Yogically as well as speaking in Chinese medicine, there are times of day for everything. When Ben Franklin said ‘early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,’ he wasn’t just being boring. He may not have had every part of the day segmented the way they do in China or India, but in being a human being on this planet in touch with himself and the community around him, he understood this to be a universal truth. In Yoga, every day at sunset and sunrise is considered the most clear time of day, the best time for meditation. Culturally it makes sense in practical terms, before sunrise the houses and streets around us are relatively quiet. At sunset workers are headed home, families settling into dinner time and enjoying each other’s company (hopefully), and a more naturally calm time of day. Sitting down to meditate at these 2 times is like bookends to your day. How often have you sat and watched the sunrise? I bet you’ve at least seen the sunset countless times.
That feeling that you get when the day closes into a concert of colors, a finale on this one fleeting day is a reminder that it mattered for it was beautiful. What is life if not described by a sunset, fleeting and beautiful? Reading this you may wonder how you can find the time for so much mediation, even if it’s 5 minutes how can you slow the flow of endless to do lists and ambitions? When these 2 things change in your life you will likely change other things to support it. Watching the sunrise doesn’t come with the suggestion of staying up all night to catch it. The recommendation to watch the sunset carries the idea that going to bed reasonably near to the sun itself is a good idea. A few hundred years ago many people didn’t have electricity, so going to bed a few hours after sun and rising with it happened naturally.
Now with TV’s and lights, the general population is staying up late and getting all riled up over sensationalism on the news, on TV show’s when nature intended for humans to relax, or simply we’re zoning out binging on Netflix and snacks. Instead of zoning out and being in a half sleeping trance, why not just go to bed? Scientifically speaking when you’re energized at night, and tired in the morning this is an imbalance of hormones. Yogically speaking this is an imbalance of your Guna’s. I’m not a scientist, or a doctor with access to lab testing and results, but it’s safe to say that balancing your guna’s (your internals states with times of the day), would contribute to balancing of your hormones. Eastern medicines, those from China or India, are seen more clearly through the lens of experience. While it can be measured and there are many legitimate research studies, it’s better described as the proof is in the pudding. If you’re asking yourself if going to bed earlier after a meditation or waking up earlier and meditating is really something that will ‘work,’ please give it a try. Notice your sense after trying it once, trying it for a period. Let us know how you feel! If you need help learning to meditate please contact our office for information on meditation class.