Yoga, Ayurveda, and the Authentic Self: A Q&A with Balarama Chandra Das

Kripalu School of Ayurveda

Balarama Chandra Das, a faculty member for the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, is a certified Ayurvedic Consultant who has trained under Robert Svaboda, David Frawley, John Douillard, and many other leaders in the field. He currently focuses his professional practice on Ayurvedic Psychology and habit reformation, facilitating the conversation of self-transformation and dharma via educational trainings, retreats, and personal counseling. Balarama shared his thoughts on the crossover between yoga and Ayurveda, and how both impact societal and personal transformation.

How can Ayurveda help uplift society? 
Yoga teachers are committed to serving their students’ needs as effectively as possible. The Ayurvedic theory of diagnosis and alignment with nature’s influences permit a teacher to effectively observe the current state of nature and advise students according to that observation. Ayurveda’s ripple effect through society via promoting awareness, conscious living, and simple health practices can be seen already, and will continue to be influential.

What has been the most surprising gift for you of practicing Ayurveda?

Through Ayurveda, all of my actions and all that I consume are nourishing and pleasurable. I wake up enthusiastic to tackle my day, satisfied at the end of each day, and joyful during each day. The classic saying goes, “If you take care of Ayurveda, it will take care of you.” This is a divine art steeped with compassion and love.

How can studying Ayurveda empower yoga teachers?
Even the smallest foundational study of Ayurveda permits a yoga teacher to understand the therapeutic value of asana, pranayama, pratyahara, and dharana. The language of Ayurveda is the same language of traditional yoga, and permits seamless merging of the two. A yoga teacher who knows this connection and speaks of it in their classes, and with clients, has an authority based in clear knowledge handed down for many generations.

How can Ayurveda enrich the lives of yoga teachers off the mat?
As teachers of yoga, we are constantly in need of tools for maintaining health physically, mentally, and emotionally. Ayurveda has tools for efficiently caring for our personal needs, and helps us utilize and honor the tools that we already possess. Our preparation before, protection during, and recovery from all types of energy-affecting situations will be fine-tuned.

What excites you about sharing Ayurveda with yoga teachers?

Ayurveda supports people in becoming their real, authentic selves and accepting their current evolution along the path to being that authentic person. To watch that process in my students is the most inspiring thing. I can only hope others take part in sharing this wisdom, and have the opportunity to feel their hearts melting as they witness dawning health and joy. 

Find out about upcoming programs with Balarama Chandra Das at Kripalu.

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