Ayurveda and Aging 10.1

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<strong>and</strong> <br />


In 2004, I received a degree in <strong>Ayurveda</strong> from<br />

Kalidas Sanskrit University in India. <br />

The very first instruction I received in the<br />

formal welcome to the school was:<br />

‘Everything in the world is medicinal, <strong>and</strong><br />

everything in the world is poisonous.<br />

‘<strong>Ayurveda</strong> will teach you how to tell the<br />

DIFFERENCE between the two.’

In this presentation, we will<br />

explore these various <br />


After graduation, I visited Benaras, the oldest<br />

still-living city in the world. There, I heard a story<br />

about Kabir, one of the greatest saints of medieval<br />

India. It went like this: <br />

The king of Benares had built a large palace on<br />

the banks of the Ganges river <strong>and</strong> wanted Kabir<br />

to come <strong>and</strong> visit his palace. Kabir accepted, <strong>and</strong><br />

after a tour of the palace, the King asked him<br />

what he thought of the place.

Kabir replied,<br />

‘There are two defects which cannot be fixed,’ <br />

‘Tell me what they are, <strong>and</strong> I shall fix them right away,’ said<br />

the King.<br />

‘You cannot do it,’ replied Kabir. <br />

‘Why not? I have the money <strong>and</strong> men. Tell me what they<br />

are <strong>and</strong> I shall have them fixed,’ said the king<br />

Kabir then said:<br />

‘One is that this palace will grow old <strong>and</strong> decay. <br />

The second is that you will grow old <strong>and</strong> die.’

Our consideration is suggested by <br />

Kabir’s -‘Grow old <strong>and</strong> die’: <br />

This brings us to<br />

AYURVEDA <strong>and</strong> <strong>Aging</strong><br />

So let’s begin with a consideration of<br />


<strong>Ayurveda</strong> is the <br />

‘Veda’ ‘(Science)<br />

of <br />

‘Ayu’ (Life)

<strong>Ayurveda</strong> <br />

is taught on<br />

earth so<br />

mankind can<br />

enjoy a long<br />

<strong>and</strong> healthy<br />


<strong>Ayurveda</strong> contains <br />

the Vidya or knowledge <br />

of ‘how to create or maintain <br />

the health of the healthy <br />

<strong>and</strong> cure or palliate the disease <br />

of a diseased person’

From the Yoga Sutras, <br />

<strong>Ayurveda</strong> draws a fundamental<br />

principle regarding the Law of Karma:<br />

‘Heyam Dukham Anagatam’<br />

- Patanjali Yoga Sutras 2:16<br />

‘The suffering that has not yet come <br />

can be avoided’

