The concept that we are a continuation of everything around us — ever-present consciousness underlying all creation — lies at the heart of Ayurveda. When we cultivate and experience this underlying field of silent awareness, we can begin to understand what is happening within and around us, as well as how to manage it… we become more integrated with our world. And instead of going against the current, laden with imbalance, we can begin to flow with the natural rhythm of nature.
Plant the seeds of divine connection with these four simple Ayurvedic tips to stay grounded with the earth and vitally alive in the world, aware of your own true nature: happy and healthy.
Follow Nature's Rhythms
Like time, our bodies are in constant motion. The cycle of time which governs the days around us also connects us to our internal cycle. As nature begins the day, so do we
The morning cycle
- Vata time: 2:00 - 6:00 a.m.
- Kapha time: 6:00 - 10:00 a.m.
- Pitta time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Vata time: 2:00 - 6:00 a.m
We often stir or wake up during the early hours of the morning—Vata time—which is governed by Vata dosha, the Ayurvedic mind-body element associated with air and space. Vata dosha is light, dry, and quick-moving in nature, which is why you might begin to feel some liveliness and wakefulness during these early hours. Vata governs all movement in the body, including that of moving waste from the body, which is why people generally need to use the bathroom upon waking.
Kapha time: 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m
From Vata’s morning cycle, we transition to Kapha time, which is governed by the stable, heavy, and sometimes lethargic Kapha dosha (the mind-body element associated with earth and water). If you sleep past 6:00 a.m., you will wake during Kapha’s morning cycle and may notice these qualities of heaviness and lethargy. This is why waking with the sun is prescribed by Ayurveda.
Pitta time: 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m
When the sun is its brightest and warmest—around noon—is when our digestive fire, or agni, is at its brightest, too. This daytime cycle is dominated by Pitta dosha, the mind-body element associated with fire and water. Pitta governs all things related to heat and metabolism, including digestion. Ayurveda recommends optimizing your digestion by eating your main meal in the middle of the day, between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
The evening cycle
- Vata time: 2:00 p.m. - 4 p.m.
- Kapha time: 6:00 - 10:00 p.m.
- Pitta time: 10:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.
Vata time: 2:00 - 6:00 p.m
During the afternoon and early evening, Vata dosha’s evening cycle kicks into gear. During the afternoon Vata hours, when Vata’s quick-moving qualities of clarity and creativity predominate, you may find that your mental clarity is greater and you’re able to be more productive. Learn more about how to optimize your brain power naturally.
Kapha time: 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m
We continue on into Kapha time from 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. You can support your digestive system, which is slower during this time, by eating a light dinner before 7 p.m. (a minimum of three hours prior to sleep), so your body has a few hours to process the meal before you go to sleep. Going to bed prior to 10:00 p.m. allows your body to settle and begin a good night’s sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep at night, you may love the routine of drinking a warm cup of Organic Vata Tea or Slumber Time Tea before bedtime, or a warm glass of milk. Many of our customers love to have their tea boiled in milk.
Pitta time: 10:00 p.m. - 2 a.m
The peak hours of Pitta’s evening cycle are from 10:00 p.m. - 2:00 a.m. Going to bed on a light meal prior to Pitta time allows your body to fully rest rather than be preoccupied with digestion. If wakefulness during the night is an issue, a Deep Rest tablet an hour before bedtime supports sleeping through the night, or returning to sleep if awakened.
Vata time: 2:00 - 6:00 a.m
We cycle back to Vata from 2:00 - 6:00 a.m. We often stir or wake up during Vata time because of its quality of movement. If falling asleep is an issue in the evening, try Blissful Sleep
Eat food containing nature's intelligence
The act of eating is life-giving — “intelligent” foods provide whole nutrition for the body and mind. When we take the extra time and effort to cook our meals with fresh organic ingredients and prepare them with loving attention, our meals contain prana (life force), or vital energy.
Eat intentionally; turn off electronics, do not read, and pay attention to your food — the taste, texture and smell. The process of eating intentionally honors the food we are eating. It improves our digestion, allowing our body to maximally utilize nutrients. Healthy digestion is the cornerstone of Ayurvedic health; it is essential, as it converts food into energy-producing nutrients.
Eat the Ayurvedic way:
- Favor fresh, well-cooked foods, when possible.
- Avoid eating leftovers (food over one day old), genetically-altered, processed, preserved or artificial foods.
- Eat slowly, chew your food well and eat in a settled, undistracted environment.
- Avoid cold or iced drinks, as they tend to dampen the “digestive fire.”
Support food absorption with top-selling Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus). Organic Digest Tone promotes ojas, the finest product of digestion, which creates luster in the skin, rejuvenates vital energy, detoxifies the colon and acts as a gentle laxative. It is considered a companion product to all herbals that you're taking, as it purifies the body over time. It is the one product to take if considering just one herbal. Read more Ayurvedic tips for good digestion.
Practice daily meditation
As mentioned above, consciousness, or transcending, lies at the heart of Ayurveda. Having this experience is the ultimate goal of the practice of Ayurveda. Good health, according to Ayurveda, is not just physical health; rather it is living in a state of 24-hour balance, experiencing the highest that life has to offer.
Meditation helps calm our mind and bring our body back into balance, bringing the sense of feeling grounded. Practicing the effortless mental technique, Transcendental Meditation®, 20 minutes twice a day offers a direct means to transcend and experience the underlying field of silence, and this experience restores balance to both mind and body. It allows for a more powerful awareness of our self and deep connectedness to the world we live in.
According to Ayurveda, we metabolize with all our senses. The experience of transcending and experiencing the field of pure silence, bliss, is metabolized by our body — there is a biochemical correlate for the experience every time we have it. So just like exercising, getting in better and better shape, our body and mind begin to support this underlying experience in all activity.
Visit www.tm.org for more information about this meditation practice.
Be with nature
A regular daily routine (dinacharya) that follows the rhythm of nature includes waking with the sun and sleeping with the stars. As the sun shines through our windows in the early morning, we can begin to wake up along with nature. A walk in the early-morning sunlight sets our body’s natural rhythms to prepare for the day ahead. (This is also a fantastic tool to reset our biological clock to a new time zone when traveling.)
After dinner, when the hot sun is cooling, we can take a walk to settle our body and support the natural movement of digestion.
As the sun sets, our bodies begin to do the same. Spending a few moments outside under the stars at night re-connects us with the universe and reminds us of our inner cosmic nature.
The very act of looking up is uplifting! — we raise our chin and sternum, allowing the rib cage to open and the lungs to expand. Stargazing can ignite a sense of wonder and dreams, just before settling in for a good night’s sleep. If falling asleep is an issue, consider sitting in your home with all the lights off and allowing the natural process of the setting sun and darkening room to reset your body’s rhythm.
As our founder, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, said, “Water the root to enjoy the fruit.” These simple Ayurvedic tips are tools in which we water our roots. Grounded and connected, we enjoy the fruits of life through integration of mind, body and consciousness.
Learn more about the ideal Ayurvedic daily routine.
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