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Yoga and Ayurveda; Just an Alternative Science? – I Think Not!

A stunning rise in popularity of Yoga over the last decade has meant that a growing demographic of passionate yogis are stretching all across the world. From mindfulness to transcendental, various schools and disciplines of yoga are proliferating everywhere. Yoga as a lifestyle and as a culture has permeated into people’s lives.

During these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic gripping the entire planet, life indoors is inconspicuously becoming the new normal with yoga and meditation becoming the new fitness mantra. I don’t remember a better time when the old chestnut, “Prevention is better than cure” could be more relevant. It’s no coincidence that this is one of the foundation stones of ayurvedic science.

So, what is Ayurveda? – Ayurveda is believed to be the most ancient system of medicine and healing dating back 5000 years ago. Charaka Samhita, an important and ancient authoritative writing on Ayurveda says, “Swasthasya Swashthya Rakshanam, Aturasya Vikaram Prashamanam cha”. In other words, there are two main aspects of Ayurveda. First is to maintain one’s health and the other is treating the illness.

Elaborating on the first aspect; Unlike other systems of medicine, there is an entire wing of Ayurveda dedicated towards maintaining one’s health holistically (Mind, Body and Soul) thus taking charge of the immune system.

Dinacharya – Daily etiquettes for holistic well being of oneself (microcosm) and the ecosystem (macrocosm).

Ritucharya – Living one’s life in accordance with the flow of seasons.

One doesn’t need to go up to a deep enchanted forest to find herbs when they can be found right in our kitchens. This reminds me of my childhood days when at the slightest sound of a cough, my Grandma would instantly brew a concoction of kashyam/Kadha with simple ingredients like Jeera, Ajwain, black pepper, turmeric and a few tulsi (holy basil) leaves from the garden. Fumigating the house with fresh herbs and ajwain was a regular practise. Although, scientific research has now proved that neem leaves exhibit immunomodulatory and antibacterial properties, as a child, consuming fresh neem paste once a week was quite typical.

In wake of the Covid-19 Crisis the Ministry of Ayush, India, has promptly prescribed the most essential immune boosting remedies. India’s Prime Minister in his recent “Mann ki baat”, has emphasised on the importance of adopting methods and practises of Ayurveda and incorporating them in our daily lives.

The world is witnessing an ever increasing population of human beings, inclined towards natural remedies and organic ways to boost their immunity. A pandemic of such proportions, leaves behind scars; both physical and psychological. In times ahead, Ayurveda will have a major role to play and will be key in pioneering our efforts towards a healthier human civilization.

This Is The Time for the entire ayurvedic community comprising doctors, practitioners, therapists and it’s steadfast supporters to come together in funneling all efforts towards documenting and backing up the potency of ayurvedic science through evidence based research.

Article By: Aiswarya Iyer

Aishwarya is an qualified Ayurvedic enthusiast, mum yogi and an eco-warrior. When she isn’t doing a handstand, scribbling her thoughts, or unveiling her misplaced french vocabulary, you will find her in a discreet corner on her zen couch, enlaced in the aroma of her Assamese tea, mulling over thoughts of nirvana.
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