The suffering <br />

that is here, <br />

is here because of ‘karmic’<br />

reasons . . .<br />

it has past cause or causes<br />

<strong>and</strong> must be endured

But, the suffering <br />

that is not yet here can be avoided, <br />

by changing our actions<br />

<strong>Ayurveda</strong> says:<br />

with proper underst<strong>and</strong>ing <br />

we may move towards health <br />

by means of right actions

There is a causative factor for the<br />

manifestation of a bodily being, but<br />

there is <br />

no cause for the cessation of <br />

this manifestation since death<br />

following birth is the natural flow of<br />

life itself<br />

- Charaka Samhita

Suffering born of Time (<strong>Aging</strong>) is<br />

inherent in life <strong>and</strong> cannot be<br />

avoided, but only palliated. <br />

This is a foundational principle<br />

of <br />

<strong>Ayurveda</strong> <strong>and</strong> <strong>Aging</strong>

KALA<br />


Life is held in the h<strong>and</strong>s <br />

of <br />

Time or Kala<br />

<strong>and</strong> Time is a fundamental<br />

consideration <br />

when we consider: <br />


In <strong>Ayurveda</strong>,<br />

Old Age <strong>and</strong> <strong>Aging</strong> is a<br />

‘disease’ brought about by<br />


It is written in the Ayurvedic<br />

texts:<br />

‘Shiryate Iti Shariram’<br />

‘The body is constantly<br />


We know everyone <br />

who has taken birth <br />

must grow old <strong>and</strong> die, <br />

but no one wants to grow old<br />

<strong>and</strong> no one wants to die.<br />

But even from conception the<br />

body is tending towards death

According to Buddha:<br />

Birth, Disease, Old Age, <strong>and</strong><br />

Death comprise the inevitable<br />

suffering <br />

of a human being

“. . . birth is suffering, Old Age is<br />

suffering, illness is suffering, union<br />

with unpleasant things is suffering,<br />

separation from pleasant things is<br />

suffering, not obtaining what we wish<br />

is suffering; all clinging to existence is<br />

suffering”<br />

- Buddha

Buddha was asked, <br />

‘How are you different than other<br />

men?’<br />

He replied:<br />

‘I was disturbed by<br />

Birth, Disease, Old Age <strong>and</strong> Death,<br />

others did not seem to be so disturbed’

In <strong>Ayurveda</strong>, <br />

any state that is not pleasurable <br />

is called - ‘Disease’<br />

<br />

In Tibetan medicine, <br />

(which arose from <strong>Ayurveda</strong>), <br />

life itself is a disease that ends in death

<strong>Ayurveda</strong> considers <strong>Aging</strong><br />

Born of time <br />

as <br />

a ‘Natural’, <strong>and</strong> <br />

only Palliatible <br />


‘Palliative’ here refers to:<br />

Treatment that affirms life <strong>and</strong><br />

regards ‘<strong>Aging</strong>,’ <strong>and</strong> death as a<br />

natural <strong>and</strong> normal process<br />

Palliative Care provides relief<br />

from unnecessary pain or<br />

distressing symptoms

Even though Buddha said:<br />

‘Suffering is inevitable’<br />

he also said that:<br />

‘All suffering is not necessary’

The ‘disease’ of <strong>Aging</strong> is<br />

inevitable, <br />

But, it may be manifested in a<br />

timely or untimely,<br />

comfortable or uncomfortable,<br />

disease-free or disease-filled,<br />


The Ayurvedic approach to <strong>Aging</strong>: <br />

is to remedy <strong>and</strong>/or palliate <br />

the <br />

underlying imbalances <br />

brought about by <strong>Aging</strong>

Even though,<br />

Time or Kala creates an<br />

unavoidable imbalances in the<br />

body<br />

<strong>Ayurveda</strong> teaches us how to<br />

palliate those ‘unavoidable’<br />


According to <strong>Ayurveda</strong>-<br />

The growth, development,<br />

maintenance <strong>and</strong> decay <br />

of the body <br />

are dependent on <br />

four factors or qualities:

1) Kala (time)<br />

2) Swabhava <br />

(nature, doshic make up)<br />

3) Ahar (Diet)<br />

4) Paryavarana -Environmental<br />


The first two: <br />

1) Kala (Time)<br />

2) Swabhava <br />

(nature, doshic make up)<br />

We Cannot Control <br />

but only Palliate

The second two:<br />

3) Ahar (Diet)<br />

4) Environmental factors<br />

We Can Control

Diet (Ahar) <strong>and</strong> Environment) <br />

can be controlled<br />



according to:<br />

Kala - Time (impersonal) <br />

<strong>and</strong> Svabhava- Self Nature (personal)

LET’S <br />



Kala or Time holds <br />

a human being <br />

in its grasp <br />

from birth until death

So fundamental is Kala or<br />

time that an image of Kala<br />

holding the wheel of life is<br />

painted directly next to the<br />

main entry of every Tibetan<br />

Buddhist monastery

Greed<br />

Anger<br />

Ignorance<br />

Delusion<br />

The ‘Three Poisons’ of life

It is called:<br />

the ‘Bhavachakra’ <br />

or the <br />

The Wheel of Becoming<br />

or<br />

The Wheel of Life

It is Kala or Time that creates:<br />

• The Yugas<br />

• The seasons of a year<br />

• The hours of day <strong>and</strong> night<br />

• The seasons of a person’s life<br />

• <strong>Aging</strong>

Buddha spoke of Time <br />

as the context, <br />

of inescapable suffering <br />

. . . for it is Time that<br />

determines our inability to gain<br />

any permanent happiness in<br />

life, <br />

no matter what our actions are

Just as we need to underst<strong>and</strong> the<br />

place where we live<br />

the season of the year<br />

<strong>and</strong> the time of the day<br />

<strong>Ayurveda</strong> says it is necessary to<br />

underst<strong>and</strong> <br />

\<br />

the Season or Time <br />

of our life

The effect of Time on the body<br />

is Kshaya or the diminishing of<br />

all the capabilities of the bodymind<br />

with Old Age

Let’s look more closely <br />

at how Kala or Time<br />

is expressed <br />

in the ‘Stages of Life’

