I asked the ayurvedic doctor in Kerala, “So how does the practice of yoga tie in with ayurvedic treatments?” I was curious to know why they claimed that ayurvedic medicine tied in with yoga practice. At the health village in Kerala, hatha yoga sessions were led by a master daily at 6.30am.

health village in kerala
View of the Periyar river from the ayurvedic health village in Kerala, India
The ayurvedic doctor, Dr Karthik, who was a little chubby, had caught me off guard by saying, “well you see, Yoga means, ‘yogah citta vritti nirodhah’. That means I give my 100% whatever it is that I am doing. It can be whether I am wiping the surface of a table top, or practicing asanas, I am 100% there and I am doing it with my 100%.” He went on to answer that yoga works in every way possible with ayurveda because for example, for ayurvedic treatments to work, it requires 100% commitment from the patient to commit to perform and follow the treatments prescribed to them, and for the patient to also have 100% trust in the doctor.
And I was floored by his answer. It was so well said, and it made me embarrassed. I used the word yoga so loosely that it almost seemed as if I had forgotten that ‘yoga’ meant ‘union’, and that we were taught the meaning of the sutra ‘yogah citta vritti nirodhah’ on the very first day of the YTT! How could I use ‘yoga’ so loosely, especially in India!
So, as Dr Karthik had put it beautifully, yoga should be about giving your 100%, whatever it may be – be it simply breathing, asana practice, eating, drinking or sleeping. You remove all other distractions and focus on the one thing you are doing and give it your everything and all.
I believe living life this way equates to being mindful and appreciative of what you are doing/experiencing right now, and this helps to promote happiness and peace within yourself. Mindfulness and appreciation practiced daily will help to train your mind towards achieving yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. Keep the ‘practice [of this], and all is coming’ (courtesy of Guruji Sri K Pattabhi Jois).
-Mel (200hr weekend TTC)

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