Many of us learn about life cycles throughout school, however what we fail to keep aware of is how many cycles are involved in our wellness and health. Our sleep, digestion, and our breath have a cyclical rhythm which affects our daily wellness. Maintaining routine can help keep our minds and bodies balanced for life’s daily challenges, as well as extend our life spans. Here are some examples of cycles and how we can support our mind and bodies for more sustainable health.
For example, in Ayurveda there is this phenomenon referred to as the “Dosha Clock”. It is divided into seasons and time of day. The term Dosha in itself means a person’s constitution, which includes physique, habits, affinities, and tendencies. There are three main doshas, Vata (vah-tah), Pitta (pih-tah), and Kapha (kah-fah). Vata being light, dry, highly active, and prone to feel cold, hence yearning for warmth. Pitta is warm, smooth, oily, and competitive and prone to feel hot, hence yearning for cool. Kapha is heavy, sluggish, moist and compassionate and deviates from cold and hot. It might be challenging relating such terms to a person’s constitution, however it makes sense if you think of the qualities of air, fire, and earth, the fundamentals of our universe. Just as our universe, we are composed of the same materials. We are living in relation to each other, the air above us, the water we share, and the ground beneath our feet.
Our days are divided into dosha related activities as well. Our Dosha clock is divided into the following times:
There are certain activities that should be taken during these times. Kapha period is a steady flow of energy where exercise should take place, including a warm breakfast every morning. In the evening, one should be in bed with lights out by 10pm. Pitta period is the strongest digestive period, including activities that are more laborious. Pitta periods are our metabolic periods, when we are digesting what we eat, drink, as well as visually and mentally perceive. Vata period is the best time to learn whether it be in the morning or evening.
Our life stages fall into these categories as well. Kapha includes from birth to 16 years, Pitta includes 16 years to 50 years old and Vata includes 50 years to the end of life. As you can understand, everything is in cycles. When you are young, you are growing, in need of as much resources and affection as possible. During your adolescence and adulthood you are active, learning and building and as you grow older, you slow down till you are light as air.
As you can understand, cycles are intrinsic and we are bound to them by nature. By performing activities within these boundaries to the extent of the time of day, we can help improve our wellness. Blending activities and meals throughout each period can make our bodies and minds out of sync and throw off our balance. Hence understanding the importance of rituals, time management, and self-observation, can help us live longer and healthier lives.