In this era of technology, we are bombarded with a massive influx of information. There are always new trends to follow, new lifestyles to adopt, and new things to try. Some of us who have fear of missing out (FOMO) end up feeling overwhelmed and burned out. Have you wondered how to keep our concentration on things that matter the most to us amidst all the temptations and distractions surrounding us? How do we live every day productively and peacefully without sacrificing our health? Fortunately, the Ayurvedic clock could be the answer we need.
The Ayurvedic Clock
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. To stay on top of things, we try to squeeze the most out of 24 hours. Some of us even go to the extreme of sacrificing our sleep to get things done. However, it takes more than time management to deal with increased responsibility and the number of new exposures we would like to have. We need to make sure we manage our rest-time proactively as well for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This is where the Ayurvedic clock comes into play. The origin of the concept of Ayurveda can be dated back to over 5000 years ago in ancient India. Sharing similarities with our biological clock, the Ayurvedic clock combines the application of different life aspects including diet, exercise, meditation, yoga, and massage to create a balanced state between body, mind, and spirit. Its concept is that the rhythm of our body and mind is relative to the rhythm and energy of nature. There are specific times that produce an optimal performance for certain activities. Each 12-hour cycle of our typical 24-hour cycle is divided into three distinct sub-cycles (Kapha: 6am-10am and 6pm-10pm; Pitta: 10am-2pm and 10pm-2am; Vata: 2pm-6pm and 2am-6pm). Kapha, representing earth and water, is a determinant of our physical strength and immunity. Pitta, which is a symbol of fire, maintains digestion and metabolism. Vata, representing air, plays a crucial role in maintaining our nervous system (Link).
How Our Body and Mind Operate
Based on the Ayurvedic clock, our body slowly activates between 6 am and 10 am. It is the period of time in which exercising and meditation are suitable but heavy eating is not. Our nerves and digestive system stay inactive working mode between 10 am and 2 pm. Tasks requiring high energy use such as consuming foods and multitasking are now preferable. The period between 2 pm and 6 pm is when our body starts to slow down. Rest and hydration play an important role then to maintain productivity. Our body starts preparing for sleep with slow digestive actions between 6 pm and 10 pm. It is a period in which performing heavy tasks is not encouraged to prevent insomnia. The time between 10 pm and 2 am is of utmost importance for deep sleep. Organs such as the liver and kidneys work in full force during that period to convert nutrients to hormones and enzymes. Therefore, we should get ourselves ready for bed within this period. To complete the clock, light sleep occurs between 2 am and 6 am and those with insomnia will feel dizzy if they wake up between these two time points.
In conclusion, following the Ayurvedic Clock is an art of balance. We need to condition ourselves to rest and be active at appropriate times so that our internal clock aligns with the natural rhythm. By doing so, we can notice observable changes in our mental states and be mindful of how different time periods affect our bodies. This harmonious state enables us to strike a balance between managing workflow and our body conditions. We can remain productive and be in peace even when we have to navigate through the daily commitments and new exposures.