Ayurveda And Yoga

Ayurveda is the term given to the traditional Indian art of healing and is a part of the Vedic texts. The Vedas are an ancient collection of religious texts whose origins date back to at least the first millennium B.C. Ayurveda follows a holistic approach to healing and incorporates all aspects of the human life – the body, spirit and soul.
The core elements of Ayurveda are:

  • Massage and cleansing techniques
  • Study of diet
  • Yoga practice
  • Phytomedicine

Ayurveda is popular even today in India and contributes to a large part of health care of the population. It asserts its own position as an alternative to allopathy and homeopathy, which also enjoy great popularity in India.
In order to qualify to become a doctor of Ayurveda one has to complete a five year course. The course, which is offered at many Indian universities, is followed by a one year internship.
Ayurvedic doctors can be found in all Indian cities. Their mode of diagnosis consists mainly of checking the pulse, which often gives astonishingly accurate results. Medication is based on medicinal plants, but often contains heavy metals like lead, quicksilver or arsenic. Harmful side effects have been proved in many cases and caution is recommended on the choice of the preparations. Up till now the scientific effects of Ayurvedic medicines  have not been proved, but they often appear to be effective just like homeopathy.

Another important aspect of the therapy is correct diet which is determined by the type of constitution (Vata, Pitta, Kapha). Additionally, there are general rules for diet such as: eating only when hungry, no eating between meals, never eating when in an upset condition, never eating till one feels stuffed and eating only fresh food.

Certain cleansing procedures (Panchakarma) play an important role, namely fasting, baths, enema, massages, yoga and breathing exercises. They remove accumulated toxins and tension from the body.

Especially popular in the West are the Ayurvedic massages which are done with large quantities of heated oil.

There are numerous Ayurvedic clinics which offer all types of treatment In Pune. One does not need to travel to Kerala, where there are many Ayurvedic centres, for ayurvedic treatment.

Yoga

Yoga is a term derived from ancient Indian philosophy which guides the human soul on the path of unification with God. Yoga includes both mental (meditation, concentration) as well as physical exercises (body and breathing exercises). Since Hinduism encompasses many different streams of philosophy, there are also various streams of yoga.

Hatha Yoga, which focuses on physical exercises or asanas, and seeks a balance between body and soul, has become especially popular in the West.

The positive effect that Hatha Yoga has on health cannot be doubted and so is recommended by many Western doctors.

The Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune has won international recognition. It is founded by the 90 year old Hatha Yoga master, B.K.S.Iyengar. His books have been translated into 18 languages and are considered classics on Hatha Yoga. The teacher training courses which are conducted in his institute in Model Colony attract hundreds of yoga followers every year from around the world. It is difficult to secure a place here and so one must book well in advance.

Besides the Iyengar Institute there are many other excellent Hatha Yoga schools in Pune.

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