The Bathing Elephant Goddess: Time

Sleep is one area that I am not a typical kapha. I do usually sleep hard and well, but I am not a marathon sleeper who can sleep the whole day away. I typically go to sleep by 11 and wake up without difficulty by 730. I thought that reducing my sleep could still be useful. Day one of the experiment I woke up at 6:15 AM, a full two hours before I really needed to be awake. I woke up early just fine, but then was a typical kapha. In those two hours I did not accomplish much of anything. I took my sweet time with my morning cleansing and breakfast. I crawled back into bed at least three more times. Never with the intention or want to go back to sleep, it just felt good to lay there. I thoroughly enjoyed the extra time in the morning and loved my new sense of awareness of my tendency to want to chill out and do nothing. More than anything it made me smile to myself. That first day I was painfully tired by 10AM. I recognized that I pushed myself a little too far by waking up a full 2 hours before I needed to. The remainder of the experiment I woke up between 6:45 and 7:30. There were a couple of days that I really struggled to pull myself out of bed, but I never got tired throughout the day again.

The main thing that I did accomplish in those two hours was practicing my sadhana. Up until this experiment I had only been practicing in the evening. Switching to the morning has revolutionized my personal practice. When I was doing it in the evening it felt much more like a chore than something that I was doing for myself. It added to the list of things that I needed to do, it added to my vata anxiety.  I have started doing sadhana that is good for vata. I am doing a lot of belly breathing and bee humming breath followed by So Hum meditation. Throughout the entire experiment I made time for at least a short sadhana practice. My anxiety has been greatly relieved in the past two weeks. This could be for a variety of reasons but one factor is definitely waking up early. Waking up early has allowed me to integrate sadhana into my life in a much more meaningful way.  Waking up early also ensures that I have time every day to do the cleansing practices of neti and tongue scraping. Both of which are very helpful for my mucous friendly kapha body. Extra time in the morning also allows me to check a few things off of my to do list, which is tremendous for reducing my anxiety. For example, I usually think about and maybe prepare my breakfast and lunch at night. Now I stop myself the second I start to think about the next day’s food because I know I will have time to be more present while preparing food the next morning. I get home from work around 8 pm so even small tasks like thinking about breakfast or sadhana become overwhelming with so little time before I need to go to bed. I have recognized for years that my energy is drastically different in the morning than it is in the evening. In the early morning I am more productive, optimistic, impulsive, emotive, and creative. In the evening I tend to be duller. This correlates with the doshic times of day and makes sense that I am better served to leave simple tasks to the morning rather than overwhelming myself in the evening.