The Vata Stage Of Life - Tips For Aging Better With Ayurveda

There are four factors that influence how we age – time, our nature, diet, and absence of disease

In Ayurveda, a lifespan is divided into three stages – Balavastha (childhood), Madhyavastha (young and middle age), and Vriddhavastha (old age). I’ve not given age here, because age ultimately is just a number, and everyone ages differently. Two people of the same age can have vastly different vitality and energy levels. And a lot of this depends on how well we take care of our body, or how much we exhaust and push it beyond limits which cause untimely ageing.

There are four factors that influence how we age – time, our nature, diet, and absence of disease. Additionally, in Vriddhavastha, Vata Dosha (air and space element) becomes dominant. Since Vata is concerned with bones, and the nervous system – if proper care is not taken, the degeneration can be seen in joints as well as in the mind with issues related to memory. These are often the first signs of age-related decline.

Here are a few ways in which Ayurveda and Yoga can help enhance your experience of this stage of life:

1. Create a routine – This is the foundation of ayurvedic living, at each stage of life we must create a routine that suits our personality type. Have a fixed sleep schedule, start your day by drinking water, finish all ablutions and make time for some mindful activities like yoga and meditation in the morning itself. Plan your days and find activities that you enjoy – it will help you avoid feelings of loneliness and boredom.

2. Stay active – Moderate daily activity will keep the body and joints healthy. One must get into the discipline of light activity. Since it is the Vata stage, more grounding activities like Hatha Yoga or moderate weight training are recommended. High-intensity activities like HIIT or Plyometrics increase Vata and may not be suitable for everyone. Listen to your body and choose your physical activity accordingly. Balance Training is particularly important for healthy ageing as it is excellent to tone down Vata, and to develop strong mind-body awareness which also prevents falls.

3. Focus on mental fitness – A healthy mind is as important as a healthy body. We often underestimate the stresses of old age, which may arise due to loneliness, fear, loss of ability, etc. By making time for Pranayama, meditation, mindful walking, and even by engaging in recreational hobbies we can keep our minds healthy.

4. Eat well – Our nutritional needs change as we age. Especially after the age of 60, our dietary habits start catching up with our bodily systems. Therefore, we start seeing increased instances of issues like high BP, Diabetes, heart failure, electrolyte imbalances, insomnia, etc. This makes it more important to choose nutrient-rich foods, that you can get by eating a wide variety of local produce, eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats, especially Omega 3s. You should avoid sugary foods, dry salty snacks, junk food as all these aggravate Vata which is already very sensitive in old age.

5. Explore Ayurvedic Therapies – Not all herbs or therapies are suitable for everyone. An Ayurvedic doctor will assess your body type (Prakriti) and then recommend treatments suitable for your specific conditions. This can include Panchakarma, herbs, or dietary prescriptions. These are best taken after being assessed by a professional.

With a little discipline and some motivation, we can improve not only our longevity but also our quality of life. And by keeping a positive attitude towards ageing we can achieve all of the above!

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Vata stage of life ayurveda yoga


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