The Stages of Life

The Ch<strong>and</strong>ogya Upanishad says<br />

that a man or woman enjoys 116<br />

years of life<br />

Balavastya: +/- 24 years<br />

Yuvavastha: +/- 44yrs (24-68)<br />

Vrddhavastha: +/- 48 yrs (108-116)

Balavastya (Youth)<br />

From conception to a girl’s first period<br />

(approximately 14-16 years of age; now<br />

earlier) is the time that Kapha or the<br />

EARTH <strong>and</strong> WATER elements rules.<br />

This period exhibits a steady increase<br />

<strong>and</strong> coordination of the strength <strong>and</strong><br />

integrity of the body, mind <strong>and</strong> senses

Madhyavasta (Middle Age)<br />

The FIRE element rule middle age <strong>and</strong><br />

lasts (approximately) from 14-16 years to<br />

60-70 years of age. It is dominated by<br />

PITTA DOSHA. There is an increase of<br />

hormonal activity, the digestive abilities<br />

of food <strong>and</strong> experience; full engagement<br />

of the senses, mind, intellect <strong>and</strong> a<br />

greater (or lesser) mastery of will

Vriddhavastha (Old Age)<br />

This is the period from 70 years to<br />

our death, when there is everincreasing<br />

wasting or decay<br />

(Kshaya) in the body. This time of<br />

life correlates <br />

with Vata Dosha or the Air <strong>and</strong><br />

Ether elements

As we age there is a natural decrease<br />

of the Dhatus or bodily tissues:<br />

There is wrinkling of the skin, graying<br />

of the hair, baldness, diminished<br />

ability to do physical work, diminished<br />

digestive power (JatharAgni) <strong>and</strong><br />

diminished immunity (Ojas)

