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Weather and seasonal changes affect our balance. Everyone can benefit from adapting their routine to the season. November through February, when it is cold and dry, is Vata season. When wind, cold, and dry weather continues, Vata accumulates in the environment which can cause a Vata imbalance in the body. During this season, it is a good idea to adopt a more Vata diet and routine to keep Vata in balance. Stay warm, eat warm foods, and don’t wear yourself out.
Pitta season comes during the summer, July through October, when the weather is hot. To keep Pitta in balance during this time, eat cool foods, such as salads. Drink cool, not ice cold, liquids, and avoid too much sun.
March through June is Kapha season, when it is cold and wet. This is the time you are more likely to get a cold from a Kapha imbalance. Stay warm, eat light meals, and get enough regular exercise to help keep Kapha in balance.
Just as the seasons have attributes of the doshas, so do the hours of the day. At sunrise, or about 6:00 A.M., the day’s cycle begins with Kapha. To take advantage of the Kapha cycle, it is best to awaken between 6:00 A.M. and 8:00 A.M. On awakening, you feel slow, relaxed, calm: all Kapha attributes. Kapha lasts until about 10:00 A.M. Even young children can reap the benefits of the Kapha hours by arising at sunrise.
From 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M., it is Pitta time. You are at your most active and efficient during these hours. At noon, or lunchtime, your appetite is at its peak. Eat lunch between noon and 1:00 P.M. to use Pitta to your advantage. Lunch also should be your largest meal of the day. Parents should pack nutritious snacks and lunches for children that include the foods best for their particular mind/body type. This is the best time for children to take tests in school; and it is their most productive learning time.
From 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. is Vata time, when you are most alert and creative. A light dinner should be eaten before 6:00 P.M. if possible to take advantage of this energy.
The cycle repeats again in the evening hours. From 6:00 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. is Kapha time. Sunset brings the body rest and a slower pace. It is best to get to bed by 10:00 P.M. to take advantage of the natural Kapha rhythm of this time. For best digestion, eat dinner at least three hours before bedtime. Younger children who need more sleep should go to bed earlier so that they will still arise at sunrise.
Pitta time is 10:00 P.M. to 2:00 A.M., when Pitta keeps the body warm; the body also uses the Pitta heat to digest food and rebuild body tissues.
Vata time occurs again at 2:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M. Vata creativity is expressed as active dreams. At this time, brain impulses are at their most active for the night.