Next month I will be taking a yoga course to improve my teaching skills. It’s called Wise Progression: Methodology for Power taught by Loren Crawford. The course will focus on how to sequence classes for safety, ease and heightened energetic experience. One of the requirements for the course is to write a book report on Yoga and Ayurveda by David Frawley. It was my third time reading the book and there was still information that was beyond my comprehension and other bits that now made more sense. The book gives an overview of Ayurveda and details about the similar energetics and practices of Yoga and Ayurveda.
Generally Ayurveda works at healing and purifying the body and mind while yoga focuses on Self-realization, which depends upon a purified body and mind. Therefor it is favourable to practice both.
The three most compelling points in the book for me where:
I found it important to know that the same asana can be adjusted for different doshic types. To reduce vata, asanas are usually done slowly, steadily and gently. To reduce pitta, they should be done with coolness, diffustion of energy and relaxation. To pacify Kapha, asanas should have a quicker flow and create heat and effort. Pranayama can also be incorporated to asansas to change their effects, such as heating or cooling. This information is helpful to adapt your practice to your dosha but also to the different seasons.
2. Teaching public yoga classes
It’s challenging to teach drop in classes when so many elements must be considered. We can adjust the practice depending on the time and of day and season but the other aspects such as the level of the students, their constitutions, structures and conditions can be difficult to accommodate in a large group. We must also remember that individuals of a certain doshic constitution can suffer from diseases from another dosha that might be out of balance. If this is the case the dosha that is out of balance should be treated instead of he person’s constitution. For example if a student with a Pitta constitution has congested lungs which is a Kapha condition, he or she should be practicing asanas that will treat the congestion.
Diet is hot topic these days. There are so many new diets it can get quite confusing. What if we changed our relationship to food and viewed it as medicine? We can use Ayurveda food principles to bring health and balance to the body. What struck me as important was that one should only take raw food to the extent that one’s digestive fire has the capacity or 10-20% of one’s daily diet. One should therefor focus and balancing agni so that food can be properly digested, assimilated and eliminated.