Getting organized can be a challenge. For some it is second nature, and for others it can be all consuming. Luckily, Ayurveda has some time-tested advice for us around scheduling our day to keep us at our best.
Ayurveda follows a day clock based on the rhythm and cycle of nature, the sun, and our physiology. This clock helps us determine when we will be the most effective at certain types of tasks, and when it is important to take breaks. According to Ayurveda, most people can get more stuff done in the morning before lunch. The middle of the day is for organizing and planning. The late afternoon and early evening are for relaxation and creative endeavors. And the night time is for sleeping.
It’s important to recognize not everyone is the same, so some people may feel they are more productive in the middle of the day or the afternoon rather than in the morning. Where this can help, it recoginzing where your strengths are, and using them to get yourself organized and developing a routine.
Kapha Time of Day
Kapha, which encompasses the qualities of heavy, dull, stable, cool, sticky, dense, oily, is between 6am and 10am, and 6pm and 10pm.
During these times of day, our body, mind, emotional, state, etc, take on these same qualities. If one has a kapha constitution or imbalance, these qualities will be even more predominant for that person. Because these qualities bring to mind thing like dependable, sturdy, lubricated, this is the time to:
- have your most vigorous exercise of the day to keep the joints mobile
- have a light breakfast to keep your energy going throughout the day
- complete the most physical tasks on your to-do list
- have a light supper, if needed, before 7pm
- take time to relax from the day, slow down, assimilate your day with a journal
- be in bed by 9pm and asleep by 10pm
Pitta Time of Day
Pitta has qualities of sharp, hot, oily, soft, liquid, spreading, unctuous and runs from 10am to 2pm, and 10pm to 2am.
Again, we will take on these qualities so digestion is the strongest, our mind is sharp, and body temperature is warm. To utilize these qualities, it is generally good to:
- have your lunch during the afternoon period and make it your largest meal for the day
- put together your to-do list
- develop a strategic plan or take time to organize
- this is the best time of day for status meetings
- you’re already unctuous and this is the hottest time of day, so a small rest after your lunch can help
- it is best to be asleep during the hours of 10pm and 2am as many metabolic processes take place in the brain and body during this time of rest
Vata Time of Day
Vata is airy, mobile, light, subtle, cold, dark, hard, rough, and is prevalent from 2pm to 6pm, and 2am to 6am.
With these qualities, vata is creative, mobile, articulate, and has an open mind. This is the best time to:
- have creative meetings
- do your creative work; painting, writing, sewing, whatever
- spend time with loved ones
- be asleep between 2 and 4am
- wake before sunrise, roughly 6am depending on time of year and where you live
- meditate early in the morning
These are guidelines based on circadian rhythms of human beings. It is possible your rhythm is different than this, and it is important to honor that. What can help everyone, is to recognize when kapha, pitta, and vata are most active, and use that to your advantage to be stronger, get organized, and communicate clearly.