Ayurveda recognizes that there are three stages of life associated with each of the doshas. The Kapha (Water & Earth elements) time of life is birth to puberty which is a time of growth, building, and learning. The Pitta (Fire & Water elements) time is the more productive years involving higher education, careers, relationships, and developing families. Finally, the Vata (Air & Ether elements) time is the later in life with more reflection, meditation, and spiritual awareness. This time of life has increased air quality with more dryness, bone loss, coldness, and mental instability because of increased mobility.
During menopause, the hormones estrogen and progesterone decrease, which are vital substances for creating balance. In Ayurveda, this relates to Ojas (immunity). When Ojas is healthy and high, it thrives and allows us to tolerate the external environment and changes to our internal ecosystem, creating groundedness, stability, and nourishment. On the other side of the coin, Tejas (a refined version of Pitta) embodies the subtle essence of all the digestive fires (Agni) in the body. These two combine with the erratic nature of Vata (cool, dry, light, and mobile). They can shift the body into an imbalanced state during menopause, and below are some of the doshic side effects that might occur:
Vata Dosha: Dryness, digestive imbalance, dry elimination, sleep, bone loss, and mental instability.
Pitta Dosha: Hot flashes and excess heat in the body, irritability, anger, criticism, and competitiveness.
Kapha Dosha: Weight gain, sadness, unmotivated, dullness, lethargy, and depression.
Ayurvedic medicine approaches menopause with programs that encourage nourishment, contentment, and balance with three main goals. Firstly to promote “juiciness” increasing Kapha qualities of moistness, heaviness, and stability. Secondly, balance Vata and Pitta in the sympathetic nervous system. Lastly, strengthen Agni (digestive fires) ensuring proper metabolism, absorption and transformation.
Below are some practices to consider:
Meditation & Pranayama Practices
· Spend time in nature to be more connected to the earth and improve Vitamin D in the body.
· Practice Nadi Shodhana pranayama to calm your nervous system and decrease stress.
Do a Mini Cleanse 4-Days Each Month
· Eat a mono-diet of Kitchari with doshic appropriate spices. Take 2 TBL. of ghee or flax oil each day, preform Abhyanga massage, and Epsom salt bath to support lymphatic detoxification.
Diet & Digestion
· Eat a Vata-Pitta Balancing Diet consisting of warm, well-cooked foods, including fibrous and calcium high foods, and use culinary spices that aid digestion.
· Support digestion with 1 tsp. of grated ginger, squeeze of lime, and a pinch of salt before & after meals.