How to Man­age Your Health with Yoga and Ayurveda

Foreword Reviews - - Foresight Health & Fitness -

Rachel Zin­man, David Young (Photographer) Monk­fish (OC­TO­BER) Soft­cover $27.95 (314pp),978-1-939681-76-8

When Rachel Zin­man, a health-con­scious yoga teacher, de­vel­oped Type 1 di­a­betes as an adult, her shock at re­ceiv­ing the di­ag­no­sis was fol­lowed by years of self-blame. Although she had to face the re­al­ity that yoga and all the other help­ful modal­i­ties she had tried were not cures for her di­a­betes, she found that the life­style guid­ance pro­vided by Ayurveda, the an­cient In­dian “sci­ence of life,” helped her to bal­ance both her con­di­tion and her life. And she found, in the sim­plic­ity and dis­ci­pline of yoga, a “great friend and com­pan­ion” that she could trust to be there for her through all the ups and downs of liv­ing with a com­plex and un­pre­dictable chronic dis­ease.

Zin­man ex­plores and clar­i­fies the com­plex­i­ties of Ayurveda, from its un­der­stand­ing of na­ture and the five ele­ments—earth, wa­ter, fire, air, and space—to the way these ex­ist in the three hu­man con­sti­tu­tional types, or “doshas,” and the dif­fer­ent ways di­a­betes may ap­pear in each type. She de­scribes the beau­ti­ful chore­og­ra­phy of these three doshas as they man­i­fest, not just in the in­di­vid­ual, but in the sea­sons, times of day, and life stages of all liv­ing be­ings.

In Ayurveda, Zin­man found a way to un­der­stand the self as an in­di­vid­ual, to see things more ob­jec­tively, and to nav­i­gate the chang­ing moods and re­ac­tions that arise in a com­plex and un­pre­dictable dis­ease like di­a­betes. And in yoga, with its abil­ity to help us sep­a­rate who we are from the dis­ease we have, she rec­og­nized her­self as a beau­ti­ful, pow­er­ful be­ing. Zin­man writes that, “Ayurveda and yoga of­fer the per­fect so­lu­tion to man­age the en­ergy sys­tem that is the body. Knowl­edge of your body puts the power back in your hands.”

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