Ayurveda Informed Yoga Therapy with Hansa Knox

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Using the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, yoga therapists are able to offer a unique and personalized experience for their clients. Today, Hansa Knox explains how she uses Ayurveda in her yoga therapy practice.

👉 What is Ayurveda Informed Yoga Therapy?

👉 How Hansa uses the wisdom of Ayurveda in her yoga therapy practice

👉 The scope of practice for an Ayurveda specialist and a Yoga Therapist

👉 Best ways to learn more about Ayurveda Informed Yoga Therapy

Today, we are diving right into this topic. If you desire to learn about an intro to Ayurveda or Yoga Therapy check out these links:

About Hansa:

Hansa Knox left the corporate world in 1988 and received her Yoga certification at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Incorporating her B.S. degree in Behavioral Science, Hansa has been able to develop a keen insight into the collaboration of the Body, Mind, and Spirit. She has studied and integrated diverse body oriented therapies including Kripalu Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Therapeutic Body work, Body Reading, Health Education, Homeopathy, and Ministry to facilitate Spirit connection. She is a Holistic Lifestyle Facilitator and her therapeutic work integrates Yoga Therapy and Massage.

She holds an advisory position for the International Association of Yoga Therapy and is a member and past president of both Yoga Alliance and Yoga Teachers of Colorado. She is on the Board and acts as the Executive Director for SANGA, an educational non-profit organization. 

Hansa is the Director of PranaYoga & Ayurveda Mandala in Denver. She is a VERY experienced teacher and leads programs in Advanced Yoga Teacher Training Modules and the Yoga Therapy Training.

Check out Hansa online: http://www.pyamandala.com

Key Takeaways

[00:15] About Hansa Knox

[01:32] What is Ayurveda and what is Yoga Therapy?

[03:14] Our 3 different constitutions – Vata, Pitta & Kapha

[04:47] Different diseases, mentalities and more for different dosa’s

[06:55] Allison’s personal & professional growth from learning about Ayurveda Informed Yoga Therapy with Hansa

[10:09] Different asana and meditation practices for each dosa

[12:41] The difference between an Ayurveda specialist and Ayurveda Informed Yoga Therapy

[13:41] Just listen to this- there’s too much good information here to type 🤩

[17:19] How to learn more about Ayurveda Informed Yoga Therapy

[22:06} Cold water- why you shouldn’t drink it

National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA)

Colorado Ayurveda Medical Association Conference

Upcoming Workshops at Prana Yoga and Ayurveda Mandala

9.14- Ayurvedic Tonics with Helgrid Randolph

10.19- Cooking for the Phases of Life with Ayurveda

Quotes from this episode

Our goal in Yoga therapy is to draw people back into their wholeness. We forget about our connection to spirit and the body starts calling. Ayurveda is important because it’s the body component, the anatomical body, that also gets out of whack. 

I think the greatest gift that yoga therapists can give is to say, “this has been awesome. Come back when you need me.” The less I see you, the more successful I probably was. 

Because it’s yoga therapy and Ayurveda, it’s about self-care and awareness.

Each Dosha has balancing asana practices, balancing pranayama practices, and balancing meditations.

When someone comes in for Ayurveda, I’m looking at your anatomical aspects and putting pieces together from there. Yoga, on the other hand, if we really look at the classical texts, it’s about our spiritual evolvement. So what we’re going to be looking at is where did you separate yourself from the spiritual connection to the higher self and then how did that begin to manifest in the body because that spiritual connection is going to manifest usually based on the Dosha. 

So now as a yoga therapist, I’m going to be looking at how the body transferred that information into the posture that it’s carrying. 

Ayurveda is going to show how it’s showing up in the body and yoga is going to say “here’s the story behind it.”

Yoga therapy is a way that opens the door for expanded self. 

Ayurveda for the Summer Months

As the seasons change, you may start to notice shifts in your physical, mental or energy body. As yoga teachers, it’s important to bring ourselves back into balance with the tools of yoga and Ayurveda. In this interview, Heidi Nordlund joins Allison to talk about the best ways to stay in balance through the warm summer months.

