What is the link between Ayurveda and Coaching? Let’s first explore what both therapies are about. Ayurveda is the world’s oldest holistic healing system. Coaching assists a client to bridge the gap between where they are now, to where they would like to be. In this article, I discuss the link between Ayurveda and Coaching. The aim is to demonstrate how the principles work together so that you can practically and sustainably achieve wellbeing.
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian healing system which bases its theories and practices in everything being connected. Ayurveda focuses on the prevention of disease, always treating the root cause and not the symptoms.
While coaching, as described by John Whitmore, is “unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. Therefore, it is helping them to learn rather than teaching them”.
The principles of Ayurveda will help us understand how to treat the root cause of disease. It helps us prevent disease from occurring in the first place by creating a balance between our physical and mental health. Disease is anything that causes an imbalance.
How Yoga links in with Ayurveda
Yoga works hand in hand with Ayurveda. It helps us achieve the connection between our mind, body and spirit so that we may live a more balanced life. One where we are able to cope with the various stresses of modern living.
The coaching process creates the space and time in your life to help you implement changes. This helps to manage your physical and mental health, without being overwhelming. Together, the principles work to practically and sustainably achieve wellbeing.
Born to link Ayurveda and Coaching
When I started training to be a coach, I was amazed at how everything I was learning made sense. At first, I thought this meant that I had found my calling. I was meant to be doing this. However, during my years of practice, I have noticed a more surprising link as to why coaching made so much sense to me. It is because the principles of Ayurveda were a way of life for me growing up. Somehow and without realising, I have woven this into my coaching practice.
The 7 principles of Ayurveda
- Eat a colourful, flavourful diet.
- Sleep soundly at night.
- Engage in regular exercise that enhances flexibility and strength.
- Take time daily, to quiet your mind and meditate.
- Cultivate loving relationships.
- End what does not serve you.
- Awaken your passion.
During my coaching course, we were introduced to the ‘Wellbeing Wheel’. This works on the principle that everything in our lives is connected.
There are 12 areas of our lives that are believed to affect our wellbeing. This includes food, physical, emotions, relationships and integrity. The wheel works by a score. If one area scores low, that is the area that needs to be worked on. You are then able to identify the imbalance and correct it.
Ayurveda works on the principle that we need to live and manage our health with balance. Therefore, balancing the doshas helps alleviate symptoms of ailments, whether emotional or physical.
What are the doshas?
Pitta (fire) – Those with a dominant Pitta dosha are usually natural leaders. They will be confident, passionate and organised. But a Pitta dosha-overload can result in skin irritation, overheating, heartburn and ulcers.
Kapha (water) – Kapha types are loyal, kind-hearted, calm and loving. Too much Kapha can result in lethargy, weight gain, congestion and bad digestion.
Vata (air) – People with a dominant Vata dosha tend to be of a creative nature with lots of imagination and vision. If their dosha becomes unbalanced they may become anxious, forgetful and often uptight. Typical health issues caused by unbalanced Vata are bloating, anxiety or joint disorder.
As you dig deeper into Yogic philosophy, you can further see how modern coaching theories are linked to these ancient principles. For instance, positive psychology is a relatively new theory which focuses on the positive aspects of the human experience that make life worth living. This includes various aspects of our lives that contribute to our overall wellbeing, including work, relationships and improved immune functioning. The main philosophy of yoga is simple: mind, body and spirit are all one and cannot be clearly separated.
NLP and Ayurveda
NLP is the study of excellence and also an interesting theory linked to Ayurveda and yoga. Please note that yoga is a philosophy and not just postures. Ayurveda is about balancing the body based on your body type, genetics and environment to prevent disease so that your body can function in its optimal state.
Yoga works in harmony with Ayurveda to help you achieve a sense of wellbeing. This happens through the connection between your mind, body and spirit. In time, this helps you to be able to experience life at an optimal level.
3 tips to achieving balance through the link between Ayurveda and coaching
- It is important to get the most out of your ‘asana’ practise to help manage stress. When taking part in a yoga practice you may not feel the benefits long after the session. This means that there are likely other improvements required to balance your wellbeing. The Ayurvedic principles help to identify these, and then coaching to help you implement changes.
- When you are in a cycle of experiencing the same challenges, year in, year out, addressing them through Ayurveda can be helpful. Ayurveda can be a first help you to balance your symptoms. You will achieve balance through the foods and herbs you are prescribed. Coaching is then available to help you make the necessary changes to help you break the cycle.
- When you feel despair over anything in your life, remember that everything is connected. You can run your own review of what is and isn’t working for you. For example, look at your nutrition, relationships and emotions – and then try to build up the areas that are lacking. From a coaching perspective, it is important to start small and work your way up.
Remember that is is a process. It takes time, but it feels so good when you achieve that place of peace, balance and contentment.
The link between Ayurveda and coaching was published in Therapy Directory.
Puja K McClymont – Certified Life Coach in London and NLP Practitioner
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