Ayurveda College Online

Narayana Ayurveda and Yoga Academy is a registered school with Yoga Alliance, and our professional Ayurveda programs have been reviewed by National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA)and meet their requirements for professional membership. Our professional Ayurveda Programs are approved and regulated by Texas Workforce Comission-Career School and Colleges.

PROGRAMS

Ayurveda Counseler

*Summer Session- August 10th, 2018
(Early Bird Registration- June 30th, 2018.
Regular Cut off date -August 4, 2018)
*Fall session-October 11th 2018
(Early Bird Registration- September 10th, 2018.
cut off date-October 1, 2018)
*Winter Session-January 2019
(Early Bird Registration- December 10th, 2018.
cut off date-January 6 2019)
*Spring Session-March 2019
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Download Ayurveda Program Catalog

Ayurveda Practitioner
*Fall Session October 2018
*Winter Session January 2018
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*Yoga STUDIES

*YOGA Therapy- Nov 2018
*Yoga Teacher Training- Nov 2018

Note: Our Yoga studies are not regulated by Texas Worksforce Commission.

PHONE: 512-692-9162

We offer recognized certificate and diplomas in Ayurvedic Medicine, Yoga Therapy and Yoga Teacher Training.
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Events

Earth's Day, April 22 at 1 PM- Free Nadi (Pulse) and Free Jyotish Vedic Astrology consultation at our booth at Radha Madhav Dham, Austin
July 28 at 2 PM- Free Nadi (Pulse) and Free Ayurveda Wellness consultation as part of Student Internship at St Edwards University, South Congress Avenue. Pre-Registration required.
July 29 at 1 PM- Free Nadi (Pulse) and Free Ayurveda Wellness consultation as part of Student Internship at St Edwards University. Pre-Registration required.
Having Fun with Ayurveda Make your own Ayurvedic skin salves & face cleanser for acne, Ayurvedic soap with turmeric and manjistha for troubled skin, and/or Kajal (Ayurvedic eyeliner).We will also make an ayurvedic candle- a Ghee Lamp with camphor. We will also have fun with Ayurvedic food colors. 4 Hour Workshop - $60. Open to the Public and young adults. July 2018 (Dates TBD)
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Free Ayurveda Consultation Sign up

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Our programs are a mix of online, distance learning, and onsite internships. We also have plenty of community and public workshops that we encourage students to attend.

Please use the CONTACT FORM for quicker response time.

Our admin office location for yoga programs in Austin, Texas.
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WHAT OUR STUDENTS OUR SAYING?
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Read More about our courses
Yoga Therapy
Courses offered in Canada and International countries

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National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA) exam

Students may decide to follow the NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association) Ayurveda Counselor curriculum for 600 Hours and Ayurveda Practitioner for 1000-1500 hours in order to qualify for a board examination. This enables the student to take a qualifying exam offered by NAMA, enabling them for a CERTIFIED AYURVEDA COUNSELOR label, or, CERTIFIED AYURVEDA PRACTITIONER LABEL. https://www.namacb.org/

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The Three Doshas and the Mind in Ayurveda

By Sarah Moore May 7, 2018

We are able to draw parallels of the metaphorical illustration from the Bhagavad Gita with Krishna and Arjuna riding in a chariot to the ways in which the subdoshas relate to the mind.

In the illustration, Atma is the owner of the chariot, the chariot is the Body, the driver is Buddhi, the reins Mind, and horses Indriyas.

To an effect, all the Vata subdoshas associated with mind (Prana Vayu, Udana Vayu, Vyana Vayu and Apana Vayu) are linked with all these layers of existence: Atma, Mind, Buddhi, Body and Indriyas. Prana Vayu located in the head, where the Sahasrira Chakra resides, is all pervading. It is the life force, (Atma), it governs all movements (body), the link between body and mind (Buddhi), makes decisions and actions happen (Mind), and controls senses, indriyas (horses).

