The answer is Yes, your daily Routines affect your Health.
Just as there is a time and season for all things in nature, the same is true when we look at our daily routine. There was a time that nature determined how we would live our lives. Humans slept at night and worked during the day but as times changed the schedules we keep have changed as well.
Because we strive for balance, it is important to balance our daily activities and have more of a routine.
In Ayurveda “Dinacharya” is the Sanskrit term for Daily Routine.
We refer to our constitution as our Dosha, however the dosha’s are so much more than that. The dosha’s are related to nature and the elements; they have cycles every day and every season.
Since the doshas cycle through the day, it is important to understand the best time for certain activities; for instance the time between 2 am and 6 am is predominantly Sattva and is the best time of the day to acquire knowledge.
Because these dosha have predominance throughout the day it is important to correlate with our constitution. A person that is mainly fire or Pitta would not want to do physical activities in the mid day sun and yet that is the best time to eat your largest meal of the day, while the suns fire burns brightly.
It is important to start your day on the correct foot, if it is your habit to “sleep in” then you may be short-changing yourself. No matter what your constitution or dosha the rule of thumb for waking up remains the same, early to rise. The ideal time to rise is three hours before sunrise or at the very least, 30 minutes to 1 hour before sunrise; this time of the day in Ayurveda is referred to as brahmamuhat (45 minutes before sunrise).
In the morning the body is well rested, the mind is alert, focused and peaceful. It is the best time of the day to meditate because in the early morning Sattva Guna is most prevalent.
We live in a modern world so there are exceptions for waking up early, which include working the night shift, young children, elderly and hospitalized patients.
It is important to know which Dosha is strongest in which parts of the day, and night as they mirror one another.
Vata is 2am to 6am and 2pm to 6pm (space and air elements)
Kapha is 6am to 10am and 6pm to 10pm (water and earth elements)
Pitta is 10am to 2am and 10pm to 2pm (fire element with a little water)
Because at different times of day and night different energies are more prevalent it is important to know what activities are best suited for the dosha and the different energies they represent throughout the day.
Vata Dosha 2:00 am to 6:00 am (vata is creative, imaginative, about movement)
Dream, wake, eliminate, meditation, exercise
Kapha Dosha 6:00 am to 10:00 am (Kapha has stamina)
Light breakfast, review tasks for the day, Production
Pitta Dosha 10:00 am to 2:00 pm (Pitta is the organizer and leader)
Stategize, complete challenging tasks, have largest meal of the day
Vata Dosah 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Create and visualize, task list for next day, Exercise
Kapha Dosha 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Eat a light dinner and enjoy relaxing with family and or friends.
Pitta Dosha 10:00 pm to 2:00 am
Sleep, process foods and thought from previous day
Your daily routines have much to do with the maintenance that is ongoing with the human body such as eliminating waste, utilizing nutrients to create tissue and energy and also for rest so that we can process our thoughts, feel energized and produce healthy tissue.
Your daily routine may contain some or all of the following:
Cleansing the face
Cleansing the eyes
Abhyanga (oil application)
Nasya (oil drops in nose)
Our daily routine signals our body when we are preparing to do something and makes the transition easier if it is something that we are routinely accustomed to.
When we follow a routine at night, it signals our body that we are preparing for sleep and makes it simple to transition. When we eat breakfast at the same time every day we naturally become hungry at that time.
A good balanced routine is important for a healthy, happy life. Knowing your dosha and understanding how that correlates with the daily cycles of doshas is a great step on the way to better health and a balanced routine.