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The Ayurvedic Clock and Finding Balance Within

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

The Ayurvedic Clock and how it can transform the way you organize your day to enable productive energy and find balance within yourself.



The hustle and bustle of big city life and the work schedules that occupy most of our life, make it seem like we don’t have a lot of time to focus on ourselves in this merry-go-round society we are living in. What if I told you, you CAN balance your time between work, sleep and yourself? You’ve most likely heard people mention the circadian rhythm which regulates our sleep-wake cycle in a 24 hour period.

The Ayurvedic Clock


The Ayurvedic clock uses a similar format to help regulate “body functions like hormone release, digestion and body temperature” (Agnew, 2020). It is split up into six 4 hour periods throughout the 24 hours in a day. Each 4 hour period coincides with one of the three dosha types, this cycle happens twice a day. It is split up this way to help us figure out the balance of nature.



Before I explain the best tasks to complete at different times of the day, let’s talk about the different dosha types. Everything is made up of ALL three doshas, this includes everything in nature including plants. Each dosha type contains a combination of either earth, water, fire, air or ether. It just turns out, each of us contains a percentage of each. Which ever we contain more of is how our bodies interact mentally and physically. We may be more active during the time of day our own dosha type is increased. Each dosha has it’s time that it increases during a 24 hour period.


KAPHA


Kapha which consists of earth and water elements “controls our immunity and physical strength” (Gayl, 2019). Kapha increases during the day between 6am-10am and 6pm-10pm.



Day: 6am-10am

This is the best time to get up and move. Think about all the animals in the forest or the birds outside your window. Animals are very in tuned with the natural cycle, this is the time they awake. It is NOT the best time to eat a huge meal, as you may have been taught since a young age. A big meal at this time will make it hard for you to wake up and get going with your day. So if you like your big breakfasts’, keep those for days you don’t have to work on something that needs focus. This is the best time to workout and get moving, stretch and support muscle strength. I personally, get up about 6:30am and get to my exercising by 7am so I can have time to get a shower and eat a healthy lite breakfast in before leaving for work.



Night: 6pm-10pm

Kapha contains the earth element which has to deal with grounding. Eating a small early dinner is best at this time since digestion is low. If you eat a big meal before bed it’s bound to stay in your system longer than you’d like and lead to weight gain and cause sleeping difficulties. This is the best time to start winding down for the day. Stretch a little and relax. I like to start getting dressed for bed around 8pm and then read a book to get myself in a relaxed state and ready for bed by 10pm. I realized this was what I needed to turn off my constant creative mind and wind down for the day. Don’t get me wrong I love creativity but there’s a time in the day when I don’t want to have constant ideas bombarding my thoughts and that’s right before bed. It just doesn’t allow for a good night’s sleep.


PITTA


Pitta which contains the fire element ‘maintains digestion and metabolism’ (Gayl, 2019) Pitta increases during the day 10am-2pm and 10pm-2am.



Day: 10am-2pm

When pitta increases in the morning your energy tends to increase and this is the best time to get tasks checked of your to do list. This is also the time where I prioritize the things I need to get finished in a timely manner. The energy this time aids in digestion so this is the best time of day to eat your biggest meal. I’m not talking about eating a huge meal that would otherwise cause a ‘Thanksgiving coma’. I tend to eat my filling of heavier carbs at this time, like potatoes, because it will burn off by the end of the day.



Night: 10pm-2am

This is the time of night you should be sleeping. I used to be a night owl so I understand the difficulties in getting to bed at 10pm. I will tell you though once I started going to bed at 10pm my sleep has never been better! During this time your body is detoxing everything that your body has absorbed throughout the day. Whether that be food or environmental toxins. If you tend to toss and turn at night your body is not detoxing appropriately. This is NOT the time to be eating, as ingesting food at this time will interfere with detoxing and you will wake up groggy. (Agnew, 2020).


VATA


Vata which contains the air element ‘governs the nervous system’(Gayl, 2019). Vata increases during the day 2pm-6pm and 2am-6am.


Day: 2pm-6pm

This is the best time for creativity and problem solving. If you are not well rested from the night before you may feel that during this time of day you tend to drag or have sugar cravings. Avoid processed foods and grab some kind of fruit that is best for your dosha type. You may also feel mental fatigue, easily distracted or ungrounded (Caldecott, pp 19). To help your creativity flow better its best to have a place where you can feel calm and reduce your mental stimulation. At this time I like to go outside for a walk and ground myself by walking on the grass without my shoes on. This helps me better get in tuned with Earth’s energy first before writing or conquering a craft project.



Night: 2am-6am

Deep sleep occurs at this time and this starts to activate your nervous system for the day. It is best to rise naturally with the sun. If you wake up during this time it may be hard to fall back to sleep (Agnew, 2020). When this happens to me, I naturally wake up and meditate or sometimes I just stay in bed and do my visualizations laying down on my back. Oftentimes, my cat won’t let me get up. :) You may also have vivid dreams or insights during this time of deep sleep.


 


Conclusion


We all have this natural cyclic rhythm within us. The way society has normalized the rushed lifestyle is devastating our minds and bodies and we sit and wonder why we are having issue with our health. I started listening to my intuition and made my own schedule of what I thought would help my own health about 10 months ago. I hadn’t even heard of the Ayurvedic clock before that. I just happened to come upon it about 4 months ago while researching and it all clicked inside my head. I was following my intuition the natural part of me that is part of the Earth. It wasn’t until I started listening to myself that I started to become the best version of myself. That’s why I’ve been inclined to share all of what I’ve been shown on my life’s journey to you. I know that if staying in sync with Earth’s natural rhythm can help me it can help you too. Until next time beautiful people!







Rebekah Mays, RN

 

Stay tuned for more blogs on how to integrate Ayurveda into your daily life with herbal teas, recipes and self care techniques. Take my Dosha Type quiz to learn which type of foods you should me eating for your mind & body. Knowing your dosha will help you better understand yourself as a whole. Learn to journal before bed or when you get a quiet alone time. Don’t think you have alone time, make it a priority and find that time. Negotiate with family members if need be. Everyone needs that time for self reflection because it helps us let go of stress and really evaluate our mental clarity and goals in life.

 

References:

Agnew, M. (2020, May 22). The Ayurvedic Clock - Shift. Shift Functional Medicine. https://shiftfunctionalmed.com/the-ayurvedic-clock

Caldecott, T. (2011). Food as Medicine: The Theory and Practice of Food (Illustrated ed.). PhytoAlchemy.

Gayl, N. (2019, July 9). SYNC UP TO THE AYURVEDIC CLOCK. NATASHA WELLNESS. https://www.natashawellness.com/blogs/the-ayurvedic-clock

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