If you're over 40, you probably know how hard it is to feel like yourself. You may not be in your 20s anymore, but there's no reason why that should mean you have to give up all the good things about being young.
Ayurveda can help you learn about your body and soul, so you can treat yourself with the care and attention that only a parent knows. If you're wondering what Ayurveda can do for women over 40, read on!
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health and wellness that has been practiced in India for thousands of years. It was developed by ancient Hindu sages who believed everything in the universe is made up of energy called prana. This energy flows through our bodies, and we need to maintain a balance between the five elements (air, water, fire, earth, and space) if we want to be healthy.
Ayurveda teaches us that there are three distinct body types: Vata (air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (water). Each body type has its own needs regarding diet and lifestyle choices; for example, someone with a Kapha body type might have heavier bones than someone with the same weight but different dosha makeup.
What is a Dosha?
A dosha is a Sanskrit word meaning "potency." In Ayurveda, each dosha is associated with a particular body type and personality traits. There's also an element, quality, and season associated with each dosha.
The three doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. They are Sanskrit words that describe the three body types and their corresponding energies.
Vata is air, wind, and space. People with a Vata constitution are light, quick moving, and energetic. They tend to be thin and may have dry skin. Vatas usually have light hair and eyes.
Pitta is fire, bile, and digestion. Pittas tend to be medium-sized with medium-length hair and eyes. Pittas have a medium complexion with freckles or moles on their skin.
Kapha is water, mucus, and earth. Kapha people tend to be heavy-set with long hair and eyes. Their skin tends to be oily but also susceptible to puffiness or bloating when they overeat food or drink alcohol or coffee.
In addition to these physical distinctions, there are also psychological ones: Vatas are creative but easily distracted; pittas are intelligent but intense; kaphas tend towards kindness with just the right amount of seriousness mixed in.
How Your Dosha Changes Over Time
The doshas are dynamic and change throughout your life. The doshas are also affected by seasons, age, lifestyle, and diet. As you get older, your dosha can become aggravated due to a decline in the amount of Ojas (subtle vital energy).
This is why it's important to keep up with your dosha fluctuations and consider them when making dietary changes or adding new supplements to your regimen.
Dosha's theory describes how our bodies change over time and how these changes influence our health. Here's what you need to know about your dosha at each stage of life:
In your younger years, your dosha is usually balanced and energetic. You may have a strong constitution and stamina for long days but also be prone to anxiety or stress if things get out of control. Your digestion tends to be strong because you're eating foods that support your dosha type well—fruits, vegetables, grains, etc.—and there's not much pressure on you yet to make difficult choices about how to live your life.
As we move into our middle years (the 30s-50s), the body starts to shift and slow down naturally as part of aging. This can throw off our dosha balance in different ways: Vata types may begin feeling run down and sluggish; Pitta types may experience digestive issues or skin breakouts; Kapha types may notice that their weight gain has become harder to manage and they're losing muscle mass as they get older. It's essential to pay attention to these changes to adjust our lifestyle accordingly before the changes become unmanageable.
As we age, our body's natural functions begin to slow down. Digestion becomes less efficient due to reduced levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which can lead to poor digestion and bloating. Our immune system is also compromised as our body produces fewer antibodies to fight infections, which makes us more susceptible to colds and flu during this time of life.
The Best Essential Oil Blends For Women Over 40
The best essential oil blends for women over 40 include:
Vata Essential Oils
Vata is the dosha that governs movement. It is responsible for blood, lymph, and energy circulation throughout the body. Vata tends to move quickly and easily, causing it to become scattered and disorganized. The properties in Vata essential oils help balance this out by calming the mind, calming nerves, relaxing muscles, and bringing about feelings of calmness and tranquility.
Vatas are often mentally scattered, restless, and unable to concentrate on one thing for long periods. They tend to have dry skin and hair prone to static electricity. They also may be prone to digestive issues like indigestion, bloating, or constipation.
Vatas can find relief from their symptoms with aromatherapy blends that include these essential oils:
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) - This is an excellent oil for helping you relax and unwind after a long day at work. It is also known for its antiseptic properties, which makes it helpful in dealing with skin infections like acne or boils and supporting healthy skin by reducing inflammation and preventing scarring from acne spots.
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) - Peppermint is another warming oil that helps relax tight muscles in the chest and throat, which can ease coughing and congestion.
Eucalyptus globulus - This essential oil also opens up blocked breathing passages and clears mucus from the lungs, making it useful for congestion caused by colds or flu-like symptoms.
Pitta Essential Oil Blends
Pitta is a fire element that rules digestion, metabolism, and circulation. Pitta is considered the most clear-headed of the doshas, and people with a predominance of pitta are rational, ambitious, energetic, and passionate.
Pitta can be beneficial to help balance other doshas in a person's body. For example, if you have too much Vata in your system (dryness), adding some pitta will help balance it. If you have too much Kapha in your system (watery), then adding some pitta will help balance it out.
You can find many different essential oils that relate to pitta on this list:
Pine Essential Oil - Pine promotes mental clarity and helps to inspire creativity; pine works well with Vata dosha as it reduces anxiety and stress while increasing clarity of mind.
Thyme Essential Oil - This oil helps with circulation issues such as cold hands or feet; thyme also helps to promote mental clarity by reducing stress levels while keeping your mind focused on whatever task at hand so that you can get more done in less time!
Clove (Syzygium aromaticum) helps to reduce inflammation in the body — especially good for headaches. This essential oil blend also contains eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), which works as an expectorant and decongestant while helping to balance pitta imbalances.
Kapha Essential Oils
Kapha is one of the three doshas comprised of water and earth elements. According to Ayurveda, Kapha is responsible for structures such as skin, bones, and joints. Kapha can be balanced by using essential oils rich in water and earth properties.
Here are some Kapha-balancing blends that you can use to help balance this dosha in your life: Sandalwood Essential Oil Blend
Sandalwood essential oil has a calming effect on the mind and body, making it great for balancing Kapha. Sandalwood essential oil blends well with other oils such as jasmine, geranium, rosemary, lavender, and ylang-ylang.
Frankincense Essential Oil- Frankincense has strong anti-inflammatory properties, making it an excellent choice for fighting inflammation caused by Kapha dosha imbalances. Frankincense blends with mandarin orange, bergamot, sandalwood, and myrrh essential oils.
Geranium Essential Oil- Geranium essential oil is another great option for balancing Kapha because it helps reduce excess mucus production in the respiratory tract while supporting a healthy immune system.
We hope you've enjoyed our guide to Ayurveda for women over 40. Now that you know how to use these blends, it's time to get started! Remember, these are just suggestions—you should feel free to experiment and create your blends with these ingredients. Remember, too, that Ayurveda is an ancient tradition based on thousands of years of observation and practice. It's a living system that will continue to evolve as we learn more about ourselves.