DOSHA Stages of Life
The three DOHAS are not the same throughout the Human Life. They differ in every cycle of human existence. For example, Kapha Dosha is responsible for the growth of children. It is responsible for their physical maturity from infancy to teenage. From teenage to adulthood – say the age 15 to 45 – Pitta Dosha is responsible. The third one Vata Dosha is responsible for the decline of the body. This may occur after the age of 45. This imbalance results in causing arthritic ailments and so on.
These cycles may vary in age according to the individual personality. For example, Pitta Dosha may extend in some people until the age of 55 to 60.
Let’s have a look how we are affected by the different Doshas as we age.
It is the stage of Kapha dominance. Hence the babies are chubby, having baby fat, supple & tender. They have to be looked after properly as they get influenced by the causes that increase Pitta (infections) and Vata with its cold property in particular. They have to be kept warm in winters and protected from the sun in summers and given enough hours to sleep. Their food has to be mild, non greasy and light to digest. Important aspect of this stage from the Ayurveda point of view is that Kapha also means nourishment, so in this stage the body registers maximum growth of the body systems.
The same preponderance of Kapha continues until puberty. It is best to avoid spicy, high salt, and fat laden fast food. Instead, milk & milk products including milk substitutes for those who are vegan.
Once puberty begins, the child starts showing some symptoms of Pitta Dosha along with Kapha. They become more ambitious, competitive, assertive, aggressive, adventurous & courageous by nature and develop a lot of ego.
This stage of life is dominated by PItta.
From the Ayurvedic viewpoint, the person entering this stage of life shows some features of outgoing Kapha and more features of incoming Pitta. The little Kapha that remains at this stage gives bulk and strength to musculature in Vata and Pitta constitutions (remember the person’s prakruti, or personal dosha, controls physiology, anatomy and behaviour in the background). The Pitta influence during this time in life makes a person become more ambitious, competitive, intelligent, cynical, assertive & responsible. The major focus is on career and money and on accumulation of means of comfort and luxury. A typical Pitta behaviour.
Problems like acne, acidity, anger, and infections, all Pitta dominated disorders, may be seen. But Pitta ensures a good digestive power and hence the youth stage is bestowed with a high dynamism and a comparatively disease free period.
Youth is the time when the physical & mental capacities are at their prime. There is enthusiasm, courage, adventurism and intensity.
This stage of life is marked by Vata and is divided into sub stages. In the first stage there is a gradual depletion of Pitta and a gradual increase of Vata. In the second stage very little Pitta remains (the digestive fire is moderately active and the intelligence levels are fair) and Vata gets prominence. The physical stamina starts getting lesser. However, we can definitely help this with the proper interventions in the form of diet, lifestyle and rasayanas. The strict adherence to daily and seasonal regimens becomes all the more important to promote health and to ward off diseases. Moderate exercise gives gratifying results. It’s the right time to indulge in to social work as we have both the time to spare and the wisdom to guide others.
The second sub stage is marked by a dominance of Vata and a depleted Kapha & Pitta.The digestive fire is unpredictable, generally weak, the skin becomes dry and so does the secretions like saliva, gastric juices, unctuous secretion of eyes, tears. In such a stage it’s easy to become cranky, depressed, and forgetful.
From the Ayurvedic point of view, at this stage we should try to rein in the aggravated Vata by the use of oil and other fats, both internally with foods, and externally with massage.
Foods should be soft and easily digestible. A Vata pacifying diet and lifestyle along with adherence to seasonal and daily regimens is essential to maintaining a state of well being in this stage of life.
P.S. to your eternal Health & Happiness
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