Yoga and European Ayurveda®: from the mat to the centre of youYoga and European Ayurveda®: from the mat to the centre of you

Yoga: from the mat to the centre of you

EUROPEAN AYURVEDA® and Yoga: on the same energetic plane

Yoga and European Ayurveda® are both about holistic being and becoming. Both are based on an awareness of the energetic flows that affect our body, mind and overall wellbeing.

An essential foundation of European Ayurveda® is the focus on holism: nothing exists in isolation, everything is one. Therefore, the path to health and wellbeing needs to be holistic. This also means that the path is made up not of a single strand, but of a number of methods that complement and reinforce each other. The starting point is a person’s individual needs and particular stage in life. It is not the person who has to adapt to the methods, but the methods to the person – that is the only way to provide guidance towards a new level of consciousness.

Yoga paves the way. Everyone can practice Yoga, because Asanas can be adapted to suit individual needs. Yoga is not simply about stretching, and it is as little about acrobatics as it is about lying on the floor feeling vaguely ‘spiritual’. Yoga is the sum of a multitude of insights about humans and the material, spiritual, emotional and energetic world they live in. Yoga brings all of this onto the mat: movement, breath and awareness leads to understanding and from there to recognition and change.

Yoga is the bridge.
Between mind and body.
Between outside and inside.
Between being and becoming.

Yoga and Ayurveda are underpinned by the understanding that all being is based on energy. Blocked or disturbed energy flow manifests in psychological and/or physical disorders. We are literally and figuratively ‘out of breath’: the Sanskrit word Prana means breath, soul, life, vitality, and describes both the physical breath and the body’s subtle life energy, which can be best felt through the breath. This energy conditions all the functions of body and mind including the development of different states of consciousness. Prana also plays an important role in Ayurvedic nutrition and medicine.

Pranayama is the practice of controlling the breath to bring together body and mind. The breath is the source of our Prana, the vital life force that connects body and mind. The way we breathe expresses our physical and mental state: when our breath is fast, for instance, we reveal nervousness or exertion; shallow breathing indicates pain and tension, and so on. On the other hand, this also means that our breath can influence our body and psyche. Unlike the heart, lungs have no muscles of their own and depend on the diaphragm, the intercostal muscles, the muscles in the neck, and the abdominal muscles to function optimally. To use our breath consciously and as efficiently as possible, we therefore need good chest and abdominal mobility, which is why this is as essential a part of Yoga as the breathing exercises themselves. When a Yoga instructor invites us to consciously inhale and exhale, it is because breathing is part of the practice.

Yoga is the bridge.
Between mind and body.
Between outside and inside.
Between being and becoming.

Yoga and Ayurveda are underpinned by the understanding that all being is based on energy. Blocked or disturbed energy flow manifests in psychological and/or physical disorders. We are literally and figuratively ‘out of breath’: the Sanskrit word Prana means breath, soul, life, vitality, and describes both the physical breath and the body’s subtle life energy, which can be best felt through the breath. This energy conditions all the functions of body and mind including the development of different states of consciousness. Prana also plays an important role in Ayurvedic nutrition and medicine.

Pranayama is the practice of controlling the breath to bring together body and mind. The breath is the source of our Prana, the vital life force that connects body and mind. The way we breathe expresses our physical and mental state: when our breath is fast, for instance, we reveal nervousness or exertion; shallow breathing indicates pain and tension, and so on. On the other hand, this also means that our breath can influence our body and psyche. Unlike the heart, lungs have no muscles of their own and depend on the diaphragm, the intercostal muscles, the muscles in the neck, and the abdominal muscles to function optimally. To use our breath consciously and as efficiently as possible, we therefore need good chest and abdominal mobility, which is why this is as essential a part of Yoga as the breathing exercises themselves. When a Yoga instructor invites us to consciously inhale and exhale, it is because breathing is part of the practice.

Did you know?

Yoga includes a wide variety of breathing techniques which can boost or support the effect of Asanas. Nasal breathing, for example, activates the parasympathetic nervous system which brings about relaxation and physical regeneration. Nasal breathing increases the blood’s oxygen saturation by 10 to 15%. This has a positive effect on digestion and metabolism, essential for weight control, as well as enhancing performance and positively influencing our immune system.

Yoga and European Ayurveda®: from the mat to the centre of you

Yoga has many layers

Yoga achieves its holistic effect by combining physical movement, conscious breathing and a focus on the here and now. This results in us feeling blissful after a Yoga session: we see more clearly, feel more intensely, and are more attentive to ourselves and our environment. We feel energetic and more present than we did prior to the practice: we are on the path to mindfulness.

Yoga im European Ayurveda von der Matte zur eigenen Mitte

Core strength with Yoga

Regular practice teaches us to better perceive our bodies. Yoga also strengthens the body’s core muscles, which are so important for stability. These cannot be controlled in a targeted or isolated way, so, the more functional the training, i.e. the more holistically complex the exercises, the better for the deep muscles. Well-trained core muscles benefit our posture as well as the overall strength and function of the musculoskeletal system.

Yoga and European Ayurveda®: from the mat to the centre of you

Flexibility and mobility are among the huge benefit of a regular Yoga practice

The muscles are stretched, become smooth and flexible. Our movements change, our posture improves. The exercises boost blood circulation and release obstructions.

Like our bodies, our minds are strengthened, stretched and made flexible through Yoga – that’s what Yoga is about. We learn movements and postures, deepen them with our breath, and internalise what we have learned on both a physical and a spiritual level.

Yoga and European Ayurveda®: from the mat to the centre of you

Our weekly Yoga programme:

As part of our weekly programme, we offer a range of twice-daily Yoga, meditation and Pranayama classes in our new Yoga room. Morning class: 8 to 9am. Afternoon: 4 to 5pm. Occasionally, we also offer an evening practice which starts at 7.30pm.