Hello, dear readers! I hope you’re all having a good week. As you may remember, last week I posted about our session with Molly Culleton, an Ayurvedic Health Specialist. That session continues to resonate with me, and as a result, I decided to apply some of what she taught us to my everyday life. I’ve spent the last two weeks integrating some of the Ayurvedic principles we learned into my routine, and I’d like to share about my experience with you. Read on to see how this experiment has played out so far!
Greet the Day
One of the biggest lessons of our session is that different times of day correspond to different doshic energies. We can observe these Ayurvedic principles and attempt to use them to our advantage in arranging our daily schedules. As a result, we can help manage our energy and promote better rest and relaxation.
The hours of 2:00 AM through 6:00 AM are Vata time, which means more energy. Molly advised that we should try to get up for the day shortly before 6:00 AM. That’s nearly an hour earlier than I had been getting up for the past several years. I am not a morning person at all, so I didn’t hold out hope that I’d be able to do this. Nonetheless, I dutifully set my alarm.
Interestingly, I woke up on my own the next morning shortly before the alarm was set to go off. Rather than just laying there, I decided to go ahead and get up. I found I really enjoyed the extra time in the morning to get ready more slowly. I had time to meditate, play a few games on my phone, check in on social media, and have my coffee. All of that before the time I’d normally just be getting out of bed!
I’m also amazed at the difference it makes in the rest of my day. I’m actually more alert and chipper. It made everything so much better that I decided to even do it on the weekend. I know, it sounds absurd, but I honestly have felt so much better. I’m even actually tired when I go to bed, which leads me to my next big change.
A New Bedtime Routine
Molly emphasized that it’s best to be at least in bed, getting ready to go to sleep, before 10:00 PM every night. From 6:00 PM until 10:00 PM, Kapha energy is dominant. If you recall, Kapha is a more restful and relaxed energy. After 10:00 PM, we start getting into Pitta time, which is a more mentally alert energy. That’s why, according to Ayruvedic principles, it’s best to be winding down and ready for bed before that Pitta energy kicks in.
I decided to apply this to my routine. It isn’t always easy for me to be in bed by 10:00 PM. My husband and I work opposite shifts, and that’s generally about the time he’s coming home. My bedtime routine will sometimes get sidelined by his coming in the door. I mean, I like the guy, and I enjoy talking to him about his day and spending some time with him! He was very on board with this experiment, though, and understood that I needed to see if it helped with my sleep.
It has honestly helped a great deal. I’m a chronic insomniac, and have been pretty much my entire life. I’m not saying that everything is just perfect yet, but it’s much better. I fall asleep quickly, stay asleep longer, and can go back to sleep quickly when I do wake in the middle of the night. Those are pretty huge strides for me!
I’m planning to stick with this schedule as much as I can for at least the month of November. I know the holidays are coming, and it can be easy to get sidetracked. However, I do think I can mostly stick to these basic Ayurvedic principles. I really want to give it a good chance to see if it continues to make these differences in my overall mood and sleep hygiene.
I’m also slowly adding in some other habits. I’ve started going out to my living room and doing a short meditation right after I get up. I’m slowly adding in a few sun salutations after that to get myself moving and energized. As I continue to adopt these new habits, I’m planning to continually evaluate and see what else I can look at. Main Street Yoga is starting a yoga health coaching program in January that uses some Ayurvedic principles, and I’m looking at joining in that group if possible.
If you’re thinking about trying any of this out, let me know! I’m always interested to hear from those of you reading the blog. We can support each other! Thanks for reading! See you next week!