Udana Vayu resides in the throat, with the Vishuddha Chakra. It governs expression of emotions (Mind and Buddhi). Vyana Vayu lives in the heart, it holds the Mind (Reins) and keeps the Body (Chariot) moving at an even pace, connecting the Mind and Body. If a wheel is broken, the chariot cannot roll forward; likewise if there is no connection of mind to body the horses will cease, they will have no direction. Apana Vayu is seated in the pelvic region, with Svadhisthana Chakra, it is related mainly in a physical way as it is responsible for shedding waste product, it keeps the Body (Chariot) clean of waste so it can continue functioning properly, so our body (the chariot) is not weighed down by waste product—physical or emotional. If the chariot is weighed down, or Apana vayu is blocked—physically or emotionally—it affects emotions, that is, the mind.

Subdoshas affected by the Mind and vice versa

Vata: Prana, Udana, Vyana and Apana (Atma, Mind, Body)
Pitta: Sadhaka (Buddhi)
Kapha: Avalambaka, Tarpaka (Body)

The Pitta subdosha associated to the mind is Sadhaka Pitta. This subdosha of Pitta resides in the heart with Anahata Chakra, which is the home of the mind in Ayurveda; it also resides in the head or brain as grey matter with Sahasrira Chakra. It is responsible for turning sensations, actuality, truth and reality into feelings and memory, it realizes the I am in Ego. Prana Vayu is closely related to Sadhaka Pitta, together they record emotions that create the intellect, which is then stored in the brain by Tarpaka Kapha (subdosha of Kapha that resides in the head as white matter and in the myelin sheath). Prana Vayu carries the emotions to Sadhaka Pitta and writes or imprints it on Sadhaka Pitta’s grey matter, then Tarpaka Kapha holds that information in white matter. Sadhaka Pitta develops information or intellect (buddhi and driver) from the indriyas (the horses). Sadhaka pitta is the Intellect. It metabolizes information from the Indriyas (horses) to make knowledge, which is the Intellect, Buddhi (driver).

The Kapha subdoshas associated with the mind are Avalambaka Kapha and Tarpaka Kapha. Avalambaka Kapha resides in the heart. It nourishes the cardiovascular organs (body or chariot) and holdw emotions (Buddhi or Driver). It hugs the heart and lunges with nourishment, support, love and compassion, so the mind, intellect, body and atma has courage to move forward. Without Avalambaka Kapha our emotions cannot be carried by Vata to Sadhaka Pitta for metabolization. The lungs can become a seat for negative tamasik emotions of sadness, grief and depression, which can affect the mind, body, intellect and atma. Without Avalambaka Kapha we dry up in the cardiovascular area, we cannot feel compassion or love, only tamasik tendencies—this can be shown in diseases such as bronchitis or asthma.

Tarpaka Kapha is seated in the brain as white matter and seated in the myelin sheath, which is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It is responsible for subconscious thinking, emotions and memory—as mentioned above, it stores and records emotions, experiences, etc. metabolized by Sadhaka Pitta, provided by Vata. It stores protective memories that control our reactive impulses—it nourishes and provides information to Buddhi (the driver) that helps direct oneself in a safe way, such as learning from one’s mistakes or other’s mistakes through the indriyas (horses), so the Buddhi or Driver can control and steer its chariot and owner (Body and Atma) in a safe way along its physical life journey.

--Sarah Moore is studying Ayurveda Counselor from Narayana Ayurveda and Yoga Academy.--

Creation of Dhatus in Ayurveda

By Cagan Cinmoyii Gun Isikli -

We need to eat food everyday to grow, to be strong, to be healthy and to live a long life. Whatever we eat, it can be helpful for the creation of our dhatus in a positive or negative way in the body. Dhatu means construction elements as tissues for the structure, and growth of the body. There are 7 types of dhatus (Sapta Dhatus) in the body ; rasa, rakta, mamsa, meda, ashti majja, and sukra . All these need time to be formed respectively. Each of them takes 5 days. For instance, the food that we eat becomes ahara rasa and it can transform as the last dhatu, i.e. reproductive tissue after 35 days.

Digestion process starts in Bodhaka kapha in oral cavity. Then Udana Vata helps to masticate and Prana Vata sustains to swallow the food. Kledeka kapha provides moisture in Amasaya (stomach). Pachaka pitta also helps and Samana vata press and sustain agni to function properly. They work together to continue breaking ahara rasa down with digestive enzymes. Now, jatharagni on duty to break down the Ahara rasa into Chyle for digestion which is a milky white fluid including lymph and fats.

