Stage of Life: KAPHA
The stage of childhood until adolescence is called ‘Baalya- awas- tha’. It is the stage of KAPHA dominance. Hence the babies are chubby, having baby fat, supple and 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 (colds, respiratory disorders – aggravated Vata aggravates the Kapha also, being strongest of the doshas). 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. They love company, like to laugh, are possessive, are care free and take time to learn. All are Kapha features.
But as Kapha also denotes retention so it is the best time to introduce new concepts to children and help them learn and retain. Being in the Kapha stage, children have a pretty good stamina to play and do physical work after they have gained enough balance and coordination of their muscles. As Kapha also is Tamasic in nature, children can also be very sensitive to negativity.
Another 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 and wish to avoid dairy, and cereals are very good.
Once puberty begins, the child starts showing some symptoms of Pitta Dosha along with Kapha as they approach adolescence. They become more ambitious, competitive, assertive, aggressive, adventurous & courageous by nature and develop a lot of ego. The Kapha ensures their growth and nourishment to the fullest. Hence the Kapha Diet & Lifestyle with a slight addition of heavy foods that now the emerging Pitta will be able to digest is advised. The Pitta factor in their constitution allows them to analyze and then accept things and they are able to grasp higher level concepts of their curriculum. At this stage, discipline and moral education helps to tame the aggressive Pitta along with the vulnerable Kapha.