In Old Age <br />

(even if one is not sick or in pain)<br />

there is a decrease in the <br />

(sensory organs) <br />

There is diminishing strength,<br />

speech, mental <strong>and</strong> cognitive<br />

functions, memory, intellect <strong>and</strong><br />

analytic ability

When these symptoms come<br />

about in accord with a<br />

balanced or healthy <br />

Swabhava (self-nature), <br />

it is known as <br />

Natural <strong>Aging</strong>

When <strong>Aging</strong> results from a result<br />

of a defective diet <strong>and</strong> lifestyle,<br />

Vriddhavastha (Old Age) begins<br />

earlier <strong>and</strong> is then known as<br />

Akalaja Vriddhavastha<br />

or (untimely <strong>Aging</strong>) <strong>and</strong> is usually<br />

accompanied by disease

Worry, Anxiety, Smoking increase<br />

<strong>Aging</strong> in any individual

<strong>Aging</strong> can be slowed <strong>and</strong><br />

‘Untimely <strong>Aging</strong>’ is preventable. <br />

Even if symptoms of untimely<br />

<strong>Aging</strong> are already manifested,<br />

they can be managed or<br />

palliated by applying the<br />

principles of <strong>Ayurveda</strong>

One of the well-known principles of<br />

<strong>Ayurveda</strong> is:<br />

‘Like increases Like<br />

Opposites decrease one another’ <br />

The words for ‘Health’ in <strong>Ayurveda</strong><br />

is Svastha, Sama or balance. Balance<br />

is the working principle of <strong>Ayurveda</strong>

According to <strong>Ayurveda</strong>, the<br />

‘patho’-physiology of <strong>Aging</strong> is<br />

caused primarily by diet <strong>and</strong> the<br />

process of <strong>Aging</strong> can be slowed<br />

down by correcting <strong>and</strong><br />

balancing <br />

the diet <strong>and</strong> lifestyle


or<br />

Self nature

So, the first factor is TIME-KALA<br />

The second of the four factors,<br />

(Kala, Svabhava, Diet,<br />

Environment)<br />

that creates the growth, development,<br />

maintenance <strong>and</strong> decay of the body<br />

is‘Svabhava’ <br />

- the unique, individual nature, or<br />

elemental makeup of our body

For most people in the West today<br />

who have gained a little knowledge of<br />

<strong>Ayurveda</strong>, this elemental makeup of<br />

the body is called -<br />

‘Svabhava,’<br />

which is another name for <br />


To balance Svabhava it is<br />

necessary to underst<strong>and</strong> the <br />

‘5 elements,’ as each of our<br />

bodies is composed of<br />

differing combinations of<br />

what are called the <br />

5 elements or the <br />


We must underst<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong> determine<br />

our Dosha <br />

so we can balance it<br />

When we underst<strong>and</strong> our environment<br />

in terms of the five elements, we can<br />

begin to underst<strong>and</strong> its Doshic Effect

These five elements are:<br />

Ether (Akash)<br />

Air (Vayu)<br />

Fire (Agni or Tejas)<br />

Water ( Jala)<br />

Earth (Bhumi)

The Five Elements<br />


Everything in creation is made<br />

of <br />

differing combinations of <br />

the 5 elements <br />

(always <strong>and</strong> only <br />

all-together appearing)<br />

They are called the <br />


When the <br />

Panchamahabhutas are<br />

considered in terms of location<br />

they are called: the Environment:<br />

desert, ocean, forest, mountain,<br />

cold, hot, windy, dry

When the <br />

Panchamahabhutas are<br />

considered in terms of Food<br />

they are called- The Six tastes:<br />

sweet, sour, salty, bitter,<br />

pungent, astringent

When the <br />

Panchamahabhutas are<br />

considered in terms of the<br />

Seasons of the year, they are<br />

called: <br />

spring, summer, fall, winter

When the <br />

Panchamahabhutas are<br />

considered in terms of the<br />

Time of the day, they are<br />

called: dawn, morning,<br />

afternoon, evening <strong>and</strong><br />


When the <br />

Panchamahabhutas are<br />

considered in terms of the<br />

Seasons of a persons life, they<br />

are called: childhood,<br />

adolescence, middle age <strong>and</strong><br />

Old Age

When the <br />

Panchamahabhutas are<br />

considered in terms of the<br />

Ages of the Universe they are<br />

called the Yugas:<br />

Kali, Dwarpa, Treta <strong>and</strong> Sat

When the Panchamahabhutas<br />

are considered in terms of the<br />

human body they are called:<br />


When <strong>Ayurveda</strong> traveled to the<br />

West through Persia <strong>and</strong> then<br />

Greece, these Doshas were<br />

called the Humors



Doshas<br />

Panchamahabhutas<br />

<strong>and</strong><br />


“Neither in theory nor in fact is<br />

there a physical manifestation<br />

that cannot be accounted for<br />

by the concept of Tridosha”<br />

– Charaka Samhita

The ‘Nature’ or quality <br />

of a thing<br />

(or one’s body) <br />

is called: <br />

DOSHA <br />

or <br />


When we consider <br />

an individual being <br />

<strong>and</strong> his or her unique combination <br />

of the elements<br />

the particular element (or<br />

elements) <br />

that predominates amongst them <br />

is called their Dosha

DOSHA <br />

(Also) Means ‘that which vitiates,<br />

aggravates, darkens, spoils <br />

or <br />

causes things to decay’

There are<br />

Varying combinations of the<br />

Panchamahabhutas or <br />

5 Elements that determine the<br />


Vata, Pita <strong>and</strong> Kapha <br />

are the 3 Doshas

Let’s look at some examples of<br />

Dosha <strong>and</strong> how differing<br />

combinations of the elements<br />

determine different types of<br />

the human body-mind:

Everything contains all of the<br />

five elements together. When we<br />

speak about Dosha, we are<br />

referring to the predominance<br />

of certain elements.

