Twenty years back….It was a Sunday in my child hood.
I am generally an early riser. I used to study in the morning.
Then I will have a leisurely oil bath or the hair spa treatment. Around 10 am I will have my brunch. An elaborate meal of small onion sambar, resam, Potato roast, keerai (Spinach), papad and curd. Normally this is the standard Sunday menu in our house.
After this elaborate meal, the whole family will sit down and relax. All the kids used to watch TV, play and chat; followed by a very good afternoon nap.
The evening tiffin/snack will be ready. Mostly it is something fried like pakoda, vada or bonda. The whole family will indulge and watch together the Sunday movie on TV. We will have a very simple dinner and go to sleep. Many times some friends and relatives will visit us in the evening.
It used to be such a relaxing day. We will go to bed on time and will feel so energetic the next morning (Monday).
I was missing these leisurely Sundays after marriage. I did not know to handle the house well like my mothers and grandmother. Though I know the right way of doing I was messy due to the lack of practical experience.
Every Sunday night I used to wonder how my family gave such a leisurely Sunday for us. In turn what kind of a Sunday I am giving to my family.
I plan 10,000 things on Saturday night. But will get up late in the morning. By that time the kids will also be up. They will feel hungry so I will quickly head to the kitchen. In the middle of the work the kids will be making so many demands and I will remember my 10,000 planned things; feeling irritated and messy.
I thought I should find a solution.
I started getting up early in the morning.
I also figured out -to get up early in the morning; the previous night I need to wind the house early.
So every Saturday, I used to clean the house, buy the groceries, serve dinner very early for the family and went to bed on time.
Then I was up by 4 am in the Sunday mornings. I used to mop the house, put things in place, do my exercise, water the plants in the balcony, enjoy my morning coffee sitting in the balcony, then indulging in a hair spa treatment for myself.
Switched on the washing machine and then entering the kitchen and finishing the standard elaborate Sunday meal of my family.
It was only 7.30 am…My husband and kids are up and what a surprise the house is spic and span, laundry is done, meal is ready and the mummy is also looking pleasant.
I gave milk and coffee for my kids and husband. We headed to the nearby park.
I did my morning walk, my husband and the kids were playing football. Then I was playing with my kids and my husband did his walk.
We all came home and the rest of the family had the elaborate spa treatment.
We all sat and had the Sunday brunch around 10 am. What a surprise!!!!!!!! It was only 10.50 am and I have cleared the vessels and kitchen. All work completed.
We all sat together; playing and reading with the kids.
Around 2pm we had some fruits.
All of us took a nap. When we are up I made the tea and snack. We also finish the simple dinner by 6 pm. Wow! again family time – from 6.30 pm.
We went out and came back around 7.45 pm. Had the milk, relaxed and headed to the bed by 9.30 pm.
What a relief! Even I could give my family the leisurely Sunday. With this satisfaction I went on a deep sleep………………
As per Ayurveda – the importance of getting up before the sunrise,
Sleeping Pattern – Deep sleep and REM
- We are all entering into the deep sleep phase for 1 and 1/2 hours and then we have the REM phase (Rapid Eye Movement).
- If we notice somebody sleeping then the eye balls will move rapidly. At this time we are dreaming and again we will enter into the deep sleep phase.
- Once 4 phases of 1 and 1/2 hours is over the mind has slept. The 6 hours is over. The rest of the time REM phase is more and we are only dreaming.
- That is why people who wake up late in the morning feel tired. Because they have spent more energy in dreaming.
- If you wake up just after the deep sleep phase then the energy is saved and you will feel fresh.
- To start may be take an afternoon nap.
- Actually Ayurveda does not recommend a afternoon nap.
- But the exceptions are children, women, illness and people above 65 years.
- Children require 12 hours of sleep. Instead of putting them to a continuous 12 hours of sleep. If you can split it between the night and day sleep; it will be deeper and they will behave emotionally well.
- Women with small kids require an afternoon nap; otherwise handling kids will be very taxing for the mind.
- If you are too tired; sleep… rather than thinking it is not good to sleep in the afternoon. Feeling tired is more harmful to the body than sleeping.
- If you sleep properly with a relaxed mind then 6 hours is enough. This will give you some extra hours in the day to spend on some peaceful activities like Asana, Pranayam or meditation.
Solve sleeping problem
- If you sleep and wake up at the same time every day all your sleeping problems will vanish.
Don’t sleep after eating
- But sleeping after eating is not at all good. If you take 2 meals then sleeping in afternoon is better.
- If we lie down after food the Apana will come up and mix with prana which is not good for digestion.
- Sit up in a relaxed way; is a better idea.
Get up before sunrise
- Getting up before sunrise is important. It is easy in India but may be little difficult in other places.
- Try your best to do.
First wave of energy
- One and half hours before sunrise the first wave of energy reaches us.
- This is the time most animals and birds wake up. It is not pitch dark and some light is there.
Second wave of energy – Amrita Bella
- Half an hour before the sunrise the second wave of energy comes. At this time the blood is naturally thin. If we meditate, we are still and all the blood flows into every nerve and it will remove the toxins from the body.
- But this is possible only if you have cleared the tummy or gone to the toilet.
- If you are sleeping or not gone to the toilet this will not happen. Rather this thinning of the blood is going to take more toxins from the intestine and spread to the body nerves.
- This thinning of the blood is one aspect. But there are so many other benefits of waking up early are described in the Vedas.
- In Veda this time is called the Amrit bella. The time of the nectar of life.
- At this time the creative energy in the universe is just pushed on to you if you are awake and the tummy is clean. Then you are ready to receive it.
- This is also called the Brahma muhurta. This is the starting time of the day. So the best energy time.
