Ayurveda offers you practical lifestyle tips to ensure that, whatever the goals of your yoga practice, you are getting the most out of your time on your mat. By addressing everyday bodily concerns through Ayurveda in addition to yoga postures, you receive the most benefit for the time you invest in your health & wellness.
What many don't realize is that the healing power of yoga is only half of the equation to the ancient health system of India. Although yoga is optimal for stretching your muscles, aligning your posture, & lowering stress, it is equally as important to look at the diet & lifestyle decisions that happen off your mat when seeking optimal wellness. This is where Ayurveda - yoga's 5,000 year old sister science - comes into play.
For example, if your digestion is so imbalanced and uncomfortable that you rely on your yoga asana just to keep your bowel movements regular, you may be working too hard. With Ayurveda, you can discover the root cause of irregular bowels and treat your symptoms once and for all. When your diet and lifestyle are right, you'll feel good even if you miss a day of asana practice. (But you'll feel great when you do both daily!)
Here are some of the ways that Ayurveda will benefit your yoga practice:
Know how to change the composition of your blood, not just the circulation of it. While yoga asana helps circulate blood through the organs and body, the right diet can help you build the strongest blood that protects and nourishes the whole body while you flow on your mat.
Discover how your body is unique. Yoga can be a bit one size fits all. Amidst yoga's many alignment cues, there is still no systematic model to learn your unique constitution. Ayurveda walks you through a step by step approach to learn not only your dosha, but the unique constitution that makes you the individual that you are!
Ayurveda helps you know how to modify your practice. Certain asanas practices are healthy or unhealthy according to the individual. Is hot yoga good for you? Will sun salutations make you angry or bring you to a quiet state of mind? Once you know your unique constitution, knowing how to modify your practice accordingly helps you both prevent injury and advance in your practice quickly.
Discover the root causes of your health problems beyond musculo-skeletal. Sometimes health issues come from a weakened organ, or compromised digestion, or scars in the sinuses or lungs. Ayurveda can identify and address these issues once and for all, instead of merely refreshing your organs daily with yoga.
Modify your practice with the rhythms of the day and season. The intensity and pace of your yoga practice should follow the rhythms of the day according to Ayurveda if you want your practice to be sattvic. This means avoiding inversions, backbends and other stimulating poses at night time or when life is fast-paced and stressful. Having a foundational understanding of Ayurveda will help you grow more familiar and sensitive to what types of practices are best for you and your clients, and, more importantly, when to utilize them.
Deepen Your Stretch. Ayurveda shows you how to choose the right diet, herbs, and lifestyle that will help you keep your muscles strong, supple, and elastic even into old age. For example try turmeric for your muscles if you have a Vata or Kapha constitution. The anti-inflammatory & circulatory enhancing actions of this favorite Ayurvedic herb helps you stretch deeper.
Keep elimination regular. Clearing out toxins helps quiet the mind and set you up for the most sattvic (or tranquil) yoga practice. While twists and forward folds all help tonify and detoxify the organs and support digestion, your efforts are even more effective when you eat foods and herbs meant to regulate elimination.
Ayurveda keeps your digestion strong. Following the Ayurvedic guidelines of eating, like giving yourself plenty of time to digest food before performing yoga, supports optimum vitality. Remember: the act of digestion consumes lots of your energy. Just as yoga teaches you to honor your spine, Ayurveda teaches you to honor your body by letting it digest fully and efficiently.
Increase your stamina by nourishing your body off the mat. The way to nourish your body is as unique as you are. The effects of yoga often last beyond your physical practice, so why should your diet be any different? Choosing foods through the wisdom of Ayurveda keeps you nourished so you can move with stamina and ease.
Show Compassion for Your Clients, and know what to expect from them. Study of Ayurveda reveals how your clients constitution is related to their emotional life, and musculo skeletal alignment issues. If you are a yoga teacher, this awareness helps you predict the kinds of obstacles your clients will face as well as their emotional hurdles. That will help you guide clients quickly and effectively, as well as deal with issues in yoga class and private sessions effectively and compassionately, strengthening your effectiveness in your community.
Mastering Ayurvedic Digestion & Nutrition 500HR Certification Program
John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a
healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda biocharacteristics.
His approach to Ayurveda is clinical, yet exudes an ease which many find enjoyable and insightful.
John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda,
offering professional clinical training in Ayurveda for over 15 years.
John's interest in Ayurveda and specialization in digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel,
as well as public service work in South Asia.
John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem.
His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion.
John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing.
In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots,
and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church.
Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick.
That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
Outside of work, John enjoys spending time with his wife and 6 kids, and pursuing his love of theology, philosophy, and language.