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Rising with the Sun

In Ayurveda, the connection to nature is pivotal to how we best function in our daily life. Following the natural rhythms of nature will assist you in setting your own body clock. Human made time creations like "fall back and spring forward" will not affect you in the same way it would if you weren't already aligned with a natural awakening and sleep cycle.

There are three energies (qualities known as Doshas) Vata, Pitta and Kapha. The energies are predominant in four hour increments in a full, 24 hour day. In this blog we are focusing on Kapha, the dosha of Earth and Water. Kapha energy is accumulating currently in nature and is most dominant in spring. (In the United States, generally, this would be March until May). Understanding Kapha cycles will assist you with making decisions that will create a more harmonious day.

Wake up, its 5:55 am! Waking later than six am allows Kapha, which is water and earth, therefore sluggish and heavy, to take hold of your body's energy. By waking before 6am you automatically give your mind and body a head start to engage with the natural rhythm in nature. Getting morning movement in, particularly a bit of heart pumping walking or yoga, as well as a light breakfast with a warm beverage like lemon water or tea will keep you more activated and less lethargic. Waking before 6am does not allow Kapha to accumulate and slow down your digestion and motivation.

Kapha is most prevalent again from 6pm to 10pm at night. This is a time when earth and water elements accumulate and the heaviness of sleep is building. Aim to have your dinner on the earlier end of Kapha, that 6-7 timeframe, if not a little sooner. Around 8, assist the sleepy, heavy qualities even more with calming activities or reading. If you watch television, avoid violent or overly stimulating shows like the news. Allow the process of this time period to lull you into a sleepier state and when you feel sleepy, don't fight it. Go to bed by 10! If you go too much past the 10pm hour the pitta energy (fire and water) will start "digesting" thoughts. You will get that nighttime second wind and feel the urge to do instead of letting the passive Earth energy of Kapha soothe. Your mind needs the Kapha assistance to be calm and essentially get into REM. This allows the pitta energy to do the internal cleansing of the mind undisturbed and with enough time, before Vata (air and ether) pops in to fan the mind into a subconscious wakefulness.

Kapha energy is beautiful and steady. It brings a cohesion to our body and mind and brings contentment. Though difficult at first, try this simple formula of waking before 6am and being asleep for 10pm and feel subtle, but profound changes in your sleep cycle start to occur.

Sidenote: *If you are actively ill, recovering from surgery, pregnant or have other conditions requiring longer bouts of sleep, it is wise to allow your body as much rest as it requires.

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