for Holistic Health
by Swami Sitaramananda
Yoga Farm Director
Swami Sitaramananda is a senior disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda and acharya of the US West Coast centers and Ashram. Swamiji is also the acharya of the Sivananda mission in Asia, especially in Vietnam, where she hails from.
What is holistic health? Holistic healing implies healing the root cause of a problem, rather than simply treating or masking a symptom. Furthermore, it calls for healing the whole person. That means not only the physical body, but also the mind and connection with spirit.
In this article, you will learn more about Ayurveda and Jyotish ( Vedic Astrology ) as they relate to Yoga and health. To give some clarification, this article is not meant to explain the basics of Ayurveda or Jyotish, but to provide context to their proper use in conjunction with Yoga.
Ayurveda and Holistic Health
It helps to understand that Yoga and Ayurveda are both Vedic sciences. Put another way, they both originate from ancient scripture known as the Vedas. They have the same kind of premise. According to both sciences, the material universe is composed of the five elements.
The Elements and Doshas
Ayurveda is based on the theory of the five elements:
From the five elements, the three doshas and their qualities are composed.
- Vata – Air and Ether
- Pitta – Fire
- Kapha – Earth and Water
There is obviously lot more to it. The main thing to understand for this case is that Doshas are easily imbalanced through improper diet and lifestyle. In this way they are the faults, imperfections, the three distortions, commonly referred to as your constitution.
Balancing the Doshas
You will be healthy if you live according to
So by using these two factors, the original constitution (Dosha), and your present constitution (Vikruti), you change how to regulate your thoughts and actions to bring it back to a balanced state. Therefore, through this
Ayurveda is very much a practice of herbs and nutrition that are important and cleansing to the body and mental process. Ayurvedic practitioners use herbs and diet to bring you back to that state of health and calm.
Ayurvedic and Yogic Diets
The whole ayurvedic is a complex science. You need to learn more about your constitution to be able balance it effectively. There are certain diets and lifestyle changes prescribed for each dosha.
For instance, when you see a person that is completely red from top to bottom, you say something is wrong with your pitta dosha. You have to say that and you have to somehow not aggravate them and calm them down.
If an Ayurvedic practitioner prescribes a Yogi to eat meat, the Yogi says no. That is because a Yogi follows the spiritual ethic of Ahimsa – non-violence. In this manner, a practitioner of Yoga may choose to follow an
Eating a balanced, wholesome diet is part of the yogic and ayurvedic lifestyle.
The 3 Causes of Disease
In addition to the doshas, there are three causes of disease in Ayurveda. The first
The second cause is the misuse of the senses. It involves overstimulation or deprivation of the five senses, which leads to imbalances in the body and mind. For instance, excessive bright lights and loud noises can upset the nervous system, and if prolonged can lead to disease.
The third cause is seasonal variations. In order for optimal health, it is important to follow the rhythms of nature. This involves waking up at the right time, experiencing suitable temperatures in each season, or adapting lifestyle to fit one’s age.
Finally, both Ayurveda and Yoga profess that forgetting your true nature as spirit is the chief underlying cause of all disease. You were born into your body because of this fundamental ignorance of the Self.
When you attain Self-realization, there is no more disease. That’s because there is no more false identification or attachment with the body, mind or senses.
Ayurveda offers diet, lifestyle and herbal medicine for a happy, healthy life.
Ayurveda Supports Yoga
According to Ayurveda and Yoga, spiritual ignorance is a root cause of all disease. When you forget that you are a divine being Who is already whole,
Often times these external things are not conducive to our health, such as ice cream or excess television. Excessive desires and sensual indulgences speed up the mind and bring unrest. Consequently, a fast mind will never have peace and will experience mental and physiological stress.
Furthermore, the more your mind is rajasic and tamasic the more you churn.
Yoga meditation and Yoga asanas (poses) are both integral aspects of Ayurvedic medicine.
Likewise, the more you are peaceful, knowing yourself, not getting too
Yoga seeks to calm down rajas and eradicate tamas. In tamas, the mind is veiled and we fail to see the true Self. On the other hand, rajas makes the mind restless and desirous, constantly projecting outwards and creating distortions.
The main aim in Ayurveda is physical and mental health, while Yoga is for
Healing the body alone is not the primary goal of yoga; the primary goal is Self-Realization. According to Yoga, the body is only a vehicle or instrument. Ayurveda is a sister science of Yoga that helps with healing the body, which prepares the instrument for its highest duty towards Self-Realization.
Jyotish for Holistic Healing
For many spiritual aspirants, Jyotish is completely new,
The Sivananda Yoga Farm has become one of the institutions that
Jyotish and Ayurveda
What does Jyotish have to do with Yoga and healing? As is the same in Ayurveda, in Jyotish you have the three constitutions: Vata, Pitta
Vedic Astrology is the study of planets in our solar system and their effects on the individual.
Jyotish and Karma
Similarly, the planets determine your education, your psyche, and your contribution to this world. They show your communication with your heart, your relationship with your religion, your guru, or your teachers. Likewise, they rule over your virtues and vices, the ways in which you either remove the ego or make it bigger.
Jyotish for the Spiritual Path
The planets cause all situations and conditions in life. In this way, Jyotish helps the spiritual aspirant to learn their strengths and weaknesses, the tendencies and faults of the mind.
After you learn about Jyotish, you can use the knowledge and adapt it to your Yoga practice. You learn to balance out any negative qualities or situations through yogic sadhana. You can learn how to compensate for certain health conditions and life circumstances.
Jyotish or Vedic Astrology can be a useful tool on the spiritual path towards unity.
Yoga is Primary
The 12 yoga asanas (postures), pranayama, meditation, sattvic diet
That’s because if you practice the five points and the four paths of Yoga, it balances all the effects of the planets anyway. Your Karma will be alleviated by itself!
With that being said, it’s not completely necessary to be an expert in
Then you will have a little bit more language, which will help you navigate the complimentary
The ultimate goal of Yoga is Self-realization.
There is no doubt that spreading peace and Yoga is the main mission of the Sivananda organization, and that Jyotish and Ayurveda, together,
Yoga is the primary thing, due to the fact that it leads to liberation and the understanding of the Self.
Furthermore, Yoga offers health and healing; healing of the spirit, mind
© Swami Sitaramananda 2018 – No part of this article may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the author.