In the meantime, to clarify the object in a better way, I should cite that there is 3 stages of Gross Digestion. Briefly,

1-Madhur Avasthapak (Sweet Stage) with the symptoms of reduction in activity, having earth and jala mahabhuta, started in mouth and stomach and related with the Kledak Kapha Dosha.

2-Amla Avasthapak (Sour Stage) with the symptoms of thirst and perspiration, having fire mahabhuta, located in small intestine and related with Pachak Pitta Dosha.

3- Katu Avasthapak (Pungent Stage) with the symptoms of desire for movement, having Air and Ether mahabhutas, placed in large intestine and directed by Saman Vayu.

After processed through gross digested, food is divided into 2 parts; one is Sara (essense), which will form different dhatu elements later and other is Kitta (refuse) which will be divided as urine and stool as mala, waste product of the body.

The nourishment of dhatus occurs with Sara in stages. Sara is pure essence and the pure stabilized mature tissue. Each of the tissue functions properly. Every dhatu is precursor of the next dhatu working with their own Dhatu Agni. In other words, unstable dhatu is always digested by the next dhatu agni. As a result of this, each dhatu has a potency to receive its nutrients properly. At this point Acaryas have put to subject into the light to understand thoroughly with the help of 3 different laws.

1- Kshir -Dadhi Nyaya -Law of Transformation –Milk curd theory

Kshir means milk and dadhi means yogurt. Milk has a great potency to transform step by step from inside to out. In this example first milk could be transformed as yogurt, then buttermilk, butter and ghee. To succeed this, physical and chemical changes take place when turning milk into yogurt, cheese, butter, ice cream, whip cream and other dairy products. The processes for making many dairy products can only start with milk “curdling”. Although there are different ways to start milk curdling, the simple technics are to add some previous yogurt or specific acid or to heating as well as by letting the milk age long enough, with specific enzymes (which are proteins that perform a specific chemical reaction).

With the help of this perspective we can imagine that how ahara rasa and chyle transform as different dhatus in the body. At first Ahara rasa completely changes to Rasa Dhatu, following this is the changing of Rasa Dhatu to Rakta Dhatu and so on. This is one of the ways of nutrition of different Dhatus.

2- Kedar -Kulya Nyaya - Law of Irrigation / Transmisson

Kedar means parts of lands and kulya means drain. Crops in the field get irrigated by creating Kulya (drain) and Kedar (small pieces of land). The Kedar get irrigated one by one through Kuliya in sequence. Like wise different Dhatus of the body get nutrition one by one in sequence through vessels.

3- Khale – Kapot Nyaya - Law of Selectivity- Pigeon Picking Theory

Based on requirement each dhatu get nourished through Chyle. They pick from Chyle according to their need. Chyle, milky alkaline product is the precursor of all dhatu formation. It is carried from the intestine through the lympatic system and in the blood stream.

Weight Gain and Mamsa Dhatu (Muscle gain) in Ayurveda

by Cagan Cinmoyii Gun Isikli

Mamsa Dhatu in Ayurveda is the muscle tissue. The muscular system has nearly half of the body weight. If a person weighs 120 pounds, we could assume that nearly 60 pounds belong to mamsa dhatu. Muscles have special bhoutic (There are five bhutas are basic elements air, space, fire, water and earth) composition derived from Earth and Water elements. These two elements are both heavy and exist ninety percent of muscular tissue. There is also fire element in mamsa dhatu to move muscles and to give them mobility, which is amount of about 10 percent of mamsa dhatu.

Producing well mamsa body needs to enough ahara rasa. The transformation from ahara rasa to sthayi mamsa (Theory of creation of dhatus) takes about 15 days. Well-developed muscle, mamsa sara, creates a handsome body which Dr. Vasant Lad describes as like a Roman statue. It is also responsible the appearance of the body. Besides, it provides covering, maintaining body posture, gives strength. It is also functioning as lepana, plastering or holding.

When we asess out how mamsa dhatu and meda dhatu(fat tissue) are vitiated we could easily differ that causes are nearly same.

