| Discovering Myself in My Dosha |
Doshas also have great influence over cycles of time, meaning each cycle in life, season of the year, and hour of the day is dominated by the forces of each dosha. This is reflected in how nature changes with the temperature, how our bodies react to age and in how our physical imbalances persist at certain times. The doshas’ interaction and influence with time is something that has been observed by the ancient Ayurvedic sages for thousands of years. Even though we individually have a preexisting tendency towards one dominant dosha, all succumb to the influence of the dosha reigning over the present life cycle, season and time of day you are experiencing. Here is how each dosha interacts with the cycle of life, season and time of day.
Birth to 25 years old is kapha period
Role of a student: The kapha period is the learning stage of life where we discover pleasure and enjoyment, as well as the discipline that goes with it. At this point we are experiencing new things and discovering the world around us. Children are growing, producing more tissue, and as a result, more mucus. This is why children experience more cold-related diseases than adults. Traditionally kapha traits, children need a lot of sleep, have a high capacity for learning, and exhibit contentment, possessiveness and dependence.
25 to 50 years old is pitta period
Role of a householder: The pitta period is the most driven period of an individual’s life, clearly a trait of pitta. It is the period of making a livelihood and raising a family. This is a period of responsibility and obligation to meet material needs. It is in this life stage that individuals are seeking wealth and security and are sacrificing enjoyment for it. Young adults, because their bodies are exposed to high stress, develop “fiery” diseases such as heartburn, acidic stomachs, ulcers and hypertension. Traditionally pitta traits, early adults strive to be independent, ambitious, confident and social.
50 to 75 years old is pitta transforming into vata period
Role of a hermitage: This transformative period is of adulthood and all the responsibilities associated with it, winding down to a more peaceful period of elder-hood. It is during this time that the drive and ambition of accumulating wealth subsides into a more thoughtful need for truth and honor. Simplicity and peace are pursued after the fires of ambition burn us out. An individual in this transformative period will exhibit imbalances of both pitta and vata, as a struggle to phase one out and guide another in occurs.
75 to 100 years old is vata period
Role of a renouncer: The vata period is one of preparation and seeking. As death nears, the individual in the vata period will seek to be liberated from this life and look to the next life. It’s during this period that one will lose interest in on-goings of this life and will instead have an extreme focus on the “future.” These older individuals, because their kapha traits have dried up and pitta traits have burned out, move into the vata stage of dryness, dehydration, brittle bones and pains and aches. Traditionally vata traits, older people will succumb to forgetfulness, anxiety and fear.
Spring: March-May is kapha season
The earth thawing: As temperatures warm and snow turns to mist and rain, the kapha season will bring a great “thaw” of the earth. Dampness, heaviness and liquids will abound. The lubricated earth and air will free trapped allergens, pathogens and air born viruses, which cause many of the spring colds and illnesses people contract. The kapha presence during spring will provoke kapha qualities in individuals, such as feeling heavy, congested, lazy and slow. Like the earth slowly thawing while holding huge deposits of liquid in the ground, humans (especially kaphas), will mimic their environment by holding water weight and slowly passing mucus out of the body.
Summer: June-September is pitta season
The earth heating: Once temperatures have peaked and the afternoon sun blaze is full-force, it’s clear that pitta season has arrived. And aside from high temperatures, pitta season brings its own set of seasonal symptoms. It’s clear we are amidst pitta season not only when we experience the heat flush and increase in internal temperatures that are in-sync with the climate, but also when we feel slightly more irritable and argumentative, driven to accomplish, and passionate in circumstances. Physically, we may succumb to skin rashes or inflamed acne. Like the blazing sun, humans will blaze away in heated conversations, passionate emotion and heat overexertion when active.
Fall/Winter: October-February is vata season
The earth freezing: The earth will begin cooling in the fall with lower temperatures and higher atmospheric winds. Vata is all about movement, drying of the earth, clearance and stimulation. We can see vata beginning to move with the fast autumn winds, shedding of the leaves and drying of the earth. It’s essentially the earth’s cleansing process. Likewise, human bodies also begin to feel the drying and shedding process as our bodies exfoliate from excess water and oils stored from the previous two seasons. As winter moves in, a certain mood of uncertainty and unknown follows it. This vata mood chills humans to the bone and provokes feelings of fear, worry and enclosement. However, vata season is also a breeding ground for creativity and stimulated mental activity, hence the idea of “cabin fever.” Retreating indoors, literally and metaphorically, allows for prolonged time to look inwards, evaluate our lives and learn more about ourselves.
6 a.m. to 10 a.m. is kapha time
6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Morning: Morning time is when kaphas thrive. Kaphas should channel their productivity during this time period. Kapha resonates with mornings because they are the slow parts of the day that gradually shape into the day’s activity. However, imbalanced kaphas will have a hard time using this time because the kapha nature is to sleep in. Sleeping in for kaphas will only promote sluggishness for the remainder of the day.
Evening: Early evening is when kaphas thrive for the second part of their day. Kaphas tire easily, so they naturally wind down earlier than the other two doshas. This is the “heavy” time of the day when biological clocks naturally prepare for sleep.
10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is pitta time
10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Noontime: The middle of the day is when pittas thrive. Pittas should channel their productivity during this time period. Pitta resonates with afternoons because it is the high-digestive part of the day where body processes are stimulated and the body’s agni, or fire is in full motion. Pittas should be careful not to overwork or overheat their bodies, however, to prevent burn out during this time period.
Late night: Late night is when pittas thrive for the second part of their day. Their over-ambition and drive keeps them going in these extended hours. This is why pittas are not early risers.
2 p.m. to 6 p.m. is vata time
2 a.m. to 6 a.m.
Afternoon: Late afternoon/early evening is when vatas thrive. Vatas should channel their productivity during this time period. Vata resonates with the later hours of the day because it comes after a nourishing noontime meal, which provides the basis for effective and sustained brain function, a defining trait of vatas. Vatas should use this period of sustained brain function to pursue important projects or to seek creative ideas, however, should be careful to not over stimulate the brain towards anxiety or extreme excitability.
Early morning: Late night/early morning is when vatas thrive for the second part of their day, especially since they tend to start the productivity of their day later than the other doshas. This very early time slot is the prime time for brain functioning and vatas think, create and accomplish well during this time.