How does Ayurveda, a system of medicine, relate to Yoga? “Ayur” means longevity and “veda” means knowledge or science. Ayurveda is a type of medicine which combines science, religion, and philosophy. Yoga is ultimately a part of Ayurvedic medicine because both aim “… to promote self-realization and harmonious relationship with the world” (Chevallier). Also, both are found written in the Vedas, a collection of Sanskrit poetry. It is said, about 5,000 years ago India experienced a huge enlightening spiritual period where knowledge and wisdom was passed on orally from teacher to student. Eventually, as communication developed these teachings were written in the form of poems, aka the Vedas. So because Sanskrit is thought of the oldest written language, Ayurveda is allegedly too the oldest surviving medical tradition in the world. This medical knowledge was spread throughout Asia with the onset of Buddhism. Ayurveda is believed to have strongly influenced Tibetan and Chinese medicine. Later as the trade routes for spices and goods expanded Ayurveda also influenced the Arabic world and entered the Middle East. Now in North America as Yoga becomes more popular Ayurveda is now being practiced again as an alternative or complimentary medicine to that of the Western modern medicine. I feel it is important to mix both holistic and modern medicine for any particular “dis-ease”.
Here is an excellent video which explains the Ayurvedic Doshas.