· Intake of heavy gross food such as cheese, yogurt, milk, meat, food with deliquescent properties, heavy meals

· Excessive sleeping especially day time and after meals,

· Lack of exercise

· Potato coach life style habits

At the same time these are Kapha provoking hetus. In weighting gain Kapha dosha vitiation is on chart because bhoutica composition are same with meda dhatu and mamsa dhatu governed by Kapha itself. That is why when weight gain is on consideration, an Ayurvedic Counselor also needs to take into account mamsa dhatu for analysis. If one wanting to gain weight, eating four meals a day, sleeping and resting too much, and not even washing the dishes helps too much. This absolutely increases mamsa and meda dhatus.

As a yoga teacher, I would like to underline the subject here about movement like exercise and sport and the relation with mamsa dhatu vitiation and gaining weight.

Every tissue is created with the purpose of being beneficially used in the body. But if they are not used, then remains idle. These gives rise to Dosha imbalances, malfunctions, irregularities, diseases, and vitiations.

For example, when a person eats too much, excessive amount of ahara rasa is produced. Metabolic wisdom interprets this as thinking that manas knows best and decrees this person needs more meda dhatu because of busy lifestyle and heavy body works. Otherwise s/he doesn’t take such much amount of foods. So, with the help of bhuta agni it transforms ashtayi rasa into rakta and then excess mamsa dhatu produced, body keeps it as reserve.

But if person carries on a life style between the kitchen, television and bed and does not have enough physical activity like intensive sporting activities, workouts, weight lifting, athletics, or a busy life style including bodily activities in the extent of s/he has eaten, the excess meda dhatu will automatically be idle. The body puts it in fat storage and turns it into excess adipose and meda dhatu. This not also results with weight gaining, enlarged and degenerated physical appearance, but also important diseases and disorders like cysts, myomas, fibromas, fibrocystic changes in breast, uterine, congestions, breathing difficulties, cholesterol, blood pressure problems etc.

This is just as much of our houses with full of unused furniture, materials and clothes in wardrobes. We have liked them once, bought many, but use very less. The result is chaos at home, cluttered, excess dust, too much cleaning work, more ironing and so on.

This also indicates the violation of the famous Yama rule, Aparigraha. Everything that is more than we need leads to deterioration, less prana and spiritual development difficulties. For Chikitsa, a reducing Kapha Dosha protocol is quite needed, but more spiritual practices, yoga therapy, meditation, fasting, moderate and humble lifestyle and eating habits are necessary and beneficial in the long term.

Image:By Victovoi [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons

Kitchari and Spice Mix- by Henri Parviainen

A kitchari and Spice Mix for Pitta Kapha

1/2 cup basmati rice
1 cup mung dal (split yellow)
6 cups (approx.) water
1/2 to 1 inch ginger root, chopped or grated
A bit of mineral salt (1/4 tsp. or so)

2 tsp. homemade ghee (Video attached below)

1/2 tsp. coriander seeds

1tsp fennel seeds

1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds

1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup of sweet potatoes

Henri Parvianen is a Yoga enthusiast, and, is studying Ayurveda Counselor program from Narayana Ayurveda.

The myth of too much protein in the American diet

A protein shake. Ever had one? If you’re like most Americans, you’ve probably had one, once a day, every day during that one summer where you were trying to get in shape. Or maybe you have a friend who shakes his up every day at 3pm to get thru that midday slump- so he can tide himself over before hitting the gym after work.

What does a typical protein shake contain? Well, depending on the source, you’re generally looking at a processed, chemically ridden, gmo infused powder that you blend with some milk to get past the taste. For some, it’s like a milkshake- loaded with sugar or chemical sweeteners that can wreak havoc on your gut health. For others, they just get it down so they can gain some muscle and lose some fat- or so they think.

But why would anyone need a protein shake? In America, there is the perception that protein means fat loss, muscle gain. Any vegetarian has dealt with the never ending question of…”but where do you get your protein?” Is protein this big of a deal?

The truth is- protein deficiency in America is extremely rare. Aside from a few raw vegans and others with generally poor diets for a long period of time (I know this because that was me), protein deficiency just isn’t a concern with our population. There is no need to focus on supplementing with enormous amounts of protein via large portions of red meat or shakes, mainly because most diets already contain enough of this vital macronutrient. Protein is accessible in the abundance of beans, lentils, vegetables, and dairy products that the typical ayurvedic diet (as well as others!) supplies.