Prana and Apana
- We have so many kinds of prana in the body.
- The two important ones are prana and apana.
- Prana is the pure energy and the apana is little impure and helps in evacuation.
- This prana is pulled up by the sun and the gravity of the earth pull the apana down.
- During night both the pranas are mixed. During sunrise the prana is pulled up and the apana is pulled down by the gravity.
- This apana will help in cleaning the tummy.
- This separation is possible only when we are up.
- If we are lying down then this is impossible.
- This apana will block certain higher energy channels. Then the possibility to grow in the chakras will not be possible (see my chakra article).
Mind needs time to wakeup
- The moment of waking up is very important.
- There are people who wake up with a jerk and start to think of the work load.
- This is a too much jerk to the mind. Mind needs some time to wake up.
- Relax and wake up slowly.
- Sleep and waking up is a major change to the body.
- When you wake up where will the energy go?
- Get up slowly and sit up. Once your eyes are opened, don’t lie on the bed.
- Sit, relax and slowly slowly wake up.
- After you wake up check which of your nostrils is open.
- If the right nostril is open then get up from the bed with the right foot. Don’t get up with the wrong foot.
- This you may not believe. But this is a tantric practice or trick. It works ….your day will be good if you use the correct foot.
Save the energy in the morning by doing better things
- Try to be within; in the morning. Don’t talk. Keep the inner peace and energy within yourself.
- Rather than reading a newspaper I feel we can use the energy to exercise.
- I personally don’t like to read paper as it creates more negativity in the mind and it takes a lot of energy.
- If you are a regular reader of paper in the morning, then I recommend you to read for 5 minutes and use this energy for exercise or meditate.
- If you eat an early breakfast – the energy is used for digestion that is why a morning brunch is recommended to be active.
- First meditate during sunrise.
- Do sun salutation after meditation.
- Then exercise (after sunrise).
- This is better.
- But you can also meditate and exercise or exercise and meditate. It is up to you.
- Most women after kids have the problem of constipation.
- Because as soon as they get up they are in a hurry and tension.
- The body needs to relax to clear the tummy.
Time for ourself
- We will get the relaxing undisturbed time for our-self only if we wake-up atleast one hour before the family wakes up.
- The normal complain of any women is “I don’t have time for myself” – vanishes.
Mind is Peaceful
- Mind is more peaceful and satisfied – it will not disturb us during the day.
- Discipline for sometime in the day will help you to relax for the rest of the day.
- Mind is tamed well with disciplined lifestyle.
- As these are preplanned we don’t have to think about it. Just go ahead. This also brings peace.
Self confidence and Discipline
- This routine habit gives self confidence.
- With more practice you will be able to squeeze some reading also in the morning.
Plan your own peaceful morning
- Instead of going to the park – if you are an artistic person then may be you can paint or sing in the morning.
- Or if your family likes to do some pooja. Go head in the morning it is the best time.
- May be every-week you can do one thing and alternate. Even that is possible.
- You design the peaceful morning however you want. I have just given an example.
Everyday will be perfect
- Start on Sundays and try to follow it daily. Every day will be peaceful.
- If we start the day peaceful then the whole day will definitively be peaceful. If we start the day stressful the whole day will be a commotion.
- It is a belief in India that the beginning has to be good. Say when they go on a holiday they feel that the mood at the time of leaving to the trip is good then the holiday will also be fantastic.
- So the beginning has to be good.
Work with the rhythm of nature
- It will help us to work as per the rhythm of the nature. (See my sleep article).
- We might do anything at any time. It might look fine.
- But it is very difficult to do things at the wrong time and creates a lot of metal problems.
- Say you can exercise in the afternoon. But it will not be as easy as you do it in the morning.
- Why is this rhythm? Because of the prana. During the day the prana is more because of sunlight and during the night it is low.
- If we work in the night we are using more body energy.
Wind up the day early – solves all sleeping problems
- Winding up the work well on time the previous night is very important to get up early in the morning.
- If you are having a sleeping problem, then dim the light in the night and don’t watch the TV.
- Stop your activities by 7 pm atleast.
- If your mind is agitated it takes more time to relax.
- Listen to some music or light reading.
- Normally people who don’t sleep well – exert themselves so much to facilitate better sleep.
- This is totally wrong. The more tired you become the more difficult it is to sleep.
It is possible to sleep early
- I am sure all of you are going to tell me that this is impossible.
- But believe me nothing is impossible.
- Even if you come back from work late. Try to do some pranayam exercise and have a bath. This will relax your body.
- During sunrise and sunset automatically both our nostril are open. This brings in tranquility in the mind, so a peaceful time.
- This miracle naturally happens. Both the hemisphere will be equal and there is no dialogue between the thoughts and emotions.
- This is the best time to meditate /relax and not to work.
- Say morning time is not for disco and rock and roll. I am sure most of you will agree.
- Similarly evening time is also for relaxing and not for working.
Waking early means less sleep – No
- Most of you are going to tell me that you will feel tired if you sleep less.
- Let’s understand the sleeping pattern.
Karma / duty first
- If you are a mother then with small kids these may not be possible.
- Always Karma is first. Do your duty happily first.
- If your child wakes up don’t get irritated. Leave the exercise attend the child. It is important.
Two meals a day
- If possible have 2 meals a day.
- Say one between 9 am to 10 am.
- Then the second meal between 5 to 6 pm.
- You can have a fruit and tea break in between.
- The idea is to eat during sunlight so that we don’t waste the energy for digestion.
- But this is practically not possible for many then have 3 meals. It is fine.
- But the best is 2 meals.
Have these in mind and do it slowly and more importantly happily. The more you do it the more you will like it……….