YOGA & AYURVEDA

Some thoughts I had back from India, trying to combine Anusara et Ayurveda principles

In Ayurveda as in Yoga, the universe shows itself through three fundamental principles. The Yoga tradition calls them GUNAS, Ayurveda names them DOSHAS.

Vata Dosha, in which air and space are dominant, expresses himself in the movement and refers to the prana of the yogi, which governs rhythm, locomotion and sensibility of the spirit. Its keywords are intuition, inner-teacher.

Pitta Dosha, made of fire and water, represents transformation, expresses vitality. Tejas is a shape of Pitta which creates discernment, the highest function of the spirit, the essence of the light. Its keywords are spirituality, discernment.

Kapha Dosha is the property of conservation, contained the elements of earth and water. Ojas is the shape of Kapha which gets the foundations. Its keywords are compassion, love, open heartedness, clarity, and nurturance of the Self.

Anusara Yoga & Qualities of Teaching

The first quality: GROUNDING.

It is the principle of foundation.

In Anusara, it is one of the most important principles, the one who allows the yogi to put stable bases, to ground to assure/insure the stability which is going to allow him/her to build the posture.

In Ayurveda, this principle is represented by Kapha dosha. This word can be translated by « that which holds together ». The energy of Kapha assures the (mental and) physical stability, strengthen immune system and stamina. Kapha promotes patience, stamina, peace, serenity and devotion.

Kapha governs the region which goes down from the crane up to the diaphragm. Its residence is in the chest cavity and its seat of balance, the heart.

There are 5 forms of Kapha manifestation: Avalambaka, Tarpaka, Bodhaka, Kledaka and Shleshaka. If all are important on a physiological level, those who most interest the yogi are the first, the second and the last one.

– AVALAMBAKA is localized in the chest and the spine. Its name means « the one who gives support », which reminds me the first of the 5 universal principles of alignment: « Open to grace and set the foundation ».

– TARPAKA is in the brain and the spinal cord, feeds the nervous system. It builds especially from regularity in meditation.

– SHLESHAKA is in the articulations and greases joints, protects (and strengthens) and regulates the power and the stability of movement of the joints.

In the three A’s, KAPHA is the principle of ALIGNMENT.

For the yogi, when Kapha is in balance, the veil of the consciousness is lifted, revealing the underlying spirit.

The second quality: CONNECTING.

It is the principle of contraction, which refers to the second principle of the UPA: muscular energy.

In Ayurveda, VATA is the principle of movement. It represents the energy which governs the biological movements of the body and its main function is to create movement. VATA governs the region from the waistline up to feet. Its residence is in the pelvis and its seat of balance in the colon.

Among the 5 Vata forms, we find ADYA PRANA (base of the intelligence and 5 senses), APANA (energy which governs our capacity to be held or evacuate, like mula bandha), VYANA (energy of movement) and UDANA (energy of the senses, which allows us to see, to listen, to smell, to taste and to touch). SAMANA is the energy which helps after the digestion.

Vata is maybe the most important of the all Doshas. If the pranic energy flows in all directions untidy, we lose any connectivity. Thus, Ayurveda advises us, whatsoever the symptoms or the Dosha imbalanced, that to rebalance Vata and re-channel Pranas in their home place and functions can rectify the balance between the 3 Doshas and the 3 Doshas themselves.

In the three A’s, VATA represents ACTION.

The third quality: EXPRESSING.

It is the principle of expansion, which refers to organic energy.

Organic energy carries in her the expansive qualities of the heart, as celebration and loving devotion. It is the energy which shines outside the body in all directions, as the water streams everywhere freely.

In Ayurveda, it is the Dosha pitta, the principle of transformation, which combines the elements fire and water.

Among 5 specific qualities of PITTA, we shall mention:

– SADHAKA: if it is located in the brain, it works in the heart. This energy feeds our intelligence and our discernment, which mobilizes us when supplying intense efforts. SADHA means to realize. This form of PITTA represents the « path of the realization » and allows our spirit to realize the Truth Self. It is especially the energy which allows us to shine when we are happy!

Similar to ADYA PRANA VATA (governor of the intelligence and 5 senses), SADHAKA PITTA allows us to reach our personal goals and the higher level for spiritual development.

Among the three A’s, PITTA represents ATTITUDE.

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