Heidi Nordlund is a certified Ayurvedic Doctor, Yoga Therapist, Tibetan Cranial Practitioner, Postpartum Specialist and Spiritual Healer who is available for private consultations and healing sessions in person or via phone.

Heidi brings a lot of expertise in this subject and she shares with us the top seven practices to stay healthy and balanced this summer. This episode is full of Heidi’s tips and tricks to stay balanced in the summer, sweat less, decrease acidity in the body, lose the fiery temper and cool down naturally.

Personally, I’ve worked with Heidi before and she is very kind, compassionate and knowledgable. She helped me work through some emotional challenges and bring me back into balance during a difficult time in my life. Claim your discount below! It may change your life for the better! 🧡

Get 25% off a session with Heidi when you contact her and mention this interview! http://www.namaskarhealing.com

Key Takeaways:

[00:53]- Introduction to Ayurveda- the elements and dosa’s

[4:34] – How we can become unbalanced in the various seasons

[8:14] – What to NOT eat in the summer months

[9:13] – The “Like Increases Like” principle

[9:50] – What TO eat in the summer months

[15:07] – What tastes should we focus on in the summer months

[25:31] – Mental criticisms to be aware of in the summer months

[26:49] – Oil massage to bring yourself back into balance and nurture your skin. Oil means love in Sanskrit. ❤️

[30:23] – Pranayama practices to cool down in the summer months

[33:19] – Exercise in the summer months

[34:28] – Important herbs for the summer months

[40:40] – The importance of working with an Ayurvedic Doctor like Heidi

Ayurvedic Flu Remedy

Natural Remedies to Help Fight the Flu

Sarasvati Buhrman, Ph.D., Ayurvedic Medicine and Classical Yoga Therapy, 5757 Central Ave, Ste 210   Boulder, CO 80301 303 443 6923

As almost everyone is aware by now, this year’s flu shots have been less effective than they usually are in preventing the flu. This also means that for those who don’t usually take them, the “herd immunity” provided by those who do will not be in effect.

While the efficacy of herbs in treating various ailments continues to be favorably studied, and sometimes even results in the discovery of new properties that we traditional medicine practitioners were unaware of, these results rarely attract media coverage. (as an example, I have pasted below from PubMed the abstract from the 2000 clinical elderberry trial in Norway, one of the earliest elderberry-for-the-flu studies.) Thus communities without an active holistic health network are sometimes deprived of knowing about simple and safe remedies that could be of great benefit.

I have listed below remedies drawn from several natural health care traditions. While these should not be considered “cures,” they have been used effectively either to enhance prevention, or to reduce to the severity of the illness.  The following recommendations are not intended to be an exhaustive list, they are simply the ones with which I am most familiar.

Prevention:  The Chinese herb astragalus (contraindicated with blood thinners, immuno-supressant drugs, and serious autoimmune conditions) is popularly used to enhance the immune system. Lysine (an amino acid) appears to increase resistance to viral illnesses by strengthening the connective tissue, especially in the sinuses.  Both of these are intended to be taken during times when exposure risks are high. Both are available in veggie caps in health food stores.  In addition, coconut oil, which also has anti-viral properties, can be used Ayurvedically to rub inside the nose as an antidote to winter dryness.


