Understanding the Ayurvedic Cycles of Each Day

Previously, we looked at routine & daily rituals from an Ayurveda perspective.  If you took the dosha quiz, you may be surprised to learn about your dosha/constitution…or maybe not at all!!
Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word meaning the study or knowledge of life.  The spiritual texts of Ayurveda originate from India, known as the Vedas dating back 5000 years.  It describes health as a continuous and participatory process that embraces all aspects of life: physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, spiritual, familial, social and universal.  Maintaining a state of balance in all those areas of our life measures the true state of our health.  Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health, but it also honors the need for western medicine. It is non-exclusionary and embraces all areas of medicine that heal the body or bring doshas into balance.
Anytime we find ourselves not in a perfect state of physical and emotional health, we are in a state of imbalance.  This includes everything from anxieties & depression to congestion or skin rashes…basically every disease known is due to imbalances in the system.  We use this knowledge to cleanse and restore balance.  Balance is maintained through diet (every dosha thrives from a different meal plan, Ayurveda is not one size fits all), self care, daily routine, sleep schedule, movement, meditation and very importantly…digestion!
Daily routine, daily rituals, meditation, self care, food, yoga, digestion and a deep emotional understanding of ourselves are the basic principals to living Ayurvedically.  Throughout the entire span of human beings on earth, they rose with the sun, ate local fresh food, celebrated the passing of the moons and seasons, honored the abundance Mother Nature gave and lived in direct harmony with all forces of the earth.  That desire to live in harmony with nature is deeply a part of us and when we disconnect whether through technology or hopping time zones and sleeping through the morning hours, we must tap into that innate knowing of our true selves and return to our natural state.
Understanding the cycles of each day help us connect to our true selves.  The first cycle or daily rhythm:
  •  6:00am-10:00am Kapha Hours.  Our bodies may feel a bit heavy or slow, we may experience calmness.  Digestive fire is low and breakfast should be easily digestible.  These hours are great for creating to do lists, working out or planning the day!  Warm oatmeal cooked with cinnamon & nutmeg and topped with stewed fruit and a touch of ghee is a perfect, Kapha pacifying breakfast!
  • 10:00am-2:00pmPitta Hours.  The sun and digestive are high.  Ayurveda recommends eating your largest meal of the day during these hours.  These are typically the productive hours, we have the most energy and fuel to burn!  Vegetable Curry with lentils or mung dahl beans served over rice and a kale salad with homemade vinaigrette dressing makes a perfect Pitta lunch.
  • 2:00pm-6:00pm – Vata Hours.  These hours the body is lighter, mind clearer.  These are the hours to be creative yet grounded!  Great time for afternoon meditation.  A bowl of soup is a great way to end the day!
  • 6:00pm – 10:00pm.  The cycles start again. From evening to sunset are Kapha hours.  Time to unwind and relax with family.  We may feel heavier again and the mind will begin to prepare for sleep.  These are not the hours to overwhelm the digestive fire, meals should be light and warm.  Eating nutrient dull food during Kapha hours accumulates Ama (toxins) and will affect the first phase of sleep.  Properly eating during the day assists with quality sleep as well as allows the body to repair tissue.
  • 10:00pm – 2:00am Pitta Hours.  This period is the most energetic time of sleep!  During these hours, the last of the day’s meal digests and the energy and consciousness is diverted inward.  The body is renewing and healing during throughout these hours.  Many of you feel energized and amazing the morning following the fast this is why!  During the Pitta hours of sleep, the body has nothing to digest and therefore works to repair tissue and cells allowing for a productive and quality night!
  • 2:00am – 6:00amVata Hours.  During this time, the body’s consciousness comes back.  REM increases, the repair and digestive phase has completed.  Ayurveda recommends rising before the sun and immediately start the daily routine.  When rising during the Kapha hours, you may feel that heavy, groggy feeling.  Have you ever rose at 5:30am and felt better then the day before when you woke at 8:00a.m?  Early morning is ideal for meditation!
Here is the catch…these hours coordinate with the rotation of the earth.  By the law of nature, every animal and species on our planet lives in coordination with the hours of the day, the position of the sun and the phase of the moon.  Fun fact, our bodies are over 70% water, a full moon has a measurable affect on the tides, so how can it not impact us!?  Next time you have that feeling that the moon is full, your body is telling you the truth!
Just as the 24 hour cycle of each day changes form one dosha to another, the seasons do as well.  Our bodies are truly intuitive and connected to each hour and each season and we long to eat and sleep respectively!
As we continue to fast together each week, perhaps evaluate routine, morning and evening rituals to best capture the hours of the day!  Understanding how to connect the cleansing to sleep and the rhythms of the earth will generate maximum results!
Next week we will identify the qualities of the three doshas (both in balance and out of balance) and incorporate self care into the mix!
We sincerely hope you are enjoying the cleanse this month and using it to your advantage, bringing balance where needed!  Providing rest for the intestines, liver and stomach conserve energy allowing our minds to be clear and our hearts open!
Peace, Juice & Love,
Amanda & Mara