On its own, yoga is a powerful rejuvenating practice that can bring balance and peace to the body, mind and spirit. However, even a practice as fulfilling as yoga can be enhanced. Combining herbs and yoga can lead to an even better experience.
Why Combine Herbs and Yoga
Traditional medicine systems around the world all acknowledge the powerful healing properties of herbs. Herbs and plants are known for their interesting effects, and many of them can improve the results of your yoga practice.
Some herbs, like gotu kola, are known for promoting mental clarity and peacefulness. They can make it easier for you to get in the flow. Other herbs, like rhodiola, can provide you with a burst of energy and focus if you feel like you’re struggling to get into your routine.
Here are some examples of specific herbs that may be useful for your practice.
Brahmi is a herb that’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for many thousands of years. It’s a powerful herb that can help to reduce anxiety and promote mental clarity. Many find that it helps propel them along their spiritual path.
Ashwagandha is part of a unique class of herbs known as adaptogens, which help your body adapt to stress. Adaptogens are unique in that they can have different effects depending on your current physical and mental state. Ashwagandha can be both relaxing or energizing depending on your needs. The energy provided by ashwagandha is more subtle and consistent than the rush provided by caffeine. Ashwagandha also helps to reduce anxiety.
Rhodiola rosea is another powerful adaptogen. Unlike ashwagandha, this adaptogen tends to provide a consistent, highly stimulating effect. It also helps to promote focus, balance, and mental clarity. Rhodiola can be powerful enough to keep you awake at night, so make sure not to take it too late during the day.
Gotu kola is one of the most revered herbs in Ayurveda. Its health benefits are wide and varied. In regard to yoga, it can be especially useful for producing a meditative mindset, reducing anxiety, increasing feelings of peacefulness and making you more focused.
Ginseng is another yoga herb that functions as an adaptogen. It can provide energy while keeping your mind relaxed. It’s a great herb to take before yoga.
Chywanprash is one of the best herbal supplements that you could take if you want to improve your yoga practice. Chyawanprash contains a large number of different herbs and spices, including adaptogens, all of which are revered in Ayurvedic medicine. Chyawanprash offer yogis a number of health benefits and is known for strengthening the body, mind and spirit connection. When consumed before yoga practice, the effects of Chyawanprash can lead to a more fulfilling experience. Learn more about using chyawanprash for yoga here.
As you explore ways to boost your yoga practice with herbs, don’t forget about the importance of diet. Discover the best foods for yoga.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)