Bringing Ayurveda into Your Daily Life
By: Banyan Botanicals
April 11, 2016
You may have learned about the relationship between yoga and Ayurveda as you began to develop your practice. Maybe it was a quick introduction in your teacher-training program or a phrase that has been repeated within your yoga community. They’re called “sister sciences” for a reason, and it’s not simply because of their shared Vedic ancestry. Just like siblings, yoga and Ayurveda have an intertwined relationship—they compliment and deepen each other. Further, yoga and Ayurveda have the same intention—to guide and support you on the path of greater self-awareness and understanding.
Whether practiced together or separately, both of these powerful systems of knowledge invite a deeply transformative experience, often leading to a positive increase in the state of your health and well-being. When combined, they can generate remarkable results. As you start to understand the beauty of Ayurveda, you will want to share it with others to help their lives flow more easily.
Ready to bring Ayurveda to your yoga practice, your students and your community? Here are five steps to follow that will get you started.
1. Recognize What Makes You, You
Although Ayurveda can be witnessed in all aspects of life, the best place to experience Ayurveda is up close and personal… very personal! The body is a microcosm of the macrocosm—all the lessons of cause and effect within the body can be transposed to life at large. A great starting place is understanding your constitution, or your prakriti.
As you begin to incorporate Ayurvedic habits into your daily life, imagine that your body is an experimental lab. Try a new habit, herb or food. How does it make you feel? How did it change you? What is your experience like now? In Ayurveda, it is believed that every being on Earth is a unique combination of elements and qualities that creates your constitution. Finding out what makes you feel your best is the easiest way to gain first hand experience of Ayurveda. Learn about your unique make-up by taking our constitution test. Throughout life we accumulate habits and life experiences that alter our original state of balance. When we understand the constitution we were born with, we can figure out if/how we are imbalanced today.
2. Start Where You Are
Your vikriti, or current state of balance, can fluctuate yearly, monthly, daily and even minute-to-minute. Knowing your current state of balance is an incredibly helpful tool for figuring out what needs attention right now. This knowledge helps keep you steady and balanced and will give you insight on how you can maintain that state!
3. Build Your Practice
Ayurveda contains a lifetime of lessons, but don’t let it overwhelm you! You are allowed to pick and choose what pieces work for you, even if it’s just one. That said, try a few and see what sticks! Use your current state of balance as your guide to determine your best daily routine, your most beneficial diet and the right herbs to support you. Give yourself at least 3–6 weeks to experiment with each addition, and if it feels right, slowly add more as you go.
Something as easy as keeping a regular bedtime and waking up at the same time each morning can have a significant impact on your well-being. Another small step could be completing three simple things upon waking in the morning: scraping your tongue, brushing your teeth and sipping warm water. Remember, these instructions are not set in stone—this is an opportunity to find out what works for you.
4. Teach by Example
As Ayurveda continues to become a hot topic in the modern yoga studio, it’s likely that your students will begin to look to you for Ayurvedic guidance. But if each person has his or her own unique constitution, how could you possibly offer advice? Consider just sharing your own experiences with Ayurveda. What habits have you successfully incorporated into your routine? Offer what you have learned about yourself as a jumping off point for your students.
5. Offer Your Light to Your Community
Above all else, Ayurveda offers an opportunity to develop and maintain your own higher level of health and well-being. This is your path. As a unique fire burns within you, so too will it call forth the brightest fire to burn within others. Your efforts, in turn, can impact and benefit your community as a whole. Use this moment to feel connected to your community and build relationships with those who are also interested in following a similar path.
About Banyan Botanicals:
Banyan Botanicals was founded in 1996 with the mission to help people achieve and maintain optimal health and well-being. As an Ayurvedic lifestyle company, we specialize in products made from Ayurvedic herbs that are organically grown, sustainably sourced, fairly traded, and made in the USA. Banyan is committed to providing exceptional customer service, inspiring educational content and the highest quality Ayurvedic herbs that are safe, pure, and effective.
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This article was written by Banyan Botanicals and does not necessarily reflect the views of Yoga Alliance.