In today’s world, it is likely you are getting TOO much protein, rather than not enough. It is healthful to have a balanced diet with a variation of fresh foods- including beans, seeds, nuts, vegetables, fruits, fats- in order to make sure our body’s needs are being met. Above all else- listen to your own body and what it responds well to! You will likely notice that a protein shake isn’t enjoyable, and doesn’t leave you feeling satisfied like a regular meal would. Take note of your body’s own responses and next time someone asks you- how do you know you’re getting enough protein, you can ask them- but how do you know you’re not getting too much?

By Michelle Gbur

Ayurvedic Food Rules

Food Rules by Laurel Byrne (Student)

Here in the United States, we’re inundated with a wide variety of dietary protocols and food rules. These diets and rules often contradict each other, and it seems like almost every time you turn around there’s a new “best diet” fad taking the place of the last. From 3 meals a day to 6 meals a day, from low fat to low carb, It can get confusing. If you’re anything like me, you may have found yourself wondering, how should I actually be eating to optimize my health and wellbeing?

Many of us grew up hearing mainstream statements telling us things like “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and that in order to be healthy and lose weight, that you should opt for low-fat and non-fat options whenever possible, and that your main energy source should be through carbohydrates. However, over the years, we’ve been introduced to various diets that have conflicted with what we were originally taught about healthy food choices.

Some of us may have recently be introduced to some of the latest popular dietary protocols, the Ketogenic and Paleo diets. Both of these diets emphasize the restriction of carbohydrates, and but the Ketogenic diet emphasizes the consumption of more high quality fats while Paleo emphasizes the consumption of more high quality protein.
Another popular dietary protocol touts the benefits of utilizing intermittent fasting to promote health, as well as weightloss. Many promoters of dietary protocol recommend skipping breakfast in order to put your body into a fat-burning state. This was a stark contrast to everything that I was originally taught about what and how I should be eating.

So, should we be eating high carb, high fat, or high protein diet, or something else entirely? Should we be eating a square 3 meals a day, 6 smaller meals, or implementing intermittent fasting and skipping some meals altogether? Lets get back to the core question, what food rules best promote optimal health and wellbeing?

To answer this, let’s take a step back from the diet centered approach of the Western world, and venture East, to uncover the wisdom of Ayurveda. For anyone who is unfamiliar, Ayurveda originated in India, and is the multi-modality approach to health and wellness which holistically seeks to balance the mind, body, and spirit of the individual through understanding their unique constitution.

The food rules of Ayurveda have two specific considerations. First, what I will be discussing here, are specific rules and guidelines for meals that are recommended to be followed by everyone, as they take the basic science of our human bodies into consideration. Secondly, there are a great number of additional food rules recommended for your specific constitution and body type, so the full scope and emphasis of your dietary recommendations based on Ayurveda are not a one size fits all approach.

The basic Ayurvedic Rules for meals are in alignment with the natural rhythm of our bodies. There is just as much consideration into how we are eating as there is into what we are eating. Eating should be considered a ritual that you bring your mindfulness and attention to your meal and nourishing your body. It is recommended that you do not eat while you may be distracted by conversations or by watching tv. (Svoboda, 2003, p. 55) It is recommended to chew each morsel slowly and many times as this “allows the digestive enzymes in the mouth to their work properly and, in addition, it gives the stomach time to prepare for the arrival of the masticated food” (Lad, 1984, p. 85)

Rather than following a rule for eating a certain number of times per day, Ayurveda recommends that we should eat when we are hungry. We have different rates of digestion and metabolism, so it is important to be in touch with our bodies and nourish it when we are hungry. If we eat when we are not hungry, our previous meal may not have had time to digest yet. Subsequently, not eating if we are hungry can cause imbalances in our doshas. It is recommended that we eat until we fill satiated but not overly full. It is also recommended to not drink a lot of water, especially cold water during a meal, as it can decrease the body’s agni, or digestive fire.

