The nature of studying with many international Yoga teachers, often means travel and journeys to coincide with where their schedule brings them. Thankfully I’ve always enjoyed this aspect of my continual broadening and deepening of yoga knowledge and have gotten to travel to some great locations over the years.
This year has been no exception and as our summers is late arriving, its been fantastic to spend some time in sunny Amsterdam to study with the fantastic Dr Robert and expand my knowledge and experience of Ayurveda. As the first westerner to qualify as a doctor of Ayurveda, as well as being deeply schooled in Yoga, Tantra and Jyotisha, his knowledge and skill are unsurpassed.
Ayurveda is the ancient medical system of India. which literally means the science of life, originating during the same era as Yoga, it exists as a parallel science to it, both contain concepts and techniques that compliment and support each other. A fundamental feature of Ayurveda is recognition of our Prakriti, the basic, unique constitution of each person and using this as a means to perpetuate or restore harmony into all aspects of the person and life. Although containing all manner of means for the treatment of disease, Ayurveda places much importance on the prevention of ill heath, through right living.
Obviously of central influence on our life and wellbeing, is the nature of our lifestyle and the choices we make, as we interact with the Triguna, the three modes of nature, tamas, rajas and sattva, to simplify these, Tamas is inertia, heaviness, darkness, rajas is vibrancy, dynamism and activity, while sattva is clarity, lightness and serenity .
These characteristics are found in everything including ourselves, and all are required at particular times. But for harmony, the right choices and decisions are required so that we have the right mix, eg the right food, job, amount of rest etc. This is where having a personal yoga practice comes in, a natural result of a consistent practice is the arising of sattva itself, so that its clarity via our awareness and directed through discernment allows us to exist in a way whereby we effortlessly come to harmony, living a life that is appropriate for you are as an individual.
So as you next step into your Yoga mat, perhaps recognising that it is not just affecting your body and mind, but that your subtle intelligence is also being allowed to arise through the Hatha Yoga practices, allowing you to recognise how the qualities of the gunas are present in your life, and choices and how they’re influencing you.