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Yoga and Ayurveda Frawley Asana and Age 1.

Old age, beginning around the age of sixty-five, is the age of vata. Our bodily fluids begin to stiffen, with the loss of flexibility leading to arthritis. Asana is one of the best remedies for countering the effects of the aging process and for preventing vata from accumulating. . !ovement-oriented asanas "vinyasas# are mainly for the young in whom the $uality of ra%as or action prevails. &hey need to develop their bodies and their minds are as yet immature. After the age of twenty-four, such movement asanas should gradually be replaced with a more internal form of asana practice emphasi'ing the development of the mind, particularly the study of spiritual teachings. (. After the age of forty-eight, one moves into the period when the inner mind develops as physical energies withdraw. )uring this time, one*s meditation becomes more important than asana. +. After seventy-two, the mind develops yet further and physical energy begins to decline. &his should be a period of deep meditation, yet it is necessary to continue asana to counter the aging process. Asana and Constitution 1. Asana is most needed by vata types, who are the most prone to postural distortions. . ,apha types, who tend to be sedentary and move slowly, benefit from more active forms of exercise, including more ra%asic movement-oriented Asana "vinyasas# or %umpings. (. -itta types mainly need asanas to cool down their fiery and focused temperaments. Which Asana or How to Perform Asana 1. &he main thing is to use asana as a vehicle for directing prana to the part of the body that one is to benefit. . -rana has the healing affect, not the asana by itself/ (. For the prana to come into the posture re$uires the breath with the posture, which generally re$uires moving upon exhalation. +. &he same asanas can be ad%usted for different doshic types. 0. Asanas done slowly, steadily and gently will generally reduce vata. 1. &hose done with coolness, diffusion of energy and relaxation will reduce pitta. 2. &hose done with $uic.ness, heat and effort will reduce .apha. 3. 4e can apply different forms of pranayama relative to asanas to either ma.e them more heating or cooling, more building or reducing, further modifying their impact on the doshas. 5. A complete practice will cover the full range of bodily motions and all main types of asanas, though each doshic type will re$uire emphasi'ing some asanas more than others and doing them all in a manner that reduces their dosha. Yoga Postures for Vata Constitution