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Ayurveda Part 4/5 – Biological Rhythms

Written By: ruchi - Feb• 09•18
Ayurveda Doshas

Our biological rhythms are a mirror of cosmos rhythms. Body responds to medicines very differently at different times of the day. Body is very different I the morning and the evening. These cycles are the manifestations of cosmos cycles.

Circadian Rhythm, because of the earth spinning on its axis
This causes 24 hour day, which causes circadian rhythm in the body. For example, in the morning body has high cortisol levels as opposed to the evenings. In Ayurveda, the 24 hour cycle of the day can be divided in 6 distinct stages based on the 3 modalities – Vata, Kapha and Pitta.

6 am to 10 am is the Kapha phase irrespective of your prakriti. It is the hypo metabolic phase. If you are Vata, your metabolism will come down a bit. If you are real Kapha, metabolism slows down quite a bit. This is a good time to exercise, especially for Kapha. Kapha people should take their supplements at this time. This period is good for chemotherapy because good cells are slow at this time. Chemo kills rapidly multiplying cells like cancer cells, hair cells, skin cells etc. Good cells obey the cycle and slow down in the Kapha period but cancer cells don’t follow that. If you give chemo in Kapha period, the good cells are sre spared. Ayurveda does not believe in killing cells with chemo. It believes in bringing all the cells in harmony by following the cosmic rhythms.

10 am to 2 pm is the Pitta cycle. This is the transformative state. This is the period when metabolism and digestion are most effective. A big meal should be taken during this period.

2 pm to 6 pm is the Vata cycle. Body goes into hyper metabolism. It has maximum mental clarity and maximum physical dexterity during this period. This is the best time to do mental and creative work.

6 pm to 10 pm is the Kapha phase again. Metabolism starts to decline again, being lowest at 10 pm. This is the time to wind down and go to sleep to get the best rest.

10 pm to 2 am is the Pitta cycle again. If you are asleep, digestion goes up. Body renews and gets rid of toxins. If you are Pitta and awake at this time, you will binge on food and tend to get obese.

2 am to 6 am is Vata cycle again. This is the time, metabolic rate increases. It is time to rejuvenate the subtle body. Dreaming is most active during this time. Dreaming is necessary to detoxify the subtle body. Any disturbance at this time gives rise to psychological problems. Sedatives, sleeping pills, alcohol depress this cycle, which builds toxins in the body. All the hormones go up, heart rate goes up a bit, BP goes up at this time. 6 am is the peak of metabolic rate. If you get up at 6, you will feel really fresh.

When your biological rhythm is disturbed, the first sign will be fatigue. Second phase, is discomfort and then the diseases. Jet lag disturbs the circadian rhythm. To facilitate the process, meditate, hydrate and sleep in the flight. Continuous night shifts disrupt the circadian rhythm and sooner and later your body will protest in the form of some illness.

Seasonal Rhythm, because of earth going around the sun
You have a seasonal cycle in your body also. You fall in love in spring, you get depressed in winters. This is being orchestrated in nature. Seasons affect us. Winter is a Kapha season so if you are Kapha type, you will see Kapha problem including congestive heart failure, arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis etc. Summer being hot and moist, is the Pitta season, and causes more problems to Pitta prakarti, like inflammation, ulcers, skin rashes, inflammatory arthritis, and inflammatory emotions. Autumn is the Vata season and may cause migraine, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, palpitations etc. Kapha dominant people should take care of their diet more in winters, Pitta in summers and Vata types in autumn.

Lunar Rhythm, because of the earth, sun and moon movements
Lunar cycle is approximately 28 days cycle. There are lunar rhythms in the body like BP changes with lunar cycle. You should be aware of it and you might notice that your behavior changes with lunar cycle. Full moon is the Kapha period, no moon is the Vata period and somewhere in the middle is the Pitta period. If you are in balance, it does not matter. If there is imbalance then there is a problem. Imbalance is disruption of natural law that’s expressing itself thru you.

Gravitational Rhythm, ocean tides
We also get tides in our own physiology. At one point we were in ocean. In any case 80% of our body is water. The full tide is Kapha, low tide is Vata and Pitta somewhere in between.

So what do these rhythms mean? If we are in perfect balance, there is no entropy; there is perfect harmony hence no aging. But otherwise, follow a routine:

Get up at 6, brush, clean your tongue, drink warm water, eliminate, massage, bathe, meditate, yoga, exercise and eat by 8.
Eat a big meal between 12 non and 2 pm. Walk after lunch.
Meditate before sunset around 4.
Eat small early dinner.
This will result in most accomplishments with least effort.

Disclaimer: This article is based on Dr. Deepak Chopra’s book “Heal Your Body With Your Mind” as my personal study notes for future reference.