The Sankhya school of philosophy recognizes two eternal principles called Purusha and Prakriti. In the Sāṅkhya and Yoga philosophical literatures Purusha is the spirit and consciousness, and Prakriti refers to the manifested material world - nature, matter, physical and psychological character, constitution, temper and disposition. Together they create the flow of the universe.
Purusha is eternal, passive, pure and indestructible. It is energy without matter and has the ultimate healing power. It is your unmanifested potential and is behind everything in nature.
Prakriti is dynamic, infinite, causative and active. It has the desire to manifest and is it is the primal material behind the universe. It is the first and foremost cause of all the gross and subtle objects in your physical form. It is your “perfect blueprint” and given to you at conception. This is where all your unmanifested potential becomes manifested.
Purusha (consciousness) needing a vehicle to experience and express itself in the world joined with Prakriti and your physical existence and senses came into being. Through your physical form and the senses Purusha experiences the world and plays a large part in the creation of health or disease.
So, what does this have to do with your health and happiness. Everything. Without the understanding that there is a subtle energy behind our physical being, we are missing half of the health and happiness puzzle. We can focus on food, herbs and lifestyle but the addition off a deeper understanding of the healing power of Purusha is needed. Meditation, pranayama and mantra offer a way into this understanding.
Asana is a collective name for all physical postures used in yoga. The aim of a yoga posture or series is to not just create flexibility but to also strength and stamina.. Movement into a posture, during the posture and coming out of the posture is paired with breath. You are beginning utilize the posture when attention of the body and breath is obtained. When yoga is used as therapy it becomes part of the healing science called Ayurveda. Different postures can be used for different dosha. An Ayurvedic practitioner with a training in yoga therapy can help you with this. As wee move from the kapha season of winter into spring it can be good to use more warming and invigorating asana to help move the stagnate heavy, slow and dense kapha in your body. Using sun salutations to build heat and deep diaphragmatic breathing are wonderful at this time of the year. Backbends can bring energy upward to decrease kapha stagnation in the lungs. Prioritizing a morning practice is useful at this time of the year.
Erica Mueller Ayurveda practitioner and yoga therapist
Here are a few musings of moments in my life that I would like to share with you. They may not be fancy or elaborate. But they are a continuing and moving story book of what I am keeping up to these days.