Looking to Find Balance? Ayurveda Yoga Might Be the Answer

For a lot of us, working out can feel like a chore. Ie. you find yourself dying on the treadmill which you loath with a passion or in a yoga class basically breaking your back trying to do challenging positions. Sure, you might feel stronger, but you’re not feeling the full mental benefits from working out that every scientist raves about.

So what are you doing wrong? Nothing actually. The real question is “what aren’t you doing?”

Ayurveda yoga may be that missing link.

However many miles you run on the treadmill, or chaturangas you complete in one week, you’re still not achieving the balance that a good mind, body connect instills, and if you read my review on the Ayurveda facial, than you know that, that’s what Ayurveda is all about.

Much of what the ancient holistic medicine focuses on is connecting your mind and body, through a practice that is tailored to your individual needs, as well as the seasons. So while more common forms of yoga, are also very beneficial, Ayurveda yoga might be the intuitive and personalized reset your body needs.

Interested? After trying a rejuvenating Ayurveda Yoga class with practitioner Janeen Yusuf at Laya Spa, I had to learn more about the approach. Read the interview below, where Janeen gives me the lowdown on Ayurveda Yoga to find out whether it’s right for you.

What is Ayurveda Yoga and how is it different than regular yoga?

Ayu-Yoga is a balancing, holistic practice that includes meditation, concentration, breathing, movement, subtle anatomy and other integrative tools and techniques. It’s tailored to a person’s individual needs based on what is happening in their life and with their health to bring them back into a state of balance, ease and resilience. The practice of Ayu-Yoga changes according to the season, their age and life transitions as well as the persons constitution, so it is customized to help balance life throughout.

What are some reasons people should give Ayu-Yoga a try?

It is an opportunity for guided self-observation within a class setting that provides time and space away from everyday activities; it’s a self-care practice. It also connects and aligns with nature and the elements so you have an experiential understanding of what is happening outside in the cycles of nature, is also happening within us. For those who practice yoga as a movement based practice, Ayu-Yoga integrates meditation and holistic tools, inviting more balance in their practice, improving quality of life and how they live day-to day with more self-care and connection.

What are several Ayurveda wellness tips people can easily incorporate into their lives?

  • tongue scraping
  • self oil massage (self abhyanga) with coconut oil or sesame oil
  • align with nature’s cycles: wake up between 5 and 7 am and sleep by 10 pm (sleep between 10pm and 2am helps the body’s organs to heal, rest and repair, particularly the liver)
  • introduce a self-care wind down routine before sleeping (ie. soft relaxing music, soothing scents, journaling, calming breathing exercises, oiling and massaging)
  • drink water at room temperature or warmer and drink one glass first thing in the morning after cleansing the senses
  • eat only when hungry and leave a few hours between meals for optimal digestion
  • your largest meal of the day should be at lunch when digestive fire is strongest
  • raw foods like salads are best during lunchtime when digestive fire is strongest and enjoy lighter cooked meals like soups for dinner
  • take deep long breaths, abdomen expands as you inhale and relaxes as you exhale. For balancing, try Nadi Shodhana pranayam breathing.
  • incorporate a daily movement practice, even 15 minutes of gentle movement is good for mental health
  • connect to nature, take walks, gaze at the moon, care for plants
  • use aromatherapy and essential oils that balance your unique constitution (dosha)

Alex Payne

Alex Payne

Alex is a Toronto-based writer, author and DJ. When she's not playing music at Toronto venues like Mod Club or River Bar at Budweiser Stage, she's probably either writing sci-fi novels or having a horror movie binge.

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