Ayurvedic Approach on Asana and Exercise

Ayurveda promotes health, balance and holistic healing. To help promote balance and to prevent disease ayurveda recommends regular exercise for all doshic types. Exercise needs to be modified according to the person’s sex, age (stage of life), strength, as well as the variations of the time of the day, the season, climate and environment.

Asana is recommended as the most effective form of exercise in ayurveda because it is considered balanced, wholesome and safe. In addition, a proper asana practice has the potential to enhance sattva guna and stillness than other forms of exercise. Asana helps with the flexibility of the body, particularly flexibility of the spine which helps circulate blood, nutrients and prana freely throughout the body.

Asana, if done with an understanding of Ayurveda can be used as a special form of exercise that helps to eliminate the doshas from the deeper tissues and keeps the flow in the srota systems and channels clear and even. Often asana is used as exercise to remove excess vata and ama that tend to accumulate in the joints and bones. Thus asana in Ayurveda can be used as physical therapy (asana chikitasa) and a form of medicine to help heal and prevent disease.

Ahara (intake nutrition) and vihara(output expression) the best form of physical vihara is asana, right diet is ahara these mutually support each other. The prescription of asana and good Ayurvedic diet should go together to really work successfully.

Stillness Within Yoga Asana

Stillness is important in an asana practice because this allows for the body, mind and pranas to become quiet which is essential for healing of body, mind and pranas.

When we perform asana with the right sattvic attitude then we can balance the state of restlessness which is fed through over stimulation, desires/ambitions, too much usage of technology, distraction and agitation. In this fast-moving world, it is crucial to develop stillness in the body/mind, for its healing.

Internal stillness facilitates the cleansing of the organs, blood, skin, removal of excess doshas from the body. Particularly the vata dosha from the bones and joints. When there is tranquility within the asana the mind slows down and prana begins to flow through the nadis nourishing both the physical and astral body.

Practitioner is then ready to practice pranayama and meditation. These higher forms of yoga cultivate a state of yoga within, the state of being or abiding in oneself.