There are many ways to measure time. Time is measured by minutes, hours, days, months, seasons and years. These are external ways of counting the passage of time. We have internal ways of measuring time which are associated with lunar cycles and biorhythms.
Ayurveda has additional ways of viewing time which is through the lifecycle of a living being. They are described by utilizing the doshas and their qualities.
How is this connected to the dinacharya? Well time, qualified by the doshas, informs us of the best way to manage our energy. If we want to live long healthy lives, it makes sense to conserve energy when necessary and to borrow the environmental energy when possible and to do the heavy lifting when we are strongest.
How often have you tried to accomplish something when you simply had no energy for the task at hand? It’s really hard to do and often you have to do it again when you have the energy. When the timing is right everything seems to flow. Viewing time from an ayurvedic perspective offers the possibility to utilize energy in the most efficient manner.
We can focus the lens of time into three major sections:
- Time of Life
- Time of Year (Seasons)
- Time of Day
Events have the least impact on the totality of your life.
Small daily habits have the most impact.
Start with the big picture.
The totality of your life.
The Three Ages.
Time of Life
- Kapha Age 1- 25
- Pitta Age 25-50
- Vata Age 50 onward
- Sandhi – is the transformation between one period or event and another. In terms of a human lifetime sandhi spans approximately 10 years. Where the mind and the body are shifting from one doshic life age to another. These times are when we are not fully in sync. Disease processes are aggravated or decisions made have a great impact on the next phase or entire rest of life span.
Everything is moist and juicy. You grow, learn, expand and habits form. You are attaching to the things of the physical world.
Super Power – Energy for growth, feeling of immortality
Kryptonite – Attachment to earlier stages of life. Mucus types of diseases, bronchial and sinus.
– Ideal time to set in place structure of habit that will inform the life ahead. Regular steady daily experiences done slowly over time until it is habitual. Eat warming foods. Periods for play, exercise, exploration within a structure guided by an adult already doing the basics of dinacharya
Sandhi I – Kapha/Pitta
A time of transformation from childhood to adulthood. Structures from childhood are questioned and transformed. A testing period for habits learned. Experimental age. Diseases with inflammation and pus or mucus are the norm.
If the structures of the kapha
age became habits then only the superflous items will fall away maybe only during this Sandhi
. Control over the day is handed over by the adult to the child. Cooling and warming foods as needed. There is a need for more tridoshic foods. Create stability in the home so the child feels safe to return or leave as experimentation occurs.
You are on fire or burning to make something of your life. Making a career, having a family building your home creating your legacy. You are learning to maintain and transform things of the physical world.
Super Power – Ability to plan, create be vocal, get things done
Kryptonite – mind over matter, burn out, control issues. Diseases tend to be those that are connected with stress, heart, inflammation, indigestion (acidity).
Manage Heat and stress. Planning and systems help to not overdo. Take time for vacations near water. Be grateful for achievements. Be sure to schedule in rest periods. The temptation to do everything is great, resist the temptation.
If you are just learning about dinacharya
from an ayurvedic perspective, this is a great time to set things into place and model it for your family. It is still a relatively easy time to create good habits and get rid of habits incurred during the kapha
Sandhi II – Pitta/Vata
A time of transformation in adulthood from creating and growing a family to returning to self, having family leave the nest and turning over the accomplishments from the pitta age over to others to maintain.
This is a time when self esteem and satisfaction with life can go through the roof or a time when self esteem gets lost leading to a crisis. This can be a time of great confusion where the mind is still sharp but the body does not completely comply. The mind may think itself as having a younger age than the age of the body. Digestion can become dry feelings of gasiness, bloatedness and constipation.
Manage heat and dryness. Be sure to take in good fats and oils both on the internally and externally. Practice letting go. If things don’t work don’t just consider how to improve as was done during the pitta
stage, consider if it needs to be removed.
Focus really turns to health. Build upon habits, health regimen should not become the only thing focused on. Look around for creative outlets that helps build sense of self without others needing to be involved.
age is a time of learning how to detach from the things of the world. The mind and body become drier and don’t hold the same luster for you as they did in the past. You learn who you are from a spiritual perspective in a different way than before.
Super Power – Creative surge not always for creative sake not necessarily for worldly sake. Ability to move from past experience and creative urge. A deeper thoughtfulness.
– Dryness – feeling alone, lost existential crisis. Bone loss, Loss of movement – the wear and tear of living begins to show. Need more rest to recuperate vs rest so that growth can happen (kapha
Diseases are those of dryness and air in the mind (forgetfulness), bones and joints are more brittle. Eyes, nose, ears, skin, mouth is drier.
Start adapting a vata
regimen. Even though you may feel that your main constitution is something else. Vata
in this stage of life keeps building and usually tips the scales towards you being more vata
. Manage life from a more rested position yet keep moving, learning and experiencing.
Putting it all together
When putting together or modifying your dinacharya
, keep in mind the stage of life you are in. The age or sandhi
most informs which how the elements of the dinacharya
should be performed.
Lets say you are a lifelong practitioner of yoga asana, meaning you started practicing with your mother or father before you could walk.In the baby stage, you are extremely bendy, it is a time of growth.
Yoga asana should be used to gain strength and stability. In childhood, yoga asana, if practiced regularly leads to a strong body and mind, the muscles become well developed.
During pitta age we become attracted to vigorous yoga, because the urge to do better more perfect yoga asana is great. During pitta age we must take care not to burn out, which means do yoga in regular moderation. Heated yoga may not be the most appropriate.
During Vata age, if you have done yoga all your life, the challenge is to maintain the practice. The practice is not the same one that you did during your 20’s or 40’s. Practice regularly to warm the bones and muscles and to gain strength.
As you can see, yoga can be practiced but with different intentions throughout all stages of life.
Being aware of the largest cycles of life informs the dinacharya
first. It is the groundwork on which to build your dinacharya
We will deal with time of day – that which has an immediate affect.
If you missed the first two posts of this series, here are the links.
Does this ring true for you? Please comment below.