With the onset of the kapha time of the year (the cold, rainy, and damp days of late winter and early spring) it is important to get in the habit of rising early in the morning. During vata season (late fall through early winter) we can get away with sleeping into the kapha time of the day. Vata has been increasing in our mind/body system and a little kapha influence can be grounding. But when we move into kapha season, hitting the snooze button can create imbalances that could open the door to spring allergies and colds.
Most of us already know the basic 24-hour cycle of vata, pitta and kapha. Every day there are two cycles of change, one from 6.a.m. to 6.p.m. and the other from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Within each 12- hour cycle there are three 4-hour periods that are dominated by one of the three doshas; vata, pitta or kapha.
6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. is kapha time
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. is pitta time
2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. is vata time
6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. is kapha time
10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. is pitta time
2:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. is vata time
As kapha season progresses you’ll notice that the sun starts to rise earlier and earlier. That makes it important to go to bed earlier at night so that you are falling asleep in the drowsy, heavy time in the evening, before 10:00 p.m.
While the evening kapha cycle is perfect for heading to bed—and falling asleep—the morning kapha cycle is not a good time for sleeping in. If you sleep too long into this time period your mind/body system gets suffused with the dull, slow, heavy qualities of kapha. You’ll find that you feel dull and tired throughout the day. This habit also results in a build-up of impurities (ama), which predisposes you to allergies and congestion. This is influence is magnified during the cold, wet, kapha season.
On the other hand, if you wake up at 6:00 am (or before) you will feel more vata qualities (energy, vitality and alertness) throughout the day.
Begin by adjusting both your bedtime and rising time 15 minutes every week. If you are an extreme night owl, start with going to bed one half-hour earlier. Remember the adage, “the day begins the night before”.
Even if you miss your bedtime target, maintain your new rising time faithfully. Use an alarm clock if necessary.
Continue this plan until you get in the habit of rising at 6 or 6:30. After a few weeks of rising at this early hour you will start becoming attuned to the cycles of nature and may find yourself yawning and thinking fondly of heading to bed at the proper time (during the kapha cycle of the evening). When we can attune our physiologies to nature’s rhythms we will fall asleep more easily, rest more deeply, wake up feeling light and refreshed, and enjoy energy and well being throughout the day.
The classical texts of Ayurveda suggest that the transition from vata season to kapha season is the ideal time to visit an Ayurveda expert or to schedule Panchakarma (Ayurveda detoxification and rejuvenation treatments). For more information visit The Raj website: