Yoga is an ancient Indian practice. Today yoga has been repackaged and rebranded for the modern consumer by the West. In its new avatar yoga has become a ‘rage’ and now assumed global status. The ~$30 billion industry is now viewed as a global phenomenon. Global brands such as Lulu Lemon have created success stories by creating and selling yoga-wear. Yoga has become popular based on the perceived thought that It has actual therapeutic properties. Yoga and Ayurveda are two branches of the same ancient tree of Vedic knowledge that go hand in hand in terms of usage and appeal.
Yoga and Ayurveda both originate from the sciences that have been depicted in the Vedas and none of them are reductionist in their approach. In treatment, Yoga and Ayurveda advocate the regular practice of pranayama (focus and control of breath) and meditation, the use of herbs, body purification procedures and a healthy diet for physical and mental health. Ayurveda focuses on the healing properties, treatments, physical maintenance and extending one’s life-span whereas Yoga focuses more on freedom of misery and mind peace – focuses more on the spiritual sufferings of people.
Modern Yoga is defined to be a series of asanas that are taught and practiced to improve ones health and to obtain some peace of mind. This is slightly altered from classical Yoga, which focuses more on spiritual practices and deep meditation. Yoga became popular in the west as a result of opening of Yoga studios, selling of yoga merchandise such as mats and yoga-wear, celebrities such as Madonna and gaming companies such as Wii also contributed to the rising popularity of Yoga in the west.
When Yoga became popular in the rest of world, Ayurveda was left behind. A possible for reason for this could be because during the colonial era the British closed Ayurvedic schools, as they believed them to be backward and unscientific. Moreover, Ayurveda failed to communicate with modern consumers like the ‘new yoga did’. However, now things are changing in the Global setting. The western world and India are both moving to a more natural lifestyle. With the increasing benefits of Ayurveda, a push from the AYUSH Ministry, development in the cosmetic and daily life style products has put Ayurveda ack on the map. India has emerged as destination for medical tourism in the field of Ayurveda. In addition to the government building awareness about the benefits of Ayurveda and no side effects many companies have emerged that have innovated and invested in marketing Ayurveda. The timing of the world becoming averse to use of chemicals and the building of awareness of the benefits of Ayurveda came at an opportune time
Ayurveda is known to treat mental and physical illnesses with the use of herbs and yoga. Ayurveda further expanded in the West by the opening of Ayurvedic schools, clinics in major cities across continents by Indian teachers and Gurus. Today one of the biggest challenges most countries face is the medical costs. People should not go to allopathy as their first line of cure, they should adopt the natural route of change in diet, life-style changes, introduction of yoga, mediation and consumption of the correct herbs.
For our Ayurveda to further expand further studies and scientific research is required to back the effectiveness of Ayurveda. Currently a tiny portion of the medical budget in India is spent on Ayurveda and this does not account for any expenses to be made to popularize Ayruveda in the West. The aim should be to treat Ayurveda as a separate science instead of clubbing it with Homeopathy, Siddha and Unnani. In India we should ensure the global adoption of Ayurveda and Yoga resonate with the authencity of the science We also need to ensure that the export of Ayurvedic medicine is set to the highest quality of level to ensure the rest of the world benefit from the effectiveness and do not have any bad experiences with quality issues. Ayurveda and Yoga are ancient Indian sciences that go together. While one promotes healthy living through herbs the other promotes it through exercise and breathing. With today’s fast paced lifestyles, adopting 20 minutes of Yoga and simple Ayurvedic techniques and treatments could go a long way in building a healthy lifestyle among urban consumers.
Authored by: Arjun Vaidya, CEO and 6th Generation Vaidya at Dr. Vaidya’s