KAPHA<br />

Earth <strong>and</strong> Water predominant



PITTA<br />

Fire <strong>and</strong> Water predominant



Vata<br />

Air <strong>and</strong> Ether predominant


Kapha <strong>and</strong> Vata

‘Yatha Loka Tatha Pindam’<br />

(As is the whole world, so is the body)<br />

The physical <strong>and</strong> psychological human being<br />

follows the pattern of a full day of the world<br />

Kapha in the morning hours (6-10am)<br />

Pitta in the midday hours (10-2pm)<br />

Vata in the late afternoon hours (2-6pm)

Kapha rules the morning hours (6-10am)<br />

Diseases of a Kapha type mainly happen<br />

to a person in their Kapha season of life<br />

<strong>and</strong> their symptoms express most<br />

powerfully during the Kapha hours

Pitta rules the midday hours (10-2pm)<br />

Adolescence-Midlife (14-60yrs)<br />

Middle age people are primarily affected <br />

by Pitta disorders <strong>and</strong> these symptoms often<br />

heighten during the Pitta hours of the day <strong>and</strong><br />

years of life

Vata rules the afternoon hours of the day (2-6pm)<br />

<strong>and</strong> the later years of life (70- death)<br />

Elderly people are primarily affected <br />

by Vata disorders <strong>and</strong> these symptoms<br />

often heighten during the Vata hours of<br />

the day <strong>and</strong> years of life

The 5 Elements or<br />

Panchamahabhutas express<br />

themselves <br />

in every aspect of life

Under the <br />

Controlling Effect <br />

of Time, <br />

Each stage of life, expresses <br />

different Panchamahabhutas <br />

or Doshas

Now we have the<br />

background to consider<br />

<strong>Aging</strong><br />

for <br />

Old Age is the time of Vata

Old Age <br />

The Time <br />

of <br />


Like Air <strong>and</strong> Ether<br />

Vata <br />

is easily shaped <strong>and</strong><br />

affected by <br />

the environment

Vata is the ‘environment,’ time or<br />

season of Old Age <br />

Vata rules Old Age <br />

Therefore,<br />

We must Recognize, Underst<strong>and</strong> <strong>and</strong><br />

Balance the increase of Vata <br />

in our diet <strong>and</strong> lifestyle, <br />

to maintain or create balance <br />

in our Old Age

Interestingly, our modern day<br />

environment is more Vata than ever in<br />

history.<br />

We move faster, <br />

do more, process our foods <strong>and</strong> drinks<br />

use modern medicine to suppress our<br />

disease symptoms, spend<br />

more time in front of computers <strong>and</strong> TV<br />

movies ‘move’ faster<br />

girls get their periods at a younger age

What are the qualities or<br />

‘Gunas’ of Vata <br />

according to <strong>Ayurveda</strong>?

Vata is:<br />

Cold<br />

Dry <br />

Light<br />

Irregular<br />

Rough<br />

Moving<br />

Quick<br />

Changeable<br />


The working Principle of how to achieve<br />

‘Balance’ or Sama in <strong>Ayurveda</strong> is:<br />

“Similars increase one another<br />

Opposites decrease one another”

So, to balance Vata<br />

we need: <br />

Cold-<br />

Light -<br />

Dry -<br />

Irregular -<br />

Rough -<br />

Quick-<br />

Mobile-<br />

Subtle-<br />

Warm/hot<br />

Heavy<br />

Oily/ moist<br />

Regularity<br />

Smooth<br />

Slow<br />

Steady<br />


When Vata Dosha is out of<br />

balance there is an excess of the<br />

qualities that define that Dosha<br />

For instance:

For Instance:<br />

Light: The person loses weight<br />

Cold: The person feels chilled<br />

Dry: The skin, lips, mucosal gl<strong>and</strong>s become dry<br />

Mobile: the voice becomes too quick or rambles<br />

Subtle: The person is easily affected by the feelings of<br />

others<br />

Hard: the stools become hard <strong>and</strong> difficult to eliminate<br />

Irregular: Easy to change<br />

Rough: The skin becomes rough

Look at how Vata<br />

characteristics are similar to<br />

the effects of Old Age:

