Yoga and Ayurveda. Some say it’s all a bunch of weird poses and fancy bitter herbs that do nothing, whilst others maintain it changes lives, cures incurable diseases like cancer and diabetes. Even our Prime Minister is an avid fan! We break down the hype.
Yoga and Ayurveda are truly two different areas and yet they are symbiotic in nature. Why? Because they compliment each other. Yoga is not just a bunch of fancy poses, done to increase your flexibility, although that’s an added benefit. The art and science of Yoga is deeper when the entire mindset of Yoga is explored (more on this later). Yoga is the stimulus that Ayurveda needs to work. What is Ayurveda? It’s not just herbal remedies for weight loss but are way more complex in nature. Ayurveda is the medicine that’s used to treat a wide variety of ailments. Plus its fantastic to use for general well-being.
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Yoga, now for centuries, has been looked as a mystic gateway to enlightenment. While it may be true at it’s highest level, Yoga can be done in one of two ways. Firstly, as an only exercise option and secondly in terms of mental exercise as well. The brain, people tend to forget, is also a muscle that must be exercised, just like your biceps. To elucidate my point further, let’s take an example of one of the most popular asanas, Suryanamaskar. This series of complex poses is a brilliant cardio exercise for fat burning. Now doing this quickly and for a high amount of repetitions will ensure you are losing weight. What’s important to remember is that this can also be slowed down and that’s when you start to use your brain, calming yourself down and thus slowing down and controlling your breathing. Breathing, as in mind muscle connection, is the cornerstone of Yoga and controlling it is the gateway to mastering complex asanas.
Ayurveda is tricky as it is. Some say that it’s primarily only to do with medicine but we disagree. We feel that ayurveda is much more complex and that it should be incorporated in your diet. The best diet for Yoga is the satvik diet. The Satvik diet, is eating only organic or fresh produce and since Ayurveda prohibits any slaughtering of animals, the Satvik diet is completely vegetarian that doesn’t include onion or garlic also. How does this help you say? Well according to Ayurveda these foods induce aggravation, agitation and anxiety. Thus, they are harmful mentally, physically and spiritually. They also produce offensive odors, a fact that’s recognized by Chinese culture.
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Ayurveda states that one must eat according to their ‘dosh’. This means that herbs for weight loss should also be used as per your ‘dosh’. The three ‘dosh’ are ‘vata’, ‘pita’ and ‘kapha’. These dosh’s correspond to our personalities and thus our attributes. Furthermore we should then eat so that we don’t agitate our mind-body connection.
Interestingly, many people confuse this with the paleo diet. The key difference here is that in the paleo diet, one can indulge in animal produce, whereas a Satvik diet prohibits the same. Ayurvedic herbs for weight loss like ginger, neem etc. can help this diet and always remember that the best yoga assans are the most popular ones.
Did you know- Yoga originated in Ancient India around 6-7th century BC
So it should come as no surprise that herbs play a vital role in both Yoga and Ayurveda diet. In fact, I would go out on a limb and say half of Ayurvedic medicine uses herbs. But herbs, like supplements, come in all shapes and sizes. These top 3 herbs that we are looking for are going to help especially in a weight loss and general health:
Cinnamon is a fantastic herbal remedy for weight loss, which keeps the blood sugar levels stable and thus keeps you full for a longer time
Ginger is one of those fantastic herbs that help lose weight faster because it helps free to coagulated food in the stomach, acting as a body cleanser.
Turmeric is a natural fat metabolizer. It helps to reduce the formation of fat cells and thus prevents weight gain.
We know what you’ll be thinking here. At the end of all of this, it’s just a bunch of fancy poses held in a particular time frame. How is this any different to a plank or any other abs exercise. The difference here is that Yoga and by extension ayurveda, nourish the mind. Nothing prepares you for the mental peace that you get to receive while performing the pranayam and/or even the kapalbharti. Sure it’s not as engaging and intensive as weight training but it’s benefits for the mind coupled with toning your body, far outweigh the benefits of lifting and this comes from a hardcore bodybuilder who rarely engages in Yoga. I am sure if so many notable people speak so highly about it, theres no harm in giving it a go!