How aligned are you to the daily rhythms of nature?
It is easy to get out of sync with natural rhythms. Demanding careers, busy social lives, family pressure and exponential improvements in technology that mean we are plugged in 24/7, all take their toll on the body.
For a long time I have been a night owl, I enjoyed being a creature of the night, staying up all night, going clubbing, hanging out with friends or playing computer games into the early hours. I enjoyed the intensity of this lifestyle, overriding natural daily rhythms. Having children was the grounding force that brought common sense to my life. Children naturally live closer to nature; they are less affected by the stresses of modern life it is easy for them to wake up with the sun and sleep when the sun goes down. I still struggle with the ‘early to bed, early to rise’ philosophy but slowly over the years, I have started to switch my patterns and I understand and respect the profound importance of daily rhythms. These gentle changes make a huge impact to overall energy levels.
How do we become more aligned to the daily rhythms of nature?
Throughout the day the different universal energies (made up of the elements water, earth, fire, ether and wind) are present. Each of these energies sets the tone for the activities best suited to that time of the day to promote optimum well-being. When we tap into these energies we become more attune to our body and are more able to access the bodies natural intelligence.
In Ayurveda ‘like’ increases ‘like’ (a bit like facebook). To give you an example of working with natural daily rhythm, we need to think about energy from a larger perspective than ourselves and the effect universal energy has on our body, macrocosm and microcosm.
As an example, let’s look at the daily energy present from 10am-2pm and 10pm-2am. This is ‘Pitta’ time when fire and water elements are present. The sun’s energy is the strongest in the middle of the day (macrocosm) at the same time our digestive fire (microcosm) is the strongest, therefore it makes sense to eat our main meal in the middle of the day when digestion and assimilation are working best.
During the hours 10pm-2am Pitta is present again, if you are a night owl this is when you get your ‘second wind’. This is the fire energy that I tapped into staying up late, instead of using it for sleep, processing thoughts and repair and transformation of cells carried out by fire elements in the body. I was overriding the natural processes of the body and as a result end up depleted.
When we ignore these natural rhythms, it will lead to ‘dis-ease’ in some form or another, the effects are cumulative, they sneak up on us over time. For me, the effect came in the form of frequent migraines.
The daily, seasonal rhythms along with diet and lifestyle are the foundations of Ayurvedic teachings.
Below I have made a summary of energies present throughout the day, check it out to see if it resonates with you.
Enjoy the subtle energies of your day!
|Time of Day||Elements present||Qualities/Energy||Best for|
|6am-10am||Kapha (water and earth)||Fresh, heavy, cool, moist.||Getting up before or at sunrise, study, meditation, exercise, light breakfast.|
|10am-2pm||Pitta (fire and water)||Sun is higher, atmosphere is warmer, drier, lighter.||Digestion and assimilation at it’s best, bile (internal fire) is strongest best for biggest meal of the day. Good time for strategy/challenging work.|
|2pm-6pm||Vata (air and wind)||Cool, dry, windy, lots of movement.||Good time to meditate especially vata types, encourages grounding at this erratic time.|
|6pm-10pm||Kapha (water and earth)||Sun sets and air becomes damp & heavier.||Light dinner as digestion is low. Calming influence of Kapha favours relaxation and rest.|
|10pm-2am||Pitta (fire and water)||Fire element is strong, reflected in the brightness of the stars.||Sleep, processing thoughts.Repair and transformation of cells carried out by fire elements in the body.|
|2am-6am||Vata (air and wind)||Light, subtle and clear.||Dreaming, body cleanses and process and downward movement of elimination most active.|
Note: With daylight savings/summer time these times will shift by 1 hour.