Discover the innate assumptions you have about your sleeping patterns, then change them for a short period.
Are you “not a morning person”? Do you “need a good eight hours”?
Do you “turn into a pumpkin after nine in the evening”?
Do you know for sure that these things are true?
Perhaps with the help of your partner, discover what your habits are, and then, for a few days, change them. Experiment with new habits.
If you have been going to bed late, try to go to bed early. If you have been sleeping in, get up before dawn. If you have been getting by on a few hours sleep, pamper yourself and sleep more. If you have been sleeping long, sleep less. As you change your sleeping patterns, notice what happens to your relationship to reality. Rhythms of sleep and waking have enormous influence on the way we experience things, and they tend to be addictive. In India, the most ancient science of medicine known to humankind is called Ayurveda. Ayurveda recognizes three kinds of disposition or dosha: vata, pitta, and kapha.
Vata people tend to be volatile, speedy, and nervous. They have a predisposition toward insomnia, but the vata condition is also aggravated by not sleeping.
Kapha is characterized by docility. Kapha people have a preference for sleeping a lot, but the more they sleep, the more out of balance they become.
It can be helpful to know which kind of person you are, to discover your dominant doshic balance, or prakriti. If you recognize yourself to have a vata disposition, for example, use rest as a spiritual practice, particularly by going to bed early. If you recognize yourself to be predisposed toward kapha, discipline yourself to wake up early.
Pitta people are fiery and forceful, often driven; practice taking frequent naps during the day. By addressing imbalance and addiction in the cycles of rest and inactivity, you will come deeper into wholeness.
Be gentle with this practice, and use it only for short periods to recreate balance. It is important to respect the needs of the body.
This is a practice that would be good to do with the support of your partner or a close friend, or a support group. The purpose of this practice is to temporarily shift habits in the body, not to try to permanently change your constitution.
This is an Excerpt from Arjuna’s book Leap Before You Look
Published by Sounds True ©2008 Purchase your copy here
photo credit: http://instagