Ayurveda and Yoga

cropped-cropped-whirl-spiral-movement-abstract-background.jpgComments following the regular posts are most welcome and the response to Anxiety and walking…..Can I link this to the World Cup??? drew attention to balanced treatment in all schools of medicine.  The reference to Ayurvedic medicine may interest some of you: 

“Ayur” is a Sanskrit term meaning “life”and “Veda” refers to “knowledge”.  Ayurvedic medicine is a system of Indian traditional medicine and is often practiced alongside yoga for its natural healing properties.  The guiding principles are:

  • the mind and the body are inextricably connected
  • nothing has more power to heal and transform the body than the mind

Ayurvedic therapy is tailored to the individual and Mukunda Stiles explored this in his book  “Structural Yoga Therapy – Adapting to the Individual”  Mukunda (Tom) Stiles – 1949- 2014 – started to practice yoga in 1969 whilst at West Point Military Academy.  His emphasis upon “structure” may sound very different to the functional approach that I write about, but his differentiated approach to teaching was very influential.  He taught us that different skeletal types could not be forced into rigid shapes.  Watch him teach this in reference to arms and knees . Great to hear him talk about women’s “carry angle” and how male teachers may not cater for this.  Another You Tube video shows him teaching alternative hand placements for poses such as cat, dog and plank.  He refers to “standard alignment” which he will change in order that the students do not damage their wrists and elbows.  These placements are ones that we explore in our practice..

Watch Mukunda Stiles as he taught  “Perfecting asana”.  He emphasizes 3 elements:

  • relaxation of effort
  • smooth and steady breath
  • live your yoga in everyday life**

**This is my interpretation of his reference to Sutra 47 – “…promote an identification of yourself as living within the infinite breath of life…”  Interesting to hear your views.

In Ayruvedic Yoga Therapy , Mukunda Stiles recommended specific asana practice for different constitutional types – the Ayurvedic doshas: vata, pitta and kapha.  It can be interesting to take  “The Dosha Test”.

The British Wheel of Yoga is now offering a training course in Ayruvedic principles for teachers and practitioners of yoga.  It is run by Clearmind Institute which also offers courses in Mindfulness.  On which subject, if you are doing the Yale University Happiness course I hope that it is going well.

I will be taking a short break.  There will be a few classes in August

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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