<strong>Ayurveda</strong> looks at the following<br />

as a consequence of <strong>Aging</strong>:<br />

Dhatu Kshaya- degeneration of tissues<br />

Indriya Kshaya- degeneration of senses<br />

Bala Kshaya- loss of strength<br />

Utsakhakshaya- loss of motivation<br />

Viryakshaya- decreased libido<br />

Vali- wrinkles<br />

Palithya- greying of hair<br />

Khalithya- baldness

<strong>Ayurveda</strong> offers the knowledge of how to<br />

bring <br />

Vata Dosha into balance. <br />

The principle <br />

to achieve Balance <br />

is: by increasing the opposite<br />

qualities of whatever elements or<br />

Doshic effects are in predominance:

Change can be made in<br />

everything<br />

Daily Routine, Sleep, Sex,<br />

Diet, Herbal supplements,<br />

colors, aromas, massage, oils<br />

<strong>and</strong> overall lifestyle . . .

Through adopting an<br />

appropriate Diet <strong>and</strong> Lifestyle<br />

we can bring <br />

Vata Dosha into balance

Like every other Dosha, people<br />

who have high Vata have been<br />

given both a blessing <strong>and</strong> a curse.<br />

The Blessing is that it is ‘easy for<br />

them to change’; the Curse is that<br />

it is ‘easy for them to change.’

Whatever is done must be<br />

done regularly!<br />

Vata tends to be irregular,<br />

<strong>and</strong> irregularity only increases<br />

Vata Dosha

Here is more of what <br />

<strong>Ayurveda</strong> <br />

says about <br />

Vata Dosha:

Physical Characteristics: <br />

Those with a predominance of Vata dosha<br />

usually have a thin, light frame <strong>and</strong><br />

excellent agility. Their energy comes in<br />

bursts <strong>and</strong> they are likely to experience<br />

sudden bouts of fatigue. Vatas typically have<br />

dry skin <strong>and</strong> hair <strong>and</strong> cold h<strong>and</strong>s <strong>and</strong> feet.<br />

They sleep lightly <strong>and</strong> their digestion can<br />

be sensitive. When the Vata dosha becomes<br />

imbalanced, it manifests in the body as<br />

weight loss, constipation, hypertension,<br />

arthritis, weakness, restlessness, <strong>and</strong><br />

digestive challenges.

Emotional Characteristics: <br />

Vatas love excitement <strong>and</strong> new<br />

experiences. They are quick to anger but<br />

also to forgive. When Vatas are in balance,<br />

they are energetic, creative, <strong>and</strong> flexible.<br />

They also take initiative <strong>and</strong> are lively<br />

conversationalists. When unbalanced, they<br />

are prone to worry <strong>and</strong> anxiousness <strong>and</strong><br />

often suffer from insomnia. When they feel<br />

overwhelmed or stressed, their response is,<br />

“What did I do wrong?”

If excessive stress in your life makes your<br />

Vata imbalanced, your activity will start to<br />

feel out of control. Your mind may race,<br />

contributing to anxiety <strong>and</strong> insomnia. You<br />

may start skipping meals, resulting in<br />

unintended weight loss, <strong>and</strong> your digestion<br />

may become irregular. If you notice these<br />

‘early’ symptoms of a Vata imbalance, slow<br />

down, take time to meditate, don’t skip<br />

meals, <strong>and</strong> get to bed earlier. A regular<br />

lifestyle routine helps ground Vata so you’re<br />

not carried away into the ether

Vata Pacifying Diet<br />

Vata is balanced by a diet of freshly cooked,<br />

whole foods that are soft or mushy in texture,<br />

rich in protein <strong>and</strong> fat, seasoned with various<br />

warming spices, <strong>and</strong> served warm or hot.<br />

These foods calm Vata by lubricating <strong>and</strong><br />

nourishing the tissues, preserving moisture,<br />

<strong>and</strong> maintaining warmth while supporting<br />

proper digestion <strong>and</strong> elimination.

Qualities to Favor <strong>and</strong> Avoid<br />

Vata is cool, dry, rough <strong>and</strong> light, so eating<br />

foods that neutralize these qualities – foods<br />

that are warm, moist, oily, smooth, <strong>and</strong><br />

nourishing – can help to balance excess Vata.<br />

An improved underst<strong>and</strong>ing of these qualities<br />

can guide you in making specific dietary<br />

choices that will better support Vata.

