The Ayurvedic Clock



The Ayurvedic clock encompasses the time of day, your age and the seasons. Within the human body, time, generated by motion, moves the tides of the doshas. Age, seasons and time of day are three measures of time that move the doshas within us. We can also consider the movement of the mind which generates biological time and the force that moves the doshas from within.


There is always a beginning, a middle and an end. There is always a time of growth, a time to sustain the creation and a time for dissolution. Kapha marks the beginning of time periods, Pitta is the middle of time periods and Vata is the end of the time periods.


Age has a Kapha, Pitta and Vata time period. The seasons also have a time period that reflects each dosha. The time of day is governed by each dosha.


AGE


In Ayurveda, it is common to divide up the years of our lives into the three doshas.


The Kapha time of life is the time of physical growth. It is the time in life from birth to 19. It is the growing years for our body to develop the strength to take on the actions of our dharma - a right or true way for each person to carry out their life in order to serve both themselves and others.


The Pitta time of life is a time of action and productivity. The Pitta time of life for women is from the beginning of their menstrual cycle to menopause. For men, the Pitta time of life is from puberty to retirement around 60. It is during this phase of life that many diseases arise that are due to vitiation of Pitta. During the Pitta time of life, these diseases that arise are due to the drive to overachieve and over accomplish in life. With this fiery drive, some diseases include ulcers, hypertension, early onset cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, acne, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.


The Vata time of life begins for women around menopause and for men it is when they are no longer able to be productive. The Vata time of life is a time of reflection, wisdom and letting go. During this time of life we are no longer creating or producing in life. Attention is drawn inward as a person reflects on their life and the lessons learned. This is a time of wisdom that is shared with others. As the aging continues, the air and ether elements spread throughout the body and the mind. The common diseases we see at this time of life are dryness, insomnia, dementia, Alzheimer's,


THE SEASONS


The seasons are both a measure and a reflection of time. The seasons are an additional force acting upon the doshas. They are capable of causing imbalances as well as contributing to healing. Ayurveda also takes into consideration that seasons will vary depending on the part of the country.


Kapha is a time of growth and is associated with spring. The cold damp season is associated with winter. The warmth that follows winter is spring. During the winter months Kapha is increasing or accumulating in the body. Kapha accumulates when a person is exposed to cold, damp qualities. It becomes aggravated from the warmth of spring time. In spring the solid form of Kapha becomes liquid and flows. It is at this time the liquid flows as mucous. When the season turns to summer which is warm and dry, Kapha dosha is alleviated.


Pitta is associated with the summer season. It is hot and dry. Our digestion is the weakest in the summer months. It is a time of maintenance. During the summer months , a person of any constitution is prone to Pitta aggravation such as heat stroke, fevers, oily rashes, loose stools, acid reflux, ulcers and anger among many others. Those that have a Pitta prakruti are more prone to imbalances during this season. Pitta becomes alleviated when the weather gets cooler. However, if the body becomes imbalanced in this season by eating lots of heavy, spicy, hot foods and acidic drinks (coffee, beer and wine), it will dry out, irritate and inflame the mucous membranes where the good immune boosting microbes live. As the dryness continues into the next season, fall, the immune system is then compromised.


The Vata season is fall and early winter and is the time when the earth becomes barren and dormant. The qualities of Vata accumulate as the dryness of the season increases but the weather is still warm. As the warm season gives way to coldness, Vata becomes aggravated. Vata becomes most intense during the fall and early winter. During this time the body tends to be the driest. Imbalances relating to this season can be dry stools, dry skin, dry cough and respiratory infections due to dry mucous membranes.


THE TIME OF DAY


Time is measured by the position of the sun in the sky. The beginning of the day is Kapha, the middle of the day is Pitta and the end of the day is Vata.


The time between 6 am and 10 am is Kapha. This is the time where we are experiencing energy in the body for the day. Internal strength builds. This would be a good time of day to exercise. Kapha aggravation can increase at this time. Symptoms associated with Kapha aggravation would be increased mucus in the morning.


Pitta is the time for activity. It is between 10 am and 2 pm. It is during this time that the energy of activity increases rapidly and people find themselves the most productive. As it peaks, the likelihood of symptoms associated with Pitta aggravation also increases.


The time between 2 pm and 6 pm is Vata. The energy of the body will fade and we are less productive. Symptoms associated with Vata aggravation can increase during this time.


As we look at the Ayurvedic clock, it helps us understand how we can stay in balance through the ages, seasons and times of the day. Ayurveda recommends a seasonal cleanse in the fall and spring to help alleviate any imbalances that happened from the change of season. Look for more information on the cleanse in future blog posts.


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