CIRCADIAN RHYTHMS – THE ART OF TUNING IN WITH THE RHYTHMS​ OF THE SUN

We know that since the dawn of time the earth revolves around the sun and that this movement governs the rhythm of life for all living things. The sun rises, or rather says that we should emerge from our slumber at dawn, so we step out of the long night we spent in the company of the moon. In the evening, the sun disappears from the horizon and then a feeling of fatigue slowly starts engulfing us. Other than the obvious effect the sun has on our physiology, is there anything else that we don’t consider “visible” to the naked eye though?

Well yes, there are many things that are totally beyond our consciousness, but our bodies do not miss them as much as our minds do. At sunrise and sunset, and on a 24-hour routine called the circadian cycle, an infinite number of meta-physical phenomena occur without our knowledge and influence each of our organs, cells and mental body on an hourly basis.

Ayurveda, the medical branch of yoga, whose origins go back more than 5000 years, has a precise knowledge on the effect of the circadian cycle on all living things including the animal and plant kingdoms. In 2017 researchers demonstrated the influence of this phenomenon on the human body and even earned the Nobel Prize for their discoveries.

Knowing the influence of the sun’s natural energies on our physiology is an essential key to understanding our physical and mental balance. Let me reveal the secrets for a day in balance below:

Between 6am and 10am
– Kapha period: The sun is still shy and its energy is low, heavy and dull.
– It is recommended to do some exercises of stretching or awakening the body, the sun salutation is ideal because it gently awakens the whole of our organism and increases our energy. Start your day with a glass of water at room temperature and preferably a light breakfast.
– The activity of our large intestines, our spleens and our stomachs is dominant at these hours.

Between 10am and 2pm
– Period Pitta: The sun is the strongest at this time and so our metabolism and our energies are intense. This point of time is ideal for connecting with people because of our alertness both on a physical and mental level, as we are at our peak.
– Our digestive “fire” is also the strongest around noon, so it is recommended to have our most important meal of the day then.
– The activity of our hearts and small intestines are dominant at these times.

Between 14h and 18h
– Period Vata: The energies are agitated by the prolonged presence of the sun. All of this translates into a creative energy that is fast and effective for our physical and mental systems.
– This is the best time to do work in an effective and creative way, but be careful not to get too much of it by exercising it too close to the ground. It is advisable to drink herbal teas in order to detoxify our bodies. At this time we have greater cardiovascular and muscular efficiency.
– The activity of the bladder and kidneys are dominant at this part of the day.

Between 18h and 22h
– Kapha period again: The sun goes down and with it the energies start diminishing little by little. Focus on quiet and slow activities.
– It is advisable to eat a light dinner, ideally 3 hours before bedtime to facilitate and finish digestion before bedtime.
– At 9 pm our body begins the secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone. The activity of the pericardium, the brain and the reproductive organs is dominant at these times.

Between 22h and 2h
– Pitta period again: Our inner “fire” is strong again.
– When we are asleep during this period and our stomachs are working hard, the “fire” within stays active as to clean, detoxify and regenerate the organs, and eliminate toxins. However, if you wake up at these times, you may get yourself into a sticky situation and namely going back to the fridge and missing the great opportunity for detoxification that is so essential for your health.
– The activity of the thyroid and adrenal glands and the gallbladder is dominant at these times.

Between 2am and 6am
– Vata period again: This is the time when sleep is lighter and our dreams are more active and creative.
– The function of dreams is to cleanse our minds. The impressions, thoughts and emotions of the day are sorted and classified. It is thanks to this activity that the wise ones say “the night brings advice”. It gives us access to our subconscious, our souls, and allows us to find answers and ideas for our conscious state during these hours. This part of the night is essential for our mental health.
– The activity of the liver and lungs is dominant at these times. This is also the reason why, if you have consumed too much alcohol in the evening, there is a good chance that you wake up due to the liver’s hyper activity.
It is possible that none of those situations speak to you per se, however, that may be due to a lack of connection to your body or an imbalance in your system. So try to adjust some of your habits and observe the effects on your body and mind and you will surely find that little by little your body is re-synchronized with the natural energies. You will quickly start feeling like a better version of yourself.

If this article interested you, I invite you to join me every Sunday morning at Zen for Monday workshop for a little while. It consists of a sweet mix of yoga practices and is accessible to all. All kinds of Ayurveda teachings await you there!

With love.

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