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Ayurveda and Ashtanga Yoga: Balance and the Ego

Image © Robin Ellen Lucas

the study of inner space

Ayurveda is the sister science of Yoga. Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga is based on the principles of Ayurveda, since it is customized for each person. It is the study of the inner space within you and so too is a self-led Ashtanga practice where you listen to your inner voice.

The main goal of both Ayurveda and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (Mysore-style self-led practice) is to bring yourself to a balanced state. Each individual is unique, leading to varying definitions of what it takes to come into balance.

you are born with your own nature

You are who you are. You're born with it. In Ayurveda, you have a mixture of 3 of the doshas (Pitta, Vata, Kapha) and what you are, you are. You can't change it; you can only be aware of what triggers imbalances in you and learn the best lifestyle.

Pitta is the fire, Vata is the air and Kapha is the juice.

Lifestyle matters

Just as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha each guide you on an innate level depending on your nature (i.e., constitution), Ojas, Tejas and Prana rise and fall depending on lifestyle, activity, diet, etc. Ojas, essential internal juices, are vital for grounding Ashtanga yoga practitioners (Kapha). Tejas allow transformation, built up using your fire through asanas, but too much burns up Ojas (Pitta). Prana is the subtle life force found in your own breath (Vata).

Tame the ego

What we want to do is get in touch with our true self and live from that place. A quote from my Healing Series on psychological ego and spiritual ego:

"The psychological Ego needs to perform and be judged. With continual Ashtanga practice, this ego melts. The spiritual Ego carries the misinterpreted reflections of the mind when it is not clear and peaceful (Advaita Vedanta)." (Breaking down the Ego, my Healing Series)

In summary, honor your inner fire, your muscles, your breath. Use your bandhas (internal locks). Develop courage (feel fear and do it anyway). Remember who you are...  


~ Robin Ellen Lucas, M.A.


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