  • • My favorite is black elderberry, long a European remedy. It is available in health food stores in liquid form as “elderberry extract” or “elderberry syrup.”  Dosage varies according to the strength of the preparation, usually 2 T. or less every 3-4 hours. (Do not eat the wild berries raw–they are not considered safe for consumption until properly prepared—in extract/syrup form the herb is considered very safe).  A clinical study done later than the one below reported that recovery time from the flu was reduced by approximately 50%.
  • • The Ayurvedic herb tulsi (“holy basil”) is traditionally used to treat respiratory infections, and is taken as a tea or a decoction. Teabags are available in health food stores (Om organics makes several tulsi  tea combinations in tea bags—my preferred combo for infectious illnesses is tulsi jasmine, (however jasmine is not recommended during pregnancy, and lots of tulsi may not be safe with blood thinners). Add a bit of honey, and drink frequently.
  • • Small amounts of the Ayurvedic herbs turmeric, licorice root, and garlic are also considered helpful adjuvants (caution for pregnancy)
  • • For students of Ayurveda,  influenza is described in one of our ancient texts as “vata-kapha jwar.”  Fasting using boiled water or boiled light herbal teas (eg. tulsi) is recommended, until the appetite returns.
  • • Although I have never personally used it, a colleague in California recommends the homeopathic remedy, Oscillococcinum.  She reports having used it during several late winter residential Yoga teacher trainings in which one or more participants had the flu.  Her experience is that it is quite effective in reducing symptoms and duration, but only if taken in the first day of illness.
  • Finally, and most importantly, if your symptoms are severe, please seek medical attention.


Randomized study of the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry extract in the treatment of influenza A and B virus infections.

Zakay-Rones Z1, Thom E, Wollan T, Wadstein J.

Author information


Elderberry has been used in folk medicine for centuries to treat influenza, colds and sinusitis, and has been reported to have antiviral activity against influenza and herpes simplex. We investigated the efficacy and safety of oral elderberry syrup for treating influenza A and B infections. Sixty patients (aged 18-54 years) suffering from influenza-like symptoms for 48 h or less were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study during the influenza season of 1999-2000 in Norway. Patients received 15 ml of elderberry or placebo syrup four times a day for 5 days, and recorded their symptoms using a visual analogue scale. Symptoms were relieved on average 4 days earlier and use of rescue medication was significantly less in those receiving elderberry extract compared with placebo. Elderberry extract seems to offer an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger study.

PMID: 15080016 DOI: 10.1177/147323000403200205

Arthritis Diet from Indra Devi

Indra Devi gave this diet to me during the Unity in Yoga’s Peace Conference in Jerusalem January, 1995. Mataji Indra Devi is called the “mother of Yoga” as she was the first woman teacher in the western hemisphere. Currently 102 years young and quite healthy, she is living in Buenos Aires, Argentina where she has over 2000 weekly students at her 6 major centers. Mataji claimed that 90% of those people who followed this diet get relief from their symptoms within ten days.

For ten days eat a diet consisting only of 90% whole grain (brown or basmati) rice and 10% of any type of cooked squash. Cook one cup of rice for two cups of water. Every spoonful of rice is to be chewed at least 50 times until only a watery gruel remains in the mouth. Every two hours between meals have a relaxing non-caffeine tea. During the diet consume no other foods – no coffee, sugar or condiments. Drink as much water as you can.

Be prepared for your body’s release of toxins that are the cause of the arthritis. This may take the form of headaches, body pains, constipation, moodiness, irritability, etc. Practice being present to yourself and do not medicate yourself to avoid your feelings with addictive substances – sugar, caffeine, food cravings – nor avoid your true feelings by watching excessive TV or seeking other sensory stimulation. Take plenty of water and herbal teas. You might consult an herbalist or take a Bach flower remedy (see me for a personal formula) to assist with the emotional or mental difficulties that may arise.

If there is pain from the arthritis symptoms, take a raw potato and slice it to the size of the painful area. Lay the flesh of the potato against the painful site and tie it there with gauze. Let it stay until the potato becomes hard then replace it with another. This can be done during the day though it is especially good for overnight use.

If there is inflammation, apply a milk compress (a small towel soaked in milk) at room temperature. For fever apply a vinegar and water compress on the shin and calf area down to the foot. Wrap your lower legs fully to retain the moisture then lay in a warm bed and within four hours the fever will be gone.

If you become constipated take an enema or one tablespoon of castor oil just prior to bed.

Following this an anti-pitta regimen (to lessen heat and inflammation) is recommended for your regular routine – eliminate all night shades (potato, tomato, eggplant, bell pepper, and tobacco) and spicy foods. This will help you to identify the most likely aggravating foods and activities. More details can be found in Ayurvedic Healing by David Frawley or other Ayurvedic books.