Ayurveda recommends that lunch be our heaviest meal, around noon, as our energy is higher at this time of day, and that we have a lighter dinner, as our energy for digestion is lower as we approach nighttime. Ayurveda does not recommend that raw and cooked foods be eaten together in one meal, as they require different digestion processes. For example, Ayurveda recommends that most melons should be eaten alone. This is because “in combination with other foods, they create clogging and may prevent absorption by the intestines” (Lad, 1984, p. 81) This can create imbalances within the doshas, and therefore within the body.

I hope that these Ayurvedic food rules help you to be begin to understand how the way you eat affects all levels of the self. However, this is just a starting point, and I would strongly encourage you to learn more about your own unique Ayurvedic constitution, as that understanding can help you truly optimize your health and wellbeing through your food and dietary choices.

References:

Lad, V. (1984). Ayurveda : the science of self-healing : a practical guide. Santa Fe, N.M: Lotus Press.

Svoboda, R. (2003). Prakriti : your ayurvedic costitution. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus

What is Ayurveda Yoga Therapy

By Monica B Groover

What is a Yoga Therapist

Most Yoga Teacher Training have only 200 Hours of basic training. This means the objective of the training is to do a generic yoga class for generic public irrespective of who is attending the class.

Yoga Therapy is a different ball game.

First of all the training required to be a Yoga Therapist may exceed 500 Hours.

Yoga therapists use yoga for a very specific purpose for healing. They may use Yoga as a tool to help a person move, support healing. Example, Prenatal yoga class, post natal yoga class, yoga class for cancer survivors who have had surgery. Yoga therapists may study how pain produced due to a movement, the mechanics of movement both normally and its deviation during pain, or, when suffering from musculoskeletal issues. It includes studying the body’s posture, and, requires a sound knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and bodily planes, especially of the musculoskeletal system.

Ayurveda Yoga Therapists training may exceed even that of a yoga therapist, and, definitely may need to clock more than a 1000 hours.

Should a Yoga Therapist study more anatomy, more physiology or more Kinesiology?

Whether a Yoga Therapist, or, an Ayurveda Yoga therapist- sound knowledge of anatomy and physiology is crucial, and, at least a basic understanding of Kinesiology becomes absolutely essential. This is ignored and an understudied area in some yoga therapy schools.

Kinesiology is the study of the movement of the body-how muscles move the joints.

Kinesiology is used by health professions like Osteopathy, in sports medicine, by orthopedic surgeons, and Physical therapists amongst others.

Mostly these health professions use a structural knowledge of Kinesiology, rather than functional. This means that they are more interested in what can be seen. They are interested in posture, planes of the body, axes of rotation, the muscles, joints, and, apply methods like surgery to help correct dysfunctions. For example, reconstruction of ACL (Anterior cruciate ligament), post injury to restore function. For osteopathic medicine, study of posture is crucial. For example, an osteopathic medicine may examine how someone sleeps-with their mouth open, or, closed, the symmetry of the two sides of the body, body measurement etc to diagnose postural dysfunctions.

Study of Kinesiology does not necessarily prepare one for clinical professions.

AKA (American Kinesiology Association) describes Kinesiology as the academic discipline which involves the study of physical activity and its impact on health, society and quality of life. There are two schools of kinesiology-structural and functional. Clinical applications focus on structure.

Ayurveda Yoga Therapy School

However, Yoga therapy as well as Ayurveda Yoga Therapy focuses on function, and will customize the practice of yoga to the roga and rogi, the person and their dysfunction. Ayurveda Yoga therapy school should prepare the student with full knowledge of Ayurveda Counselor, and, the science of biomechanics, integrated with modified asana practice, and use of one, two or many props to create a customized asana plans for different doshas, age groups etc.

Ayurveda Yoga Therapy standards prepared by NAMA (National Ayurvedic Medical Association) are stipulating that an Ayurveda Yoga Therapist already posess equal knowledge to that of an Ayurveda Counselor, be a yoga teacher to begin with, as a pre requisite.

That's a tall order.

Ayurveda Yoga Therapy

For an Ayurveda Yoga Therapist, study of Kinesiology, anatomy, physiology and musculoskeletel dysfunction in the three body types- Vata, Pitta and Kapha, the seven dhatus, and, all the srotas, issues with mala, and nidan is crucial.

