Aligning with nature for best health

Feeling out of sync, sleepy in the afternoon? Low energies in the morning? Tiered all the time? Problem with insomnia? 

MOdern science and recent studies have put an emphasis on maintaining a natural rhythm which is aligned with nature and really makes a substantial difference in health, productivity and happiness. This is actually not something new, the wisdom of daily rhythms in Ayurveda is thousands of year old.  

From my Ayurvedic background, aligning with nature is the first step to heal your body and mind. Waking up at the proper time, eating at the best times for your digestive system, exercising when your body has the energy and will benefit the most, studying when your brain is at its best for focus and learning. When you think about it it does make sense: you wouldn't exercise when you need to sleep, study when you are hungry, etc.

As a simple rule, we divide the day into 4 hourly cycles beginning at sunrise assuming the day has equal daylight and nigh (Spring and Autumn equinox).

Kapha times: 6am to 10am; 6pm to 10pm.

Pitta times: 10am to 2pm; 10pm to 2 am.

Vata times: 2pm to 6pm, 2am to 6am.

Kapha time - day

Just after sunrise is Kapha time, while you might still be sleepy, this is when your body is at its strongest, hence this is the best time for physical work and exercise.

If you sleep at this time, you will increase Kapha and you will feel more tired, dull and lack of energy. 

Pitta time - day

Pitta governs the metabolism, hence during pitta time (pick of the day when the sun is at its strongest) is where our digestive system is at its peak. This is when we can have our main meal of the day and be able to digest it. If you don't eat at this time, you will feel a drop of energy and concentration, in particular during the afternoon. If you don't eat enough, you will feel hungry before dinner time, creating a situation of snacking, craving sugar and stimulants {coffee}. Eating food at inappropriate times can start a cycle of eating food over undigested food creating gas, constipation, and other problems.

Vata time - day

 This is the time of movement and change, the time when the sun starts descending from the horizon. This is the time for intellectual work, the brain has received the nutrients from lunchtime and there is space for creativity and ideas.  If we have eaten well earlier and have energy, our brain will have space for creativity, studies, and ideas. Towards the sunset, it is time for reflection, meditation and starting to slow down.  This is not the time to do strong physical activities or to eat heavy meals. 

Kapha time - night

This is the time when the body starts getting ready to sleep, the hormone melatonin is released in preparation for a restful sleep. You can have a very light meal, however, the body cannot cope with a large amount of food because digestion is at its weakest and slowest.   If you stay up longer than your body is prepared for, you will then enter the Pitta cycle and have a problem going to sleep. 

Pitta time - night

Night time is for transformation and restore. During your sleeping time, your body is busy in repairing, the detoxifying {your liver is working hard} and processing the events of the day.  Because of the important function of the liver during this time, it is important not to overindulge, add more food (heavy, fatty difficult to digest) and stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine or carbonated drinks that will aggravate the work of the liver and in time will create other health problems.

Vata time - night/sunrise

you natural rhythm will bring your body naturally to wake up {no alarm clocks needed} before or around sunrise. This time has similar qualities as during the sunset, hence this time is particularly useful for meditation and other reflective activities. This is the perfect time for self-care, self-massage, cleansing rituals l;ike oil pulling, and naturally this is the time when you should have bowel movements. If you continue to sleep, you will go into the Kapha time and you will feel even more tired, dull and no energy. 

Throughout the rest of the year, for a northern country such as the UK {where I live}, the timings of sunset vary from 4.50am in mid-summer (with over 17 hours of daylight) to 8.00am in mid-winter (with just 8 hours of daylight). Therefore, the time of these cycles changes depending on the season.

If you’d like to work them out for where you live, you just need to find out the times of sunrise and sunset and divide the times between them into three.

Raffaella BreareComment