Ayurveda and your daily rhythm: create more energy
Energy is always there. Sometimes, however, you feel tired. Then use these Ayurvedic recommendations on the rhythm of the day to make you feel energetic.
Order: More energy, please
Energy has always been an important recurring theme in my life. Sometimes because I was just bursting with energy, but there have also been long periods where I’ve felt drained. There’s been a combination of methods that have helped me find my energy. Whether I make use of the rhythm of nature has been one of the ways that have an enormous effect on the level of my energy. The ayurvedic system gives insight into how this works.
The daily rhythm according to ayurveda
According to the ayurvedic system you can divide the day into blocks of vata, pitta and kapha. These three types not only allocate mind-body types by their dominant characteristics, they can also be used for other means like the seasons. For instance, summer corresponds with pitta. And so also daily energy cycles. Every day, both AM and PM, kapha is more dominant from 6 to 10, pitta from 10 to 2 and vata from 2 to 6, like shown in the image.
This division also explains why you have the most energy if you consistently get up at 6 am or before and go to bed around 10 pm in the evening. For myself, I notice that dedication to this rhythm means that I need 1 to 1,5 hours less sleep per night!
The kapha blocks have a somewhat slower, heavier energy. If you get up somewhere after 6 in the morning, it may happen that you take this energy with you throughout the day. Getting up before 6 enables you to utilise the light and agile vata energy. On contrary, using the kapha energy between 6 and 10 pm in the evening can be effective for you to wind down and move into a relaxed and deep sleep. Waiting too long may mean that your mind starts up again in the pitta cycle, where your head buzzes with movement. Maybe that’s why my mom (and maybe your too) always told me that the hours that you sleep before midnight count as double; because your body naturally can relax more if you fall asleep before 10 O’clock, you sleep deeper and you wake up more rested.
But… I am a night person…
That’s also what I thought for a long time. I think now that my ‘evening energy’ was caused by some blocking habits. In the end, it drained me. I had the habit of waiting with starting on my tasks, until right before the deadline. In an all-or-nothing approach, I had to become really active in the evenings. When I was finally finished with working or studying, it was already far beyond 10 pm (again) and I was wide awake, even if I felt very tired throughout the day. As a result, I needed lots of hours of sleep and I woke up late again the next day. Thereby I was creating a recurring cycle that kept me in a state of sub-par energy.
By getting up early every day, I now have way more energy. Because of it, I now also have more space throughout the day to do the things that I really like to be doing (such as writing blogs about yoga, practicing yoga, meditation and personal development). Of course, when starting out, a new rhythm can call for high amounts of discipline or maybe even agreeing to different working schedules (something I’ve also had to do in the past). It’s up to you if this is worthwhile for you. Maybe the following quote will inspire you to persevere:
"Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end." ~ Robin Sharma
Recommendations to go to bed earlier
- Attune with yourself and find if you could help yourself by going to bed on time. Reflect on what you need to accomplish it. Then, do it.
- Golden milk: a cup of warm ayurvedic golden milk in the evening can help you to relax and fall asleep more easily. Please click here for the recipe.
- It helps to stop looking at screens minimum 1 hour before you go to sleep. Activities that better fit this period of the day are for instance meditation, writing in your gratitude journal or to have a calm and connecting conversation.
- Have your dinner a minimum of 2 hours before you go to sleep, so that your body can more easily relax when it’s time to go to bed. Because your digestion system is strongest between 10 AM and 2 PM, that’s actually the best moment for the heaviest meal of the day.
- By persevering with the same rhythm throughout the weekend, your internal clock stays aligned and it’s easier to go to bed on time come Sunday evening. No more gruelling Monday mornings!
Recommendations to get up early
- Get up immediately once you hear your alarm. Even if you still feel tired. What helps me is to drink a large glass of water and then start immediately with my favourite morning routine. Whatever I feel like before, I feel energized afterwards.
- Create a morning routine that you want to get out of bed for, that make you feel happy. For example practicing yoga postures, meditation or journaling. I personally spend the first hour of my day in meditation and by studying yoga philosophy.
- Yoga postures or breathing exercises are also a great way to help you wake up. For instance sun salutations. Or the first breathing exercise and half-moon pose from the bikram yoga series. Would you like to start your day a more subtle? Why not give yourself a nice massage. Start with your head, then massage from fingers to shoulders, from toes to hips and finish with massaging your stomach. Or you could slowly practice the cat-cow posture.
- Get up every day at exactly the same time. There’s a big chance you’ll even wake up before your alarm after a while.
Curious for more Ayurvedic recommendations to get energized? Than I am recommending the book “Boundless Energy” by Deepak Chopra.
Which yoga lifestyle recommendations do you have to get more energy? It would be great if you leave them in a comment below!
Enjoy your Habits© today!
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