Yoga and Ayurveda are two interconnected branches of the same great tree of Vedic knowledge that covers all of human life and the entire cosmos. In this regard, it is vital to understand the particular roles of Ayurveda and Yoga in the Vedic system. Yoga and Ayurveda merely two are not separate but related healing disciplines of India. Each has its distinctiveness and function, but each overlie into the other on different levels.
Vedic knowledge is the prehistoric healing system of the seers and yogis of India designed to show us the inner mechanism of the world and of our individual consciousness, leading us ultimately to the affirm of Self-realization and emancipation from the sequence of life and death. To this end, it has given us not only spiritual disciplines but has touched all facet of healing, science, art and culture.
Ayurveda is one of the four Upavedas or secondary Vedic teachings, referring to the music, directional science, martial arts. These Upavedas apply Vedic knowledge along specific lines to increase the Vedic quest for completeness and freedom. Ayurveda is probably the most important of these because it concentrates on all aspects of healing and well-being for body and mind.
Yoga – particularly in its formation through the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – is one of the six systems of Vedic philosophy . These are the systems of Indian philosophy that accept the authority of the Vedas and try to systematize the meaning of the Vedic teachings. The other Vedic systems include Logic, Categorization, Enumeration of Cosmic Principles, Ritual and Metaphysics. Yoga to some extent pervades all the six systems and represents their practical side, delineating the core principles and methods for developing the meditative mind that is the basis of all Vedic knowledge.
Yoga is not originally a medical system. It gives one treatment in a primary manner. Yoga intends easing the spiritual torment.
Ayurveda concentrates on all aspects of medicine including herbs, diet, drugs, surgery, bodywork and its individual special clinical procedures. It establishes ritual, mantra and meditation for healing of the mind. Moreover, it provides life-style recommendations for health, longevity and illness prevention as well as special strategies for rejuvenation of body and mind. It includes the practices of Yoga and meditation as part of its therapeutic tools.
Modern Yoga has defined itself first and foremost in terms of physical stances. These are usually taught in exercise classes for people primarily seeking physical comfort. We commonly identify Yoga teachers as those who perform yoga classes. Some of these Yoga teachers may have some knowledge of the greater system of classical Yoga. This situation influences what is popularly considered as Yoga therapy, which is colored by the Yoga prominence.