Three stages of lifeAyurveda describes three phases: Kapha phase (age 0-20), when the body is growing and structuring. Pitta phase (age 20-60); a time for doing and achieving – building a career, raising a family, paying the mortgage. Vata phase (60-120); a time for being, for awakening within.
Transition times and imbalancesIn the same way that there are transition periods between the seasons, for example in Dec/Jan when Vata season is turning into Kapha season, there is a transition time between the stages of life. In the case of the transition to the Vata this can be up to ten years, starting at 50. During any transition, accumulated imbalances can manifest as health problems. For example, in Dec/Jan during the transition from Vata to Kapha season the body tends to be more prone to coughs and colds and flu. So, during transition from Pitta to Vata time of life it is advisable to pay attention to accumulated Vata imbalances to ensure the establishment of a balanced physiology for the coming period.
To balance Vata, do the oppositeThe qualities of vata are dry, cold, rough and irregular, and Vata imbalances can result in restlessness, an unsettled feeling, light interrupted sleep, a tendency to over-exert, fatigue, constipation, anxiety, worry, being underweight. To balance do the opposite: – take rest, be settled (meditation, meals in a settled atmosphere), – better sleep (regular early bedtime and waking time), – take it easy (no rushing, or being caught up in deadlines),- be regular in daily routine (meals on time, sitting after lunch, time to properly digest before eating again),- take Vata-balancing food (warm, moist, heavy, with Vata-balancing spices – tumeric, cumin, fenugreek, asafoetida)
Five subdoshas of VataThe five subdoshas of Vata – Prana, Udana, Samana, Apana, Vyana – operate in specific areas of the body. Prana Vata governs the head and its imbalance may result in respiratory disorders, cognitive problems, tension headaches, worry, anxiety, insomnia. Udana Vata governs tongue and throat and imbalance may lead to disorders of speech and throat, and fatigue. Too much talking, or strain, or overwork, exacerbate Udana Vata. To bring balance have an occasional quiet time. Samana Vata governs absorption and metabolism. Imbalance may result in weak or irregular digestion, anorexia, and bloating. Protect the digestive fire by being sensitive to when food is taken and ‘stoke’ the fire with spices, such as ginger with lemon and salt before the meal. Apana Vata governs elimination, and if out of balance you may experience constipation, diarrhoea, gas, lower back pain, PMS, or prostate problems. To keep the elimination moving well, use Triphala regularly, take stewed fruit with a little ghee and get a short walk or light exercise. Vyana Vata regulates circulation, so symptoms of imbalance can be high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, as well as nervous disorders. Recommendations to balance Vyana vata include regular oil massage, traveling comfortably (with your Vata Tea) and no rushing.
Blissful ageingBalance brings a feeling of joy, of youthfulness and of health, and Vata time of life is a time to be especially aware of what your body tells you. Vata is sensitive to change, and can quickly go out of balance, and come back to balance quickly. Tissues can be infiltrated by excess Vata, especially the Vata tissues – bone, marrow, reproductive fluid – and more so at the Vata time of life. Cracking nails, dry fragile hair and osteo problems can get hold. Recommended are foods nourishing for the bones and which keep Vata settled: hot milk and ghee, cooked dates, nuts and sesame seeds. About thirty minutes regular walk as exercise is very important: Vata types should do this three times a week; Pitta types five times a week and Kapha types seven times a week. After 50, if life is anything less than bubbling bliss, something needs doing to bring more balance. During Vata time of life rasayanas become more important (after 70 panchakarma is less important). Products for balance of:
Vata in general: Maharishi Amrit Kalash, Men’s Rasayana, Women’s Rasayana, Genitrac tabs (MA2) for vitality, Vata Tea, Churna, & Aroma Oil, Sesame oil, Rejuvenation Massage Oils for Men and for Women (especially for Vyana), Revitalising Skin Care Cream, Gandharva Music Prana: Peace of Mind tablets (MA1401), Peace of Mind Aroma Oil, Prana Balancing Aroma, Gandharva especially on Shehnai, Peace at Night tablets (MA107) Udana: Udana Balancing Aroma, Inhalation Oil (and Prana)Samana: Herbal Digest tablets (MA927), Aci-Balance tablets (MA575).Apana: Triphala with Rose (MA505), Apana Balance tablets (MA3347), Digest Mild tablets (MA593), Prostate Balance (MA1595), Apana Balance Aroma. Vyana: Healthy Hair and Nails tabs (MA953), Youthful Skin tabs (MA989), Healthy Scalp tabs (MA995).
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