In the last blog post, I wrote about the Sattvic time before dawn and the benefits of accessing this for progressing with Yoga practice.
In this article, I’d like to explain the Ayurvedic perspective on the pre-dawn time and the healthy balance of activity and sleep.
The elements in our body and in the world are the same, the body is truely the child of Mother Earth. The rhythms of Nature effect our own rhythms. One of Ayurvedas recommendations is to harmonise our activities with the daily and seasonal cycles of Nature. The daily cycle of day and night establishes a rhythm of activity and rest for us.
Our blood chemistry affects our emotional and physical state. Modern medicine administers drugs based on this fact. But our mind states, our food and also our activities have a major input. The morning time is crucial to reset your body chemistry for a healthy, happy day; and life.
A surge of energy fills the atmosphere about 90 minutes before dawn. In summer you will often hear a ‘mini’ dawn chorus at this time. Then, half an hour before sunrise a second, stronger energy surge pervades the atmosphere and this sets body chemistry for living beings.
During the night waste matters are collected in the colon and bladder, including a quantity of waste gases. We should be up and have evacuated our bowels and bladder before this second phase resets our body chemistry. Otherwise these wastes pollute the bloodstream. This predawn time is called Amrit Bela in Sanskrit, nectar of life.
An ideal routine is:
Get up and empty your bowels and bladder. If this is not happening take some Triphala before bed.
Scrape your tongue and wash your mouth and face.
Do not eat or drink anything before dawn other than taking a glass of hot water (you may add some lime juice). Chemical stimulants like tea and coffee should definitely be avoided as they interfere with the natural reset of body chemistry. Tea pushes the waste charged gases upwards and interferes with the flow of apana.
Take a shower, practice Yoga, meditate and then have breakfast.
You will be calm, energised and focused ready for your day.
If you are going to bed late then slowly shift your sleep pattern by 15 minutes a week, going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. The most rejuvenating sleep time is 10pm to 2am so try to be sound asleep during this time. Staying up late increases tamas in the system and misses this crucial rejuvenating time.
Daytime is for activity, nightime is for rest. If you are dull during the day and can’t sleep at night then these rhythms are out of balance. A fulfilling happy day will lead to a contented nights rest. So do what you love with enthusiasm, and love what you do.