Three Reasons to Integrate Ayurvedic Wisdom Into Your Yoga Practice
BY ANJALI SUNITA
2. To Tailor Yoga Practices Therapeutic Yoga has become all the rage as modern practitioners find the need to move beyond cookie cutter styles, to make asana more adaptable to everyday folks, and to emphasize the mental and spiritu - al benefits. However, what we so often fail to recognize is that this is not a novel effort. Yoga, that has been taught alongside Ayurveda or within communities steeped in Ayurvedic traditions, has always given attention to the subtler practices of mantra, mudra, pranayama, and meditation, as well as nutrition and disciplined daily rhythms, with a built-in understanding that human beings are constitutionally differ - ent and have distinct needs. When we learn Ayurveda alongside Yoga, we are able to tailor particular practices towards the requirements of one’s unique work in this world, state of health, and stage of life. 3. To Prevent Burnout I was there, the overworked Yoga teacher, teaching twenty to twen- ty five classes per week all over town from the prisons to the mansions. I saw it as my dharma, my duty and life’s work to spread the message of peace and an alternative lifestyle that I experienced through ash- ram living. I taught seven days per week for the first four years, but something became clear when I hit my early thirties. I started to notice that around 4 pm, my ability to focus or accomplish tasks was dimin- ished. I had been in a pattern of skipping meals and I lost sense of true hunger. I lived on love and pranayama and I even started to identify
If you have found your Yoga practice has plateaued or become rote, disconnected from the rest of your world, lacks context, feels rigid, and is relegated to the Yoga mat at best, or if you feel lost in a home practice without your teacher giving instructions, there are many rea- sons why the basic study of Ayurveda might re-inspire you and sup- port your continual growth. Here are just three: 1. To Learn the Language of Your Body What do you feel when your Yoga instructor says “listen to your body”? It’s a vague statement that often requires the practitioner to be honest about their level of comfort in a pose at best, but what if I told you that there is a whole palette of colorful experience we can notice at any given moment beyond musculature and that this aware- ness becomes the entrance into deeper healing. At the start of most subtle practices, and frankly at any moment, it is possible to pay atten- tion to signs of health, disease, and quality of life that show up in our skin, nails, hair, tongue, weight, digestive system, organs, energy level patterns, sleep/waking cycles, and to adjust our foods, daily rhythms, poses, breath, nourishing and cleansing practices to meet the needs of this time in our lives, whether these needs are driven by a current health condition or season. By learning the language of the body, we are able to choose and attract qualities found in natural substanc- es into our lives to meet our needs. We make small and meaningful choices everyday that add up to greater health and wellbeing.
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Claudia Neuman, MSW, ERYT-500, YACEP Founder of Align With Grace Yoga visit: www.alignwithgrace.com
Claudia Neuman MSW, ERYT-500, YACEP
Give Yourself the Gift of Real Rest
Align with Grace Enlightened Rest 108 Yoga Retreat at the Pathways Retreat Center April 21–24 & September 15–18 Enjoy a long weekend fortifying bodies and spirits and learning to rest in sublime serenity. This Yoga retreat — suitable for all levels of yogis, advanced to beginner — will include asana sessions (all levels), meditation instruction, Yoga Nidra
(The Yoga of Sleep), and more! 20 CEU’s available To Register, visit The Pathways Retreat Center.
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