Waking up early or with the sun isn't easy for everyone. This practice has many benefits according to Ayurveda, but may take some getting used to. But first, to understand the specific 'waking up early benefits in Ayurveda', it's important to talk about our good friend, the Sun: This 4.6 billion year old star is the center of our solar system and the center of life. It is, in fact, what keeps this planet habitable. Now, take a moment to really think of it. This powerful sun keeps our planet habitable! Without the sun we wouldn't call planet Earth home! You probably know that you synthesize vitamin D from being exposed to the sun's rays. This powerful life-giving star keeps us happy and gives us energy, but what happens when we pair this awareness with waking up early with the sun?
Ayurvedic Significance of the Sun
From the Ayurvedic perspective, the sister science of yoga that scripts 9,000 years back and has been practiced since the very origin of the existence of the human race, there are two energies that balance all living things, the solar and lunar energy. Solar energy is governed by the sun and holds our active energy, the day time, and the times we are energized. Lunar energy is governed by the moon and holds our passive energy, the calm, the easy, and the times we rest. When we wake with the sun, we are activating that transition of time and energy. It is a beautiful dance between night and day, lunar and solar, the moon and the sun, this perfect balance and transition. Ayurveda is based off of the 5 elemental theory, categorizing these elements in three groups or Doshas; Vata (Air/Ether), Pitta (Fire/Water), Kapha (Earth/Water). We understand that the elements are in everything, our bodies, our minds, our hearts and we find balance by being in tune with these elements. These elements also govern different parts of the day as seen here:
- 10pm - 2am Fire/Water (Pitta) - The best time to get the deepest sleep. During this time, the brain processes information that we no longer need. Think of this time as when the night janitor comes in and cleans the brain.
- 2am - 6am Air/Ether (Vata) - Lighter sleep, when we experience most dreams. During this lighter sleep, our dreams express our subconscious thoughts. This is a time to be receptive and wake toward the end of this cycle.
- 6am - 10am Earth/Water (Kapha) - Time to be awake, quiet and creative. Because this time is governed by the heavy elements of water and earth, it is best to be awake. Sleeping during this time will create more heaviness and sluggishness. Get the body gently moving and flowing. Right at that 6am mark (the time when the sun usually rises) there is a shift, moving from Vata (Air/Ether) to Kapha (Earth/Water) and in that transition we go from being charged and renewed, to feeling heavy, sleepy, and it makes it more difficult to get out of bed. Have you ever woken up around 8am or 9am and felt like you could just stay in your bed all day? Well my friend, that is the earth and water element saying, "Oh no stay, stay! It is so comfy, let's rest!" That's why sunrise is the best time to wake up. It's during this time of day that we feel rebirth; it feels like we are fully charged, it sets us up for the day and creates a ritual to honor ourselves as well as the sun.
Waking Up Early Benefits - Ayurveda WisdomIf you think of when you wake up as being the 'birth' of the day and when you go to bed being the 'death', how would you like to set up the whole 'lifespan' of your day? What do you want the 'birth' of your day to be like? Waking with the sun creates a charge, a cleansing, a transition to start the day fresh. When we wake up with the sun we may feel:
- Happier, more positive, in a better mood
- Lighter, more awake and productive
- A deeper connection to ourselves with the power of the sun
- Clear, quiet and peaceful in the first moments of the day before we go about with our list of To-Do's
We also experience physical benefits, like better circadian rhythm regulation and hormone balancing. When we shift our experience with one morning, into every morning, we begin to restructure our minds, our bodies and our hearts to feel more love, honor and gratitude. Make it even better by starting your morning with a little movement to break a light sweat, a grounding meditation and a rejuvenative breakfast. An incredible way to get supportive herbs with ease is by taking PIOR Living Chyawanprash, an Ayurvedic jam, spread on toast or taken in warm water. While you eat, look at nature, look at the ways the sun touches the living world that we live in. Breathe and start the day soft and simple. Try this practice, this ritual and you will start to see the magic of rising with the sun come through. Happy sunrise everyone!
Malia Wright, Ayurvedic Wellness Coach, 500 RYT
I help overwhelmed, soul-driven people connect to their truest self, their purpose and their most wild and abundant state of being to feel absolutely blissful and free to live the life you are meant to. I use teach the feminine form of Ayurveda and Yoga for immense transformation in 1 on 1 coaching, in person and online group programs, and retreats.