As yoga movement gathers pace across the globe, it will be interesting to note that Ayurveda now forms an integral part of the yogic healing and yoga therapy. Ayurvedic guidelines for yoga practices of asana, pranayama, mantra and meditation are becoming widely adopted for their efficacy in improving our lives.
This movement towards yoga and ayurveda started much earlier. It has a traditional basis in ancient yoga and ayurveda. Ayurveda was rooted in the same Samkhya-Vedanta philosophy as Yoga, shared the same dharmic values, and was taught by the same group of rishis. Yoga was introduced into the modern world starting with Swami Vivekananda in 1893, becoming prominent when there was little emphasis on ayurveda, as the British had previously closed the ayurvedic schools in India. With the independence of India in 1947, ayurveda was gradually revived and new schools formed. But it was not until the work of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, that a new emphasis on ayurveda along with Yoga and Vedic sciences arose and was promoted globally. Yoga training worldwide is embracing ayurveda in its study and training. Ayurvedic massage and Pancha Karma, ayurveda’s special detox therapies, are now widely available along with yoga, from India to the United States and Europe. Yoga and ayurveda are also part of various rejuvenation programs and retreats throughout the world.
Relative to deeper yoga practices, ayurveda helps us understand how the subtle body works and its chakra and nadi systems that Yoga emphasises, and has a science of Ojas for developing physical and psychological immunity. Yoga practitioners now take special ayurvedic herbs for body and mind, like tulsi, brahmi, ashwagandha and shilajit to more complex preparations like chyavan prash or brahma rasayana. Special ayurvedic massage oils are very helpful for Yoga from giving flexibility to the body to calming the mind.