Short Break Ayurveda Yoga WeekendRetreat by BaliSpirit.com
with The Yoga Barn©
A Few Proven Yoga Nidra Facts:
Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleep. It is a state of conscious Deep Sleep. Yoga Nidra
brings an incredible calmness, quietness and clarity. Yoga Nidra is one of the
deepest of all meditations, leading awareness through many levels of mental
process to a state of supreme stillness and insight.
A single hour of yoga nidra is as effective as 4 hours of sleep
Studies prove that Yoga Nidra has been used successfully to manage addiction,
psychological disorders, insomnia, chronic arthritic, gastro-intestinal,
musculoskeletal tension pain, migraine symptoms, bleeding & salivation
during dental surgery etc. It is applied therapeutically for cancer and stroke
Pioneering educators are using the Yoga Nidra method as a means of increasing
memory & learning function
The Benefits of Ayurveda:
Ayurveda, an ancient system of medicine, lifestyle and
philosophy from India, remains a very useful health tool in
today's world as a benchmark for a healthy lifestyle.
"As we turn to nature to seek traditional help for modern diseases, an
ancient traditional system of medicine from India, Ayurveda, offers a way to
strengthen the body and prevent health problems using herbal
remedies," says author Lim Wey Wen of Malaysia. The
main emphasis of the Ayurvedic lifestyle system is on preventing
disease and maintaining good health. Ayurvedic practitioners use diagnostic
techniques, such as examination of the pulse, tongue, face, lips, nails and
eyes, to monitor the disease process. Long term lifestyle programs usually
include an individualized diet, body detox through the use of fasting and
enemas, meditation, yoga, counseling and spiritual therapy.
What is Ayurveda?
This treatment modality is thought to promote wellness and optimize overall
health. Ayurveda should be used with, not in place of, standard cancer therapy.
What is Ayurveda and what does it involve? Ayurvedic medicine, similar to
traditional Chinese medicine, is based on a life force and the pursuit of
balance between the body, mind and nature. Illness is believed to be the
absence of physical, emotional and spiritual harmony. Its emphasis is on
preventing disease and maintaining good health. Ayurvedic practitioners use
diagnostic techniques, such as examination of the pulse, tongue, face, lips,
nails and eyes, to monitor the disease process. Treatment programs usually
include an individualized diet, body detoxification through the use of fasting
and enemas, meditation, yoga, counseling and spiritual therapy.
How is Ayurveda thought to promote wellness and optimize overall health?
Ayurvedic practitioners' goal is to bring about well-being, prevent
disease and ensure harmony of body and mind by aligning patients' lifestyles
with their personal characteristics and medical histories. Certain aspects of
this healing system, such as meditation, massage and yoga, have been shown to
enhance quality of life, reduce stress and tension and improve general
well-being. Ayurvedic medicine's emphasis on self-care and prevention is
consistent with many health maintenance programs designed to promote wellness
and optimize health. Many of Ayurvedic medicine's principles can easily be used
in conjunction with allopathic medicine.
What has been proven about the benefit of Ayurveda? While Ayurveda is not
recognized in the United States as a licensed treatment therapy much research
is underway to study its efficacy. According to a report by the National
Institutes of Health (NIH), one clinical study showed that in 79% of cases, the
health of patients with various chronic diseases improved measurably after
Ayurvedic treatment. Laboratory and clinical studies have suggested that some
Ayurvedic herbal preparations may have the potential to prevent and treat
certain cancers, including breast, lung and colon cancers. However, randomized
clinical trials in humans are needed to make conclusions about the role of
Ayurveda in cancer prevention and treatment. The National Cancer Institute
(NCI) has added several Ayurvedic herbal compounds to its list of potential
anticancer agents and has funded a series of laboratory studies to evaluate two
Ayurvedic herbal remedies (called MAK-4 and MAK-5). Their decision was based on
preliminary laboratory studies indicating that the two medicines significantly
inhibited growth of cancer cells from human and rat tumors. However, until
there is documented evidence from carefully controlled studies of the efficacy
of Ayurvedic herbal remedies, the American Cancer Society urges cancer patients
to treat their disease with proven methods of treatment. Ayurvedic health
maintenance principles, such as yoga, meditation and counseling, can be used in
conjunction with conventional cancer care safely.
What is the potential risk or harm of Ayurveda? Some elements of
Ayurveda, such as blood-letting, bowel purging and induced vomiting, have not
been shown to have any benefit and can lead to serious medical complications.
Fasting and purging can speed up degenerative processes in cancer
patients. There is very little known about Ayurvedic herbal medicines.
Check with a pharmacist or medical doctor before taking any medications.
Ayurvedic treatments differ from the majority of conventional cures in its
unique approach towards healing. The principle of treating the sick and not the
sickness is central to all forms of ayurvedic treatments. Rather than trying to
cure a disease in isolatation, ayurveda takes into account an individual in his
"Samadosha samagnischa samadhatu malakriya Prasanna atma manah swastha
Having a balanced state of doshas, agni (digestive fire), dhatus (tissues)
normal functioning of mala (waste products), cheerful state of atman (soul),
sensory organs and mind are the symptoms of healthy life.
Ayurvedic treatments lay emphasis on examining the doshas/prakriti or the
natural states of individuals before proceeding. The prakriti or the physical
constitution, susceptibility to diseases, mental make-up and lifestyle of an
individual is ascertained in accordance to the elemental constitution of the
larger prakriti or the universe.
