How to Align with Your Daily Ayurvedic Rhythm
Do you ever notice that when you get sick your life feels out of sync? For example, if you spend enough time staying out late, partying with friends, drinking mojitos, and waking up ready for hangover food, you’ll end up with a cold.
The solution to staying healthy is free and much more simple than you might think!
All you have to do is stop going against the grain and line up to naturally occurring rhythms. This makes us less likely to get sick and less likely to develop disease.
These days it’s really easy to get out of sync because of all the electronics we’re using, the high demands of our jobs, late nights socializing, kids, etc.
The good news is that even if we lose connection with nature, we retain her vast intelligence in every cell. A century of using electricity and the ability to consume food that has been shipped around the world will not suddenly erase that fact that the same life force created humans and nature alike. We’re even made of the same elemental structure!
What will happen, though, is these artificial ways of living end up, over time, creating imbalance. This is not to say you should turn your back to modern technology. After all, many aspects of the modern world allow us to experience being human in new and exciting ways.
Rather, it’s about fostering balance in your life in a way that brings you back to your own innate wisdom. This wisdom is inseparable from nature’s intelligence, so try letting nature lead the way and follow in her footsteps.
We can start letting nature lead the way by noticing that she conducts a vast symphony in accordance with larger cycles every day. Ayurveda identifies inner cycles of the body that correspond to the outer cycles of nature. There are three cycles during the day and three cycles at night. Each cycle is a combination that contains two of the five elements -- ether, air, fire, water, earth.
6:00 am - 10:00 am: Kapha (water, earth)
Your body may feel a bit slow or heavy during this these hours. You may also experience a certain calmness and serenity. Digestive fire is generally low in this part of the morning, especially if you ate a late dinner the night before. Breakfast should be eaten during this time and is most effective if it’s easily digestible. This kapha period is a good time to do light exercise and ignite metabolism.
10:00 am - 2:00 pm: Pitta (fire, water)
Digestive fire reaches it’s peak during this time. This is when the body is prepared to take in the largest meal of the day. For some, a nap after the large meal will feel very nourishing. This is a period that’s also very conducive to mental tasks. Try performing your hardest academic work at this time of day.
2:00 pm - 6:00 pm: Vata (ether, air)
In this part of the afternoon the body generally becomes light and the mind become clearer. This is a great time for centering activities, creative activities and grounding activities.
6:00 pm - 10:00 pm: Kapha (water, earth)
The body naturally wants to unwind from the day and relax with family or friends. A light dinner is recommended. This will ensure a sound night’s sleep and proper growth of the tissues. By late evening the body becomes heavier and begins to prepare for sleep. It’s best to be in bed and ready to sleep by 10pm.
10:00 pm - 2:00 am: Pitta (fire, water)
The evening meal digests along with the day’s activities, thoughts, feelings and experiences. The body is busy detoxifying and synthesizing new tissues. It’s important to be asleep during this period of time.
2:00 am - 6:00 am: Vata (ether, air)
Our bodies energies and consciousness begins to emerge gently back into our waking environment. This is when deep dream sleep occurs. Imbalances within the body will usually manifest during this time in the form of waking up to use the bathroom, tossing and turning, etc. Waking up to start your day around 6am ensures a graceful entry into the new day.
As you can see, there are a lot of opportunities to line up with nature. For millennia, humans woke up with the rising sun, ate fresh local food, celebrated the passing of each moon and the seasons, and gave thanks for the abundance of Mother Nature. Day to day life for people was intimately woven with the forces of nature.
Now, as modern technology advances, we have to strive even harder to remember these essential connections. There’s something deep down inside of each one of us that truly wants to remember…and we’ll be healthier when we do!
So, keep on saying yes to the time with friends, but make a 6:30 reservation instead of 8. Try choosing tea instead of the mojito and wake up at 6am ready for a refreshing glass of green juice to start your new day.