Rules and dogma
A few times a week I run into a certain prejudice surrounding Ayurveda – usually in conversation with the modern western yogi. Here is an email from last week (I’ll add bold text for those who skim):
I”m leaning towards doing the ALC (Ayurvedic Living Course) and had a question for you. My understanding of ayurveda is that it is really rigid as a belief system. While I’m really interested in learning about it and incorporating, at least parts of it, into my life, I don’t want to be bound by rigidity. So I’m wondering if taking the course with the intention of integrating the aspects that really resonate with me will be effective, or if it really needs to be an all or nothing kind of approach. I still want to have balance in my life and want to eat the occasional cheeseburger, drink a couple beers after fishing, but I also want to gain more tools and live with more wellness. Thoughts? Is the course right for me? C.G. Yoga Student, Lawyer, WY, USA
I think you’ll find a real lack of rigidity and a distinction between classical and tantric lenses of the texts. Both are all about attuning to nature. Classical gives you rules to transcend; Tantra , (which is non-dual – meaning you are already all that – if you can just remember and live from the highest in day to day life) attunes you to that which is life enhancing. Beer and burgers have qualities that can serve life and serve a purpose maybe a little different from a nettle juice fast, but can serve the life force none the less.
The ALC is all about deepening attuning to nature (outside and within your body and mind) to ultimately serve the evolutionary process unfolding. You will gain huge insight into the depth of wellness through conscious choice and your desire to know yourself phsyically, mentally and emotionally from the perspective of energy (life force). The restrictions you encounter will most likely occur when you make choices that you later regret because you knew better, but not due to any rigidity presented by my teachings.
I look forward to the conversation,
Well, I’m sure this will stir up a few classically practicing Ayurvedic Practitioners and Yogis. Cheers, and namaste.