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Rhythm and Routine

Tuning into the day: slip into serendipity of the right place and time.


  • Consider the quality of the very early morning, before sunrise – spacey, quiet, light, airy, etheric. Have you noticed that it’s actually pretty easy to float awake during these hours?


  • Now imagine waking up to your alarm, at 6:30 or 7am. How do you feel? I usually feel so heavy and warm and cozy… I do not want to get up. Even if I’m not sleeping, I want to laze in day’s first sweet rays of sunshine.


  • Until about 10 or so… when another energy comes over me, almost like a little spark of fire. I feel ready for action! Do you relate?


There seems to be a shift from space and light… to heavy and sweet… then fiery and productive.


You may already recognize the pattern if you’re familiar with the doshas (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha). These three doshas are biological humors that are often used to describe constitution of different foods, or to characterize the nature of an individual person. Vata is defined by ether and air, Pitta by fire and water, and Kapha by water and earth. These doshas also characterize the energy that passes through the times of the day.

Vata predominates the times between 2 and 6, Kapha from 6 until 10, and Pitta from 10 to 2.

Because of this, you may find it to be easier (and healthier) to rise in the morning before 6am! While Vata is predominant, the transition from sleep to wakefulness is gentle. Eating a warm, freshly cooked meal before 9am is ideal.

Another classic Ayurvedic recommendation is to eat the largest meal in the middle of the day. Lunchtime is when Pitta predominates, so your digestive fire is at its peak. If possible, take a long lunch break, even if it means you work a little later. It can help with energy levels and productivity, not to mention tremendous health benefits because of successful digestion.

Finally, eat a light dinner between 6 and 7:30pm, and get to bed before 10pm. Digesting large quantities later in the day can create sleepiness, indigestion, and acid reflux. Sleeping while Pitta predominates is really important for the body’s maintenance of organ systems.


Let’s imagine the rest of our theoretical day in order to tune into Vata, Kapha, and Pitta’s affect:


  • By 2pm, you might be feeling spaced out – or tired. Maybe you drift into a nap, or wander into a spacy conversation with a friend. I find this a great time to come up with new ideas, but unless I plan tasks in advance, I’m liable to get distracted or forgetful.


  • As the work day ends, and you wrap up whatever you’ve been up to, you might head home for dinner around 6pm. I usually find myself wanting to stay home and get progressively sleepy.


  • That is, until about 10pm, when I feel a burst of energy – and can stay up until 2am starting a project or going out dancing if I don’t tuck myself into bed at 9:30! Can you relate?


The 2-6, 6-10, 10-2 pattern of Vata, Kapha, and Pitta is the same for AM and PM. So cool!


With awareness of the energetic structure of the day, take some time to construct a daily routine that is genuine in its ability to support positive desires, and support away from habits that arrive out of desperation.

I recommend the book Change Your Schedule, Change Your Life by Suhas Kshirsagar for a deeper look at how to apply this system according to your dosha.


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