In the modern West, the yoga practice is all about asana—the physical postures. Pranayama and meditation tie for second place, and certainly all three are fundamental pillars of living a well-balanced life rooted in the eastern tradition of Vedic consciousness. But, if you delve a little deeper, you'll learn that yoga is a vast ancient and complex tradition that integrates so much more.
Yoga is intricately interlinked as one of the Vedic "three sister sciences," which includes Ayurveda and Jyotish (also known as Vedic astrology), and deepening your yoga practice with these sister sciences can be a truly amazing journey to support your personal practice and spiritual journey.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is arguably the oldest systematic wellness and medical tradition known to man.
Like yoga, it is both an art and a science where it examines the whole mind/body/spirit dynamics and their relationships with nature and the cosmos. Like yoga, it encourages greater self-knowledge and a deeper self-awareness to inspire health, growth and balance.
In studying Ayurveda, we learn about the three doshas, or body types—kapha, vata, and pitta—and how we can better understand our doshic makeup and its place among the five elements. (Learn more in The 3 Doshas of Ayurveda.) The five elements in Ayurveda include: ether (space), earth, air, water, and fire. So, not only does our yoga practice help make us healthier human beings, so does Ayurveda, which offers up all kinds of different therapies, dietary practices, and daily rituals that aim to keep us healthy and balanced, while also aligning our inner worlds with our outer worlds.
There is tremendous excitement around Ayurveda in recent times with many experts delighted to see such an increase in awareness about the practice and benefits of Ayurveda. Andrea Olivera - founder of the Andrea Olivera Centre for Ayurveda Rituals - is an example of an expert who has been integrating Ayurveda in western spa and wellness practices for over 30 years. Andrea notes that Ayurveda is about utilizing its vast knowledge to enhance and maintain physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual balance in additional to offering medical and disease healing benefits.
What is Jyotish Astrology?
Jyotish astrology, also known as Vedic or Indian Astrology, is the third sister science of yoga. As Andrea notes "its incredible value is to help examine our cosmic and karmic anatomy according to the influence of celestial energies for realignment and growth".
Each person has an individual cosmic makeup and learning about how those energies can play-out in our lives is highly beneficial. Often many focus on the analytical predication and misguided "fortune telling" aspects of astrology. Though, as Andrea describes "these sorts of focuses are distractions and the real value of Jyotish is for it to be used as a tool for personal growth and harmony."
One example is how Jyotish can be used to takes a closer look at the position of the moon (related to the emotional mind/body) and the sun (related to one's purpose or dharma) in our birth-chart, where understanding the associated observed tendencies can help a person better realign internally and with their surrounding.
Jyotish can also focus on how the energetic dynamics of a person's planetary framework impacts a person's proclivities, both positive and negative, that when a person becomes aware of it they can realign their awareness for better results. There are also larger cosmic patterns that tend to impact global consciousness and societal dynamics where the combination of understanding both a personal and global perspective can really catalyze a deeper understanding of ourselves and our surroundings.
Making Ayurveda and Jyotish Astrology Accessible
As we know, a large part of yoga is about how deeply connected we are to the Cosmos. Ayurveda and Jyotish astrology take this connection several steps further. Though both can also become very convoluted for yoga enthusiast to understand or make use of. The good news is that there are experts in the community trying to change this. In Andrea's case, she has created the Eye on Yoga daily planner, which provides a blended yearly and monthly guide integrating Ayurveda and Jyotish in an insightful, but highly accessible, way for everyday life. As additional support, Andrea also provides a complementary jytosih astrology review of your specific birth-chart with the purchase of an Eye on Yoga planner so you can better use it for your needs.
The Andrea Olivera Ayurveda Method is a good example of a well integrated east-meets-west wellness paradigm that takes Ayurveda healing a step further by including a cosmological frame of reference through the practice of Jysotish astrology. Combined they become a powerful tool for healing, growth and self-awareness blending integrated healing practices like Andrea's exclusive Ayurveda NDT Karma Emotional Release sessions .
As one dives deeper into the vast ocean of yogic wisdom, integrating all three vedic sister sciences - Yoga, Ayurveda and Jyotish - is a really good way to help gain a more complete approach to life. By using accessible means to bring Ayurveda and Jyotish into the comfort of our yoga practice, one's sadhana can become more complete and harmonized to gain a better sense where we may need to speed up, slow down, or simply just be.
If you’re looking to evolve your sadhana further, to shed light on your dharma and and guide your healing and spiritual journey, consider using integrated resources, like the Eye on Yoga planner, and other resources you find useful. Connect with experts, like Andrea, and others to begin your integration.
It's truly a great time to learn more about Ayurveda and Jyotish. They are incredible means to help you live more fully with greater purpose and connection to your inner and outer truth.