Ayurveda Yoga therapy may support clients to reduce stress, pain, stiffness when suffering with Ghrdasi, Amavata, or Sandhigata, when integrated with Ayurvedic bodywork and practices.

In Alternative medicine, or methods like chiropractice they may use applied kinesiology, which is a controversial method. They may use muscle testing to identify imbalances in the body's structural, chemical, emotional or other energy, to establish the body's priority healing needs.

Assessment techniques for a Yoga therapist will also involve body measurement, biofeedback from nadi, jihva, and the use of dashavidha pariksha- the ten fold assessment.

Dashavidha Pariksha

The dashavidha pariksha includes, but is not limited to:

1 Prakrti (natural constitution)
2 Vikrti(deviation and imbalance of prakrti)
3 Sara (dhatu)
4 Samhanana (build)
5 Pramana (body measurement)
6 Sattva (mind)
7 Satmya (ability to adapt)
8 Ahara sakti (digestive ability)
9 Vyayama sakti (physical strength and fitness)
10 Vaya (Ayu, Age)

References:
Kinesiology for manual therapy, Dail Nancy
American Kinesiology Association
Lecture by Aparna Dandekar, D.O, Narayana Ayurveda & Yoga Academy

Solving the mystery of Gods of Hinduism

Solving the mystery of Gods of Hinduism

By Aparna Dandekar, D.O, AP

There is much confusion about so many gods in Hinduism and Vedic Culture. Lets try to demystify it a little.

Lets begin with who Devatas are. Devatas are demigods, or, angels in Hinduism and are also called Adityas. Aditya means "son of Aditi". Aditi is the mother of the Sun and the other devas, while her sister Diti was the mother of the asuras, or the demons. Diti's sons are also called Daityas.

The other clarification I wanted to make through this blog was about the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh (Shiva).

There is a general confusion for many people about the terms Brahma versus Brahmin versus Brahman. And this is but natural because they are spelled so similarly!

Brahma is the creator of the material universe, he is born of Vishnu, and operates as per Vishnu's command. He is often depicted as an elderly bearded man with three heads, sitting on a lotus flower whose long stalk emerges from Vishnu's navel, almost like an umbilical cord. There is deep symbology behind all of this, beyond the scope of this discussion. This Brahma, the creator, occupies a post or "office", and his job is to create. He is not worshipped as the Ultimate Truth or The One; he is considered a "demi-god".

Vishnu and Shiva are the ones who get to enjoy the title of "God" spelled with a capital "G", while other deities are "gods". These gods could be considered angels or divine officers, or divine beings who are highly evolved and have much power, yet they are not God.

The title of God goes to Vishnu, Shiva and Shakti. Of course, staunch worshippers Vishnu (Vaishnavas) may disagree, and say that only Vishnu get the big "G". Shaivites (those who worship Shiva) may argue that only Shiva is God and Vishnu is a demigod. Those who exclusively worship the Divine Mother Shakti (Shaktas) will say, nope; there's only one God and She is Kali/Durga/Laxmi. But for most people in India, God means Vishnu/Shiva/Shakti when God takes on a PERSONAL (saguna) form.

When God is IMPERSONAL (nirguna), He/She/It is incomprehensible, limitless, formless, genderless, ageless, beginingless, endless, boundless energy. Lord Krishna (God) talks about this in the Bhagavad Gita, particularly in chapters 10 and 11. He also states that those who worship the ancestors, the demigods, and other "lower" celestial beings will enjoy the planes of these divine beings and return to earth when their karma is exhausted, but those who worship GOD (Krishna) will attain Him alone and never have to re-enter the cycle of birth and death. Lord Krishna also says that whomever you choose to worship, your prayers ultimately reach Krishna.

The demi-gods are personifications of the planets, the elements, rivers, mountains, forces of nature, etc. They are revered as very highly evolved beings far superior to man. They hold boons and blessings and they have the power to influence human destiny. They have their own stories, their own glories, their own mantras, special days of the week, rituals of worship, magnificent temples, magical vehicles, weapons, and other divine opulences. They are worshipped as manifestations of the endless wondrous powers of God. However, there is a clear understanding in the mind of each Hindu that God is One, Many are the Manifestations. This is a central tenet of the religion.

