yoga Chikitsa is a new, popular and powerful movement in Yoga today that is still trying to define itself and its scope of application. However, for the most part, modern Yoga therapy, following the asana as Yoga model, consists primarily of an adaptation of asanas or asana styles to treat disease and improve health.
This view of Yoga is different from and a reduced version of classical Yoga that is defined primarily in terms of spiritual practice and deep meditation (Sadhana and Samadhi).
Any therapy must rest upon a system of medicine for diagnosis and overall treatment strategies.
A therapeutic method – whether Herbs, Drugs, Asana or Pranayama – cannot be applied independently of a medical orientation and an examination of the patient as a whole.So if one is practicing Yoga therapy, the question arises as to according to what system of medicine that therapy is being applied?
Modern Yoga therapy largely consists of the application of Yoga asanas as an adjunct physical therapy for the treatment of diseases as primarily diagnosed and treated by modern medicine. Modern Yoga therapists aim at working with doctors, nurses and other biomedically trained professionals in hospitals, and rehabilitation settings.
Such a Yoga therapist,we should note, is not himself or herself necessarily a doctor or primary health care provider but functions more like a technician, applying the techniques of Asanas as guided by a doctor or nurse.
While there is nothing wrong with this approach and much benefit can be derived from it, Yoga therapy as asana therapy does not unfold the full healing potential of classical Yoga and its many methods. It keeps Yoga subordinate in a secondary role, reduced primarily to a physical application.