Blog Author: Emilia Wheaton
Blog Editor: Kristen Kennedy Smith
Photo Credit: @heymonicab on Instagram
Ayurvedic wisdom has a place in our diets, our physiology as well as in our daily routines! Based on Ayurvedic philosophy, the ebb and flow of the day corresponds to each unique Dosha. Depending on the hour, it is important to balance each Dosha’s influence on our body and minds.
Wakeup: 6 am
Greeting the day before the sun rises allows us to wake during Vata time, when the air is fresh and pure. Rising with Vata energy allows us to get a clean start to the day. If we wait to wake during Kapha’s phase (after sunrise) we will wake to a more sluggish, slow, heavy morning energy. Start pushing back your wakeup time gradually to form a habit of awakening during Vata’s bright, airy hour.
Ayurvedic morning cleanse:
Indulging in some morning stretches is the perfect way for our bodies to awaken. Vata morning hours are a great time for improving flexibility, releasing any creakiness left over from the stagnation of sleep, and to charge our bodies for a full day of chores ahead. Try grounding, stretching poses to set yourself up with a firm footing just as the day is beginning.
Breakfast: before 6am if possible
The first meal of the day should be a light one; though each Dosha is best fed with distinct foods, an Ayurvedic breakfast is typically warm or lukewarm in order to stoke the weak morning flames of our digestive fire. Breakfast time is Kapha time, so be sure not to agitate Kapha dosha with anything heavy or sugary. Aim for fresh fruit and oatmeal seasoned with warming spices, something light and stimulating.
Taking time to slowly orient ourselves during the mid-morning (Kapha time) is a good time for crossing small things off our lists, setting intentions for the day and preparing for the bulk of our productiving around the middle of the day, which is Pitta time. Pitta’s midday piece of the daily cycle is perfect for hard work, as Pitta is task-oriented, powerful and driven.
Lunch: largest meal of the day (noon)
Our agni, or digestive flame, rises and intensifies as the sun peaks in the sky. Midday is the perfect time for the largest meal of the day, as our strong Pitta tummies are ready for the bulk of our nutrients to carry us through the most productive, active part of our daily routine. Since our digestive fire is so strong at this hour, it’s the best time of the day to eat meat, fish, or poultry. This is also the best time of day to eat raw foods, though these can be difficult to digest. Pay special attention to introduce cooling or neutral foods that won’t agitate our already hot, powerful digestion.
Dinner: before 7pm
Eating at least three hours before bedtime allows enough time for our body to move through digestion, enough time for food to move completely through the stomach so as not to accumulate toxins.
Calming nighttime routine, in bed by 11:
Kapha vibes rolls around again after sunset, the perfect time to wind down and soothe ourselves to eventual sleep. Nighttime meditation can help ease our minds as well as our sympathetic nervous system. Practice deep, slow breathing accompanied by meditative intention setting for a restful, healing sleep. A warm bath with lavender essential oils is another method of soothing our senses. Indulge in a temple and head massage, using warm oil in the traditional Ayurvedic way prepares our body to wind down and slip into deep, blissful sleep.
This routine matches the Doshas because we are pacifying Kapha by waking before 6am, pacifying Pitta by eating our largest meal when the sun is high at noon, and we are pacifying Vata by resting and restoring before bed.
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