There are six tastes

Tastes to emphasize for<br />

VATA:<br />

Sweet (earth <strong>and</strong> water)<br />

Sour (earth <strong>and</strong> fire)<br />

Salty (fire <strong>and</strong> water)

Tastes to Decrease for VATA:<br />

Bitter (Air <strong>and</strong> Ether)<br />

Pungent (Air <strong>and</strong> Fire)<br />

Astringent (Air <strong>and</strong> Earth)

It is best to have all six tastes<br />

at every meal<br />

Just in different proportions<br />

for each Dosha<br />


Vata Churna


Stay Warm<br />

Don’t get chilled<br />

Avoid Drafts <strong>and</strong> Wind

Root vegetables <strong>and</strong> winter squash<br />

will help nourish <strong>and</strong> balance the<br />

body. Try carrots, beets, sweet<br />

potatoes, pumpkin, acorn, butternut,<br />

delicata, <strong>and</strong> buttercup squashes.<br />

These have the qualities of sweet,<br />

heavy, smooth, dense, <strong>and</strong> moist <strong>and</strong><br />

are most balancing for Vata.

Casseroles<br />

Soups (Mung Dal)<br />


Grains<br />

Sweet grains such as Basmati rice,<br />

wheat berries, brown rice, <strong>and</strong> sushi<br />

rice. Also, whole wheat pasta <strong>and</strong> or<br />

buckwheat udon noodles can be<br />

especially grounding for Vata. Always<br />

include Ghee <strong>and</strong> other healthful oils<br />

such as almond, sesame, or sunflower<br />

for internal oleation, kindling Agni,<br />

<strong>and</strong> increasing absorption.

Spices<br />

When preparing food, use<br />

warming spices such as black<br />

pepper, dry ginger, cinnamon<br />

<strong>and</strong> asafoetida to help to stoke<br />

the digestive fire.

Lunch <br />

should be the largest meal of<br />

the day<br />

Sleep<br />

Go to bed earlier

Time of Day <strong>and</strong> Dosha

Drink Hot Ginger Tea<br />

Fennel<br />

Licorice<br />

Vata Tea

Very little Raw Foods<br />

No cold drinks<br />

No caffeinated drinks<br />

No snack bars<br />

No Granola<br />

No Dried Fruits

OILS<br />

All Good Fats <br />

Ghee<br />

Sesame oil<br />


Herbs<br />

Ashwag<strong>and</strong>ha<br />

Vata Digest Tablets from <br />

Banyan Botanicals<br />

Vata Churna from MAPI<br />

Haritaki/ Amalaki - best herbs for<br />

balancing Vata

Daily Abhyanga or Oil Massage<br />

Coconut oil in hot climates<br />

Sesame oil in cooler climates

Meditation<br />

Transcendental<br />

Meditation<br />

Sitting Quietly

‘As we age, exercise must become<br />

more gentle, easeful <strong>and</strong><br />

restorative <strong>and</strong> that’s the more<br />

classical approach to the asana.<br />

Asanas should exercise the body<br />

sufficiently, but need not train<br />

the body athletically.’ <br />

- David Frawley, -Yoga <strong>and</strong> <strong>Ayurveda</strong>

Yoga Asana<br />

Do any <strong>and</strong> all asanas<br />

smoothly <strong>and</strong> lightly

Pranayama<br />

Nadi Shuddhi

Sleep<br />

Hot Milk with Ginger, Cinnamon<br />

Cardamom <strong>and</strong> Saffron <br />

before bed


Eliminate toxins <strong>and</strong> toxic conditions from your<br />

body <strong>and</strong> mind.<br />

Strengthen your immune system <strong>and</strong> become<br />

more resistant to illness.<br />

Reverse the negative effects of stress on your<br />

body <strong>and</strong> mind, thereby slowing the aging<br />

process.<br />

Bring about deep relaxation <strong>and</strong> a sense of wellbeing.