Of course, ayurveda has drawn the most comprehensive picture of human body and
the natural world, saying that, the elements of the nature—the
Panchamahabhuts: kshit (earth), ap (water), marut(air), tejas (fire), and vyoma
(space or ether or akash), are also, the components of human body,which are
manifested in three types of physic—kaph (water/earth), pitta (fire),
vata (ether/ air).These three types are further recognized by ayurveda as
tridoshas or the three faults—vata, pitta and kapha irregularities. The
smooth functioning of the body is hampered owing to the imbalances in the three
doshas (prakriti) causing all kinds of diseases.
Ayurveda takes into consideration the body, mind and soul of an individual as
the unit for diagnosis. Hence, it recognizes negative emotions like anger,
fear, insecurity, jealousy and greed as incorrect thinking on the part of an
individual. These can directly create an imbalance in the doshas. Sattva, or
peaceful equilibrium, rajas, or excessive activity and tamas, or
inertia—the three tendencies or gunas of mind influence the imbalances in
the three doshas. Hence the mind-body imbalance impairs the creative
functioning of man.
Vata, which is identified with the cosmic element of vaayu or air and
akash or ether, control all types of movements and is responsible for
respiration too. This is the kinetic force in all kinds of biological forms,
and controls the body's auto-functions (nerve impulses, circulation,
respiration, and elimination and heartbeats etc.) therein. In case of an
imbalance (vikruti), vata prakriti individuals, who are quick in their mental
process and initiation of action, tend to suffer from diseases of the
neurological system especially motor functions. The diseases are pronounced
during the old age, which is the period of vata (vata kala). The disease mostly
affects the lower parts of the body since they are the predominant seats of
vata dosha. Also, individuals belonging to this type suffer from angina
Pitta Prakriti is consists of agni or teja, the element of heat
energy. It is responsible for maintenance of body heat and transforming in
nature. All types of outside elements an individual takes-in are transformed
into inside elements (microcosm) of the body by pitta. It governs the digestion
or proper assimilation of physical, mental and emotional elements of a
biological entity. Hence, Pitta is responsible for metabolism in the organ and
tissue systems, as well as cellular metabolism. The persons of this prakriti
are sharp, quick in action and normally possess a very good intellect as well
as grasping power. The pitta prakriti persons are prone to diseases of the
digestive and metabolic systems. The diseases mostly affect the abdomen i.e.
the area between the chest and umbilicus. Also, pitta disorders are pronounced
in the middle ages, which is the period of pitta (pitta kala).
Kapha prakriti or dosha consists of prithvi (earth) and jala (water).
Jala or ap, is essential for sustenance of life. Prithvi, or earth, is
responsible for structure and bulk of the material. Kapha is responsible for
body form and structure (fluids, fats, bones and muscles). The kapha prakriti
endows the individuals with a good physic and strong perseverance but they are
slow in their activities. The cold quality of kapha results in poor appetite as
their agni or digestion is poor. In case of an imbalance (vikruti), individuals
tend to suffer from the diseases of the respiratory system especially
phlegmatic disorders. The diseases normally affect the upper parts of the body
i.e. chest and above. The diseases are pronounced during the early ages
(childhood), which is the period of kapha (kapha kala). Generally people are a
combination of two doshas i.e. dwandvaja prakriti. They possess characteristics
of both doshas involved depending on the percentage of the combination. In this
case, one is a primary and the other is the secondary dosha. Sometimes people
are a combination of all the three imbalances of doshas. But, it is extremely
rare to find a balanced state of all the three doshas. Not only the humans but
also everything (animals, plants, geographical locations, times of day, seasons
and activities performed etc.) in the universe is categorized according to
these three doshas. An ayurvedic practitioner formulates a diet plan and
recommends herbs for a patient after taking into consideration all these
aspects. That's why in ayurveda different people with the same disease
sometimes receive different diet and herb plans.
Effect of Seasons on the Prakriti Types
The condition of human body depends on the continuous interaction
between internal and external factors. Environmental factors include the nature
of the land, water and various atmospheric phenomena such as temperature,
humidity, wind, rain and snow shortly, the seasons and climes. Food and proper
digestion of it in our systems is considered vital to maintain a reasonable
balance of the three doshas of vata, pitta and kapha. Food is digested by agni
(heat/fire) within us just as it is cooked by agni (heat/fire) outside.
According to ayurveda, there is a "stimulus-response" relation
between the agni within us and the outside agni—the sun. When the agni
outside is strong (i.e. summer) the agni inside us (the digestive energy) is
weak and vice-versa. Basing on this principle the Indian food customs (even
festival delicacies) and of course, the diet and lifestyle regimen (Dinacharya
and Ritucharya) of ayurveda have been adapted to seasonal changes.
Specialized ayurvedic remedies such as panchakarma, marma chikitsa, sirodhara
or following an ayurvedic diet, basically endeavor to restore the harmony of
the tridoshas. The purpose of all ayurvedic remedies and herbal medicines is to
keep the doshas or the humors in equilibrium, since an imbalance indicates a
disease condition. Samsodhana (cleansing process), samsamana (palliative
measures) and nidanaparivarjana (treating the causes) are the three main stages
through which ayurvedic remedies usually progress.
Of these three remedial phases, samsodhana is considered a prominent process
and according to ayurveda, should be administered with full care. Panchakarma
is synonymous with this process. In fact, panchakarma is a group of five
ayurvedic remedies, all of which are not practiced in all diseases.
For additional information on Ayurveda:
Ageless Body, Timeless Mind. Deepak Chopra, M.D. New York, NY:
Harmony Books, 1993.
Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing. Vasant Lad. Wilmont, WI:
Lotus Press, 1984.
Perfect Health: The Complete Mind/Body Guide. Deepak Chopra, M.D.
New York, NY: Harmony Books, 1991