I imagine that this is similar to the concept of Patron Saints in Catholicism. These are powerful and revered beings to whom prayers are made, but ultimately God is One. In fact, doubting His singularity in Christianity would be blasphemy. Similarly, Hinduism is very much a monotheistic philosophy; but seemingly polytheistic, with millions of deities who preside over the forces of nature, like stationed officers, under the command of The One.

You could also look at them as expansions of God. In the beginning there was One. In the Vedas, the sentence "Eko'ham, bahu syam", when translated means, "I am one; let Me be many". Thus God became everything and everyone--all of creation. This is why we look upon everyone as divine; as carrying a spark of God, which is the soul or atman. When God resides in us, how can we be doomed sinners?

When God/Atman resides in all other creatures around us, how can we kill and eat them? This is why vegetarianism is such a cultural concept in all Dharma religions. This is why cows and other animals are "worshipped" in India, much to the amusement and laughter of the rest of the world, who is exposed to such practices on documentaries which do not explain this cultural context. Without understanding this backstory, India is misunderstood as a backward country, and Hinduism as a religion of simpletons.

Now, lets move on to Brahmin and Brahman.

Brahmin is simply a man or woman whose occupation is scholarly or priestly.

Brahman is synonymous the The One, or the Supreme, or God.

Brahma, Brahmin and Brahman are the usual romanized spellings of these three words. But if I were to write them out in IAST format with diacritical marks, they would look like this : (1) ब्रह्मा brahmā ,the creator god (2) ब्राह्मण brāhmaṇa , the priest, and , (3) ब्रह्मन् brahman, The Supreme. The diacritical marks help us with the proper pronunciation.

Is Ayurveda going mainstream like Yoga?

Jane Henry
Student-Blog by Block 1 Track B Student

Ayurveda is becoming more recognized in the United States, but it will not experience the same mainstream popularity that Yoga has experienced.

1. Yoga is big business.

Yoga has experienced mainstream success thanks to the commercialization of it. From busy city corners to quiet main streets, Yoga studios have popped up all over. Yoga mats can be found from stores like Whole Foods to TJMaxx. Yoga clothing maintained popularity with the fashion trend, Athleisure. Yoga is lucrative. A hashtag search on Instagram shows #Yoga with 23,865,442 tags. #Ayurveda has 244,359 tags.

In order for Ayurveda to experience mainstream success, it needs to be incorporated into business models that are both profitable and scalable.

2. Ayurveda is complex.

Without a trusted practitioner or expert of Ayurveda guiding the way, navigating Ayurveda as a novice is confusing.

Information online is copious. It is difficult to wade through the sea of website documentation, while verifying authenticity and understanding enough of the subject matter in order to confidently apply it to one’s own medical condition. Medical-related inquires and online search do not yield helpful results.

On Twitter, Comedian Bill Murray said it best.

Me: “My elbow hurts.”

Doctor website: “Elbow cancer.”

Ayurvedic herbs or beauty rituals may experience short term popularity because they are easy to understand and to apply to one’s lifestyle, but the importance of Ayurveda as a holistic health modality is much more multifaceted.

3. Western Medicine vs. Ayurveda

If western medicine were to challenge Ayurveda to a boxing match, western medicine would deliver a knockout punch in the first round. The public trusts western medicine’s ability to deliver immediate results. Side effects of “get-healed- fast” are downplayed or prescribed with additional pills. Deepak Chopra and others have taken great steps in communicating the health benefits of Ayurveda in the US, but only the tip of this iceberg is showing.

There is a seismic shift toward whole body health with more focus on traditional ways of healing in the US. NAMA (The National Ayurvedic Medical Association) is focused on enforcing stricter regulations for those who wish to practice Ayurveda, with board examinations and license examination beginning December 1st, 2016.

While Ayurveda will not experience the same mainstream popularity that Yoga has experienced, I believe Ayurveda will enjoy a slow and thoughtful growth, where the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda is respected, learned, shared, and practiced in today’s modern world.

References:

Instagram Hashtag Search, 08/08/16

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