Panchakarma (five actions) is a cleansing <strong>and</strong><br />

rejuvenating program for the body, mind, <strong>and</strong><br />

consciousness<br />

Panchakarma is done individually for each<br />

person with their specific constitution <strong>and</strong><br />

specific disorder in mind, thus it<br />

requires close observation <strong>and</strong> supervision.<br />

Treatment starts with pre-purification Measures<br />

of Snehan (internal oleation) <strong>and</strong> Svedana<br />

(external elation), <strong>and</strong> then cleansing methods –<br />

Shodanas are applied.

PINDA SWEDA: Reduces Stress<br />

The therapeutic properties of the oil on targeted pressure points, <br />

drastically reduces stress.<br />

Cures Insomnia<br />

Pinda Sweda is an effective cure for people struggling with insomnia <br />

<strong>and</strong> induces good sleep.<br />

Manages pain <strong>and</strong> inflammation<br />

Relieves pain <strong>and</strong> inflammation in problem areas, increases blood flow <br />

<strong>and</strong> rejuvenates the system.<br />

Soothes Nerves & Joints<br />

The massage has soothing properties on the nerves <strong>and</strong> joints, <br />

relaxing <strong>and</strong> rejuvenating them.<br />

Detoxes<br />

Removes metabolic wastes from the body, <br />

hence acting as a mini detox treatment.<br />

Heals Injuries<br />

Heals age-related musculoskeletal problems <strong>and</strong> injuries naturally.

Swedana (external application of medicated oils)

Ayurvedic Spa at Villa An<strong>and</strong>a, Punta Mita

Swedana (external application of oil)

Swedana - Steam Bath

<strong>Ayurveda</strong> Treatment Room at Villa An<strong>and</strong>a

Pinda Sweda (Medicated/ heated herbal treatment)

Pinda Sweda

Basti (Lower Back)

Basti (neck)

Basti (Knees)

Basti (Heart)

Nasya (Nasal Medicated Oil Treatment)


Rasayana<br />

The way of Rejuvenation

Rasayanas<br />

An 11th century Persian chemist <strong>and</strong> physician<br />

named Abu Rayhan Biruni reported about<br />

India:<br />

“They have a science similar to alchemy which<br />

is quite peculiar to them. They call it<br />

Rasayana. It means an art that is comprised of<br />

certain actions, herbs <strong>and</strong> compounds, most of<br />

which are taken from plants. It restores the<br />

health of those who were ill beyond hope <strong>and</strong><br />

gives back youth to those fading in Old Age.”

Rasayanas are herbal <strong>and</strong> mineral compounds<br />

which according to Vedic texts help to:<br />

- Maintain the original orderliness <br />

of the physiology<br />

- Preserve youthfulness <strong>and</strong> slow down <br />

or reverse the <strong>Aging</strong> process<br />

- Strengthen the immune system<br />

- Make the body-mind more resistant <br />

to damaging influences

Chyvana Rishi<br />

<strong>and</strong> <br />



Amalaki<br />

“Of all Rasayanas, Amalaki is revered as<br />

one of the most potent <strong>and</strong> nourishing.<br />

“Amalaki is the best amongst<br />

rejuvenating herbs.”<br />

- Charaka Samhita

It was said by one of my<br />

Teachers that of all the<br />

Rasayanas, the very best is<br />

to have <br />

a purpose in life that you<br />

are devoted to

‘Rasayana’ refers not merely to a<br />

herbal regimen (drug) or a<br />

therapy although both may be<br />

included. <br />

It is a ‘lifestyle’ that can be<br />

undertaken by anyone

Rasayana is for maintaining the<br />

health of healthy individuals, as<br />

well as restoring the health of<br />

diseased individuals

Rasayana prolongs longevity,<br />

develops good health,<br />

improves mental faculties, <strong>and</strong><br />

provides immunity against<br />


There is a particular Rasayana<br />

called <br />

‘Kuti Rasayana’<br />

which when practiced, brings<br />

about Kaya Kalpa or the<br />

rejuvenation of the human body,<br />

skin, new teeth, regrowth of hair

The most famous practitioner of<br />

this was Tapasviji Maharaj who<br />

lived for 185 years. <br />

There is a book written about him<br />

called: Maharaj

Sadvritta <br />

Sattvic Lifestyle<br />

Righteous living<br />

Good conduct<br />

Service<br />



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