Yoga and Ayurveda both originated in India; are the important part of Vedic science from thousands of years ago. They are more like sister sciences that have been united for thousands of years for the sake of healing body, mind and soul. Generally speaking of yoga; it deals with purifying the mind and consciousness, while Ayurveda deals with the health of the body, but in reality they complement and embrace each other.
Here are a few myths about yoga and Ayurveda, you trusted were true earlier:
Myth 1: I am inflexible, I can’t do yoga
Whether or not you are flexible should not dictate whether you practice. Over time, yoga can help an individual become more flexible—that’s why we call it practice—but one doesn’t have to be Gumby-like to start. Flexibility is a result of yoga, not a prerequisite.
Myth 2: Ayurveda is a 5000-year-old science so not relevant today.
This is one of the biggest myths about this science which is indeed more than 5000 years old. Ayurveda focuses on Prevention and Maintenance of health more than curing the health problems. It does that by clearly laying down the various basic principles like Three Doshas, Five Elements, Body Constitution, etc. which are absolutely relevant today and will be relevant even after another 5000 years also.
Myth 3: Yoga is a religion
There’s a lot about yoga that may appear “religious,” and certainly, there’s a spiritual element to the practice. However, it’s important to understand that yoga itself is not a religion. There’s a spiritual element that encourages an individual to connect with a higher power, but it’s non-denominational, so one can do yoga as a practitioner of any religion.
Myth 4: Ayurveda only heals vegetarian hippies
Being vegetarian or non-vegetarian is a personal choice and nothing to do with Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a ‘Science of Life’ and it focuses on two factors:
1.Health maintenance and Disease Prevention (which both come under Care) and
2. Curing that condition if you get any diseases (this comes under Cure).
Ayurveda doesn’t discriminate between Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian foods as long as it helps to serve the purpose – Care and Cure.
Myth 5: One shouldn’t do yoga during pregnancy
While it can feel difficult at times, exercise is good for a healthy pregnancy, and yoga is considered a safe and low-impact option for moms-to-be, as long as one practice safely.
However, more experienced yogis should listen closely to their bodies and stay within their pre-pregnancy limits during each practice. New yogis should take a more proactive approach to safety, as they may not know what their limits are.
Myth 6: Ayurveda has no side effects
It is important to understand that just because Ayurveda mainly consists of Herbal remedies there is no chance of side effects. We have to realize that anything that is supposed to have an effect if administered to the wrong person, in a wrong dosage, administered at the wrong time is most likely to give side effects. So do not believe in this myth and do self-medication or just take ayurvedic medicines reading some health columns.
Myth 7: Yoga is too feminine
Yoga was started by men. Historically, some of the greatest yoga teachers have been men. Yoga as practiced and instructed by ancient Indian yogis aims to dissolve any identification with the body.
The Spirit is beyond gender and has little to do with the functions of the genitalia. And today, more and more men, including LeBron James, Evan Longoria, and Tom Brady, practice yoga.
Myth 8: If you have toxins, do Panchakarma
Panchakarma is 5 cleansing processes used to remove excessively aggravated doshas out of the body and it is strictly contraindicated in case of the presence of Toxins in the body.
But many Ayurvedic practitioners fool people by using this myth. Under the pretext of doing Panchakarma they only do some basic treatments like oil massage, shirodhara, steam which are not even Panchakarma. Panchakarma being administered to people suffering from many chronic and fatal conditions has resulted in worsening their conditions or even proving fatal.
Myth 9: I don’t have enough time to spare for yoga
Even 5 minutes is good to begin or bring back yoga. Whether you are a beginner in your 30s or a crazy busy mother of teens in your 50s. You can always warm up for two minutes and then do three asanas that will help you calm and reconnect to your body.
Myth 10: Yoga is a part of Ayurveda or vice versa
Both these are individual sciences and are not a part of each other. There are various differences in the way both these sciences speak about Doshas and their functions. In Ayurveda, you will find Panchakarma (5 cleansing processes) and in Yoga, there are Shatkriya (6 cleansing processes) and many such other differences.
But because both these sciences help achieve the same objectives in life and are aimed at prevention and maintenance of health, they have been misunderstood as being part of each other.