There is a really close relationship between yoga and Ayurveda and many people are introduced to Ayurveda through their yoga practice. This photo was taken in my garden while one of my Ayurvedic Apprentices reset with some yoga during her lunch break!
Yoga was introduced to the West from India by gurus such as Swami Vivekananda. The practice of yoga probably dates back about 3,000 years to pre-Vedic Indian traditions and was mentioned in the ancient Indian texts including the Vedas and Upanishads. It has developed more into a posture-based form of physical fitness and a technique used for relaxation and stress relief than the deeply meditative and spiritual tradition it was originally.
Ayurveda and yoga go hand in hand as they share the same profound Vedic view of life. Both describe a state of pure consciousness beyond word and thought in which there is bliss, compassion and liberation, known as moksha.
Moksha is the concept of ultimate freedom and liberation from the sufferings of the body and mind – a release from the cycle of rebirth. The word moksha comes from the Sanskrit word mukt, which means liberation, release and emancipation. In this sense it is the release from the limitations of a worldly existence, the acceptance of oneself and the blissful awareness of oneness with the Divine.
To reach moksha is the ultimate goal of both yoga and Ayurveda. On the one hand, yoga provides us with practical postures (asanas) and meditative practices which help co-ordinate mind and body and quieten our minds, while Ayurveda provides the guidance we need to find a way of life to keep the body and mind healthy, by preventing and alleviating suffering in body, heart and mind, so that we can sit peacefully in yoga asanas, meditate and find inner peace.