Ayurveda and Yoga
Ayurveda to me is primarily an approach to health, happiness and harmony that embraces the realisation that everybody’s needs are different, and that therefore there is no remedy, food type, massage oil or indeed yoga practice that suits all. Furthermore, our requirements change from day to day, as the circumstances of our lives change. At Ayurveda’s basis lies a quest for balance. I embrace this approach in all the life-style choices I make for myself and my family.
I never really “ discovered” Ayurveda. We moved to India when I wasn’t even 1 year old yet, so Ayurveda was part of my life almost from the start. Therefore, I have always taken into account my personal “nature” or prakriti, and was aided in my choices by the system of the 3 doshas, or body-mind constitutions. Presently, do I need grounding, strengthening and stabilising (vata-regulation), or would a more cooling, soothing and balancing approach (pitta-regulation) be more effective, or is it time to stimulate, energise and invigorate (kapha-regulation)? I am also acutely aware that human nature is such, that we are drawn to the things that make us more extreme in our already latent tendencies, and thus we cause more imbalance and the dis-ease that comes with it. This to me is pretty much the most important teaching of Ayurveda! So, being of a pitta-dominant nature, i.e. a fiery, active, athletic, forceful and often just too hot-headed temperament, I am attracted to coffee, spicy foods, passionate artistic expression, challenging workouts etc. But I know that if I want to optimise the way I feel and go about life, I must moderate these desires. Naturally this does not mean going totally against the grain, but skilfully finding a satisfactory middle ground.
Quantum Yoga was developed as a response to the trends I was observing as an active full-time yoga teacher since 1999 in London and soon internationally. Namely that yogis were attracted to those practices that were only reinforcing already existent tendencies, and often causing greater imbalance. I saw too many injuries, often from unnecessarily strong adjustments, but in this context more importantly I witnessed a lot of yogis becoming more extreme and thereby severely off-kilter. This was not the kind of intelligent and mindful practice that yoga with the underpinnings of a basic understanding of the Ayurvedic path to health and harmony would allow. Integrating both the teachings of Ayurveda, as well as the insights of quantum physics, and embracing my conviction that vinyasa (breath-synchronised movement) is in most cases the most effective mode of practice, I developed Quantum Yoga. Quantum Yoga is therefore a method of personal practice optimisation, which uses the insights of Ayurveda to assess what the appropriate emphasis is for the individual at that moment. We use the basic system of the 3 doshas or body-mind constitutions, and offer 3 beginners, 3 intermediate and 3 advanced sequences to choose from. A vata-regulating Quantum Yoga sequence is one that focuses on grounding, strengthening and stabilising. Pitta-regulation allows for a more soothing, cooling and balancing approach, while kapha-regulation offers energy, invigoration and stimulation. Quantum Yoga thereby invites the yogi to approach their practice with greater awareness, thus imbuing their body and with it their whole being with a greater level of consciousness, founded on a clear positive intention. In this way the transformative potential of the yoga practice, and as a matter of fact any activity, increases exponentially.
In my choice of international venues for Quantum Yoga events, and of course at Tri hotel (www.trilanka.com), the idea is to provide a physical space conducive to attaining a mental space that allows participants to lovingly re-evaluate some of their life-style choices. In the quest to live to one’s true potential, the realisation that this is only possible in a state of balance, peace and vitality becomes evident, particularly through the study of Ayurveda. The individual gets given an Assessment test to find out their personal prakriti, or Ayurvedic nature, and based on this I can also recommend complimentary treatments and help with dietary choices, activities and excursions conducive to bringing this particular person into their optimal state, so they can return home healthy, happy and inspired!