What is the Ayurvedic clock?
In the modern world, we look at time differently. The bigger chunk of our day is devoted to our jobs or learning (daycare/school/college). Then we allocate time for sleep, food, chores, workouts, socializing, hobbies, rest etc.
Many people lack sleep hygiene. I have a client who goes (used to) to go to bed only at 3am. A large majority of people spend their non-working/learning time living haphazardly. I have worked with clients who would eat a heavy dinner at 9:30pm and then wonder why they battled health issues. Thanks to the pressures of modern living, more and more of us are becoming out of sync with our Ayurvedic Clock, which has consequences for our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. You can learn about cause of disease according to Ayurveda.
Why the Ayurvedic clock matters
Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old science of healing and life. The Ayurvedic clock has been around for a while now, as you can imagine. But did you know that the circadian rhythm or biological clock is the same as the Ayurvedic clock? Even western science is recognizing its power. The Ayurvedic clock is intuitive.
Ayurveda tells us we are a miniature of Mother Nature. The Ayurvedic clock suggests aligning the time we eat, sleep, move, rest, and work with Mother Nature’s clock and honor the Ayurvedic doshas. For example, since the sun is the fiercest and strongest during lunch hour, so is our agni (digestive fire). It makes sense to make lunch your biggest meal as it will be easily digested, metabolized, and transformed.
What about the doshas and Ayurvedic clock?
The Ayurvedic clock breaks the day into six period. It tells time in 4-hour dosha blocks. What do I mean by this? We experience each dosha twice during a 24-hour cycle. Two periods for Vata Dosha. Two time slots for Pitta Dosha. Two periods for Kapha Dosha. Basically, in a 24-hour period, we cycle through the three doshas of vata, pitta, and kapha. Each dosha becomes active at certain hours/times of the day.
Vata time: 2am-6am and 2pm – 6pm
Kapha time: 6am -10am and 6pm – 10pm
Pitta time: 10am – 2pm and 10pm – 2am
How does the Ayurvedic clock work?
According to the Ayurvedic clock, there is an ideal time for every activity we do during the day. Honoring the Ayurvedic clock helps balance hormones, mitigate stress, and enhance your health.
Vata time is for creativity and meditation. The hours between 2am-6am is the most sacred time to meditate. The dosha itself is characterized as light, airy and dry. Ayurveda explains that the cold nature of vata dosha which governs the 2pm-6pm time of day causes body temperature to drop in the mid-afternoon, making us feel tired and dreamy. This is a good time to do creative work. During this afternoon cycle of vata dosha, the properties of air and ether are naturally more playful and lighter.
The hours between 10am-2pm are when we feel the most focused, sharp, and productive. This is the time when the energy of pitta dosha is the strongest and it’s best to deal with the toughest tasks. Pitta’s inherent qualities influence this time of the day, which is why mid-day is also when agni or our digestive fire is the strongest. Ayurveda recommends eating the largest meal of the day at this time to ensure optimal digestion and assimilation of nutrients. The pitta time of night is from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am, and it is important to be sleeping during this time, because the activity that now takes place is inside you. It’s the time of internal cleansing. If you remain awake during this important time, you miss out on the benefit of this cleansing time of day.
Ever feel lethargic and sluggish if you sleep in late? That’s because earth and water elements, which are by their very nature heavy, make up the Kapha Dosha. If you wake up between 6am-10am, which is Kapha time of the morning, these dull and heavy qualities increase within you. Get out of bed in the mornings before you hit Kapha time. This is also the best time to exercise, eat a light breakfast, and gather energy for the day. The 6pm-10pm time frame is good for slowing down and turning inward. Use the heaviness and dullness qualities of Kapha to be in bed latest by 10pm, so you can fall into deep sleep.
Fun Facts about the Ayurvedic Clock
Every hour is related to a specific organ(s), and therefore the organ will be at its most powerful energy at its respective times. If instead of sleeping at 11pm, you are eating a slice of pizza while working on a spreadsheet, what do you think happens to the organ that’s supposed to be doing cleansing and maintenance work at 11pm, which is small intestine and stomach? Also, it is between 10 pm -12 pm where deep transformation and healing occurs. In his 2016 book, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan, neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter writes that after 10 pm the body metabolizes a lot of waste products, and from 11pm to 2am, the immune system recharges itself.
Curious how to implement some of the suggestions about the Ayurvedic clock into your daily routine? If you’d like to learn more, book a FREE Discovery Call, so you can work with your natural circadian rhythm!
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional. If you are nursing, taking medications, or have a medical condition, please consult with your health care practitioner prior to the use of any of these herbs. If you are looking for advice from a trained yogi and ayurvedic coach, contact me here.