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The Tridosha Periods
According to Ayurvedic principles, each 24-hour day is divided into six four-hour periods, each reflecting the dynamics of either kapha, pitta, or vata. The first period begins at dawn and moves into successive periods approximately every four hours. (Please note that the following time periods are based on a 6:00 am sunrise; if sunrise in your area is earlier or later, you will have to adjust the periods accordingly):
Kapha: 6:00 am - 10:00 am; 6:00 pm - 10:00 pmPitta: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm; 10:00 pm - 2:00 amVata: 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm; 2:00 am - 6:00 am
We will all experience each tridosha period differently, depending on the extent to which kapha, pitta, and vata are balanced, deficient, or excessive in our constitutions. The following descriptions of the tridosha periods can help us to understand the effects of the cycles on our daily life, and to anticipate and adapt to periods that may be particularly challenging for us. Knowing what to expect, we can begin to create a buffer between ourselves and external circumstances, and behave with greater care and awareness in our day-to-day life.
The Kapha Period
As we move through the kapha periods of the day, we become more deliberate in our thought and activity. We feel more controlled, stable, and peaceful compared to the accelerated activity of pitta and vata. The kapha period is a good time to consolidate ideas and plan strategies. If we use this time constructively, we can prepare ourselves for the more dynamic period of pitta that follows.
The Pitta Period
Pitta can be a time of intense activity. As we pass through this period, we become increasingly more dynamic. If we have determined our goals and have made plans to accomplish them, we will be able to do so with greater ease in this period.
The Vata Period
After the combustive element of fire inherent in pitta, we enter the more refined period of vata. We can be intensely active and creative during this period, spurred on by the momentum created by pitta. Our mental activity during this time is more intuitive than intellectual, owing to the underlying elements of air and ether. We can experience this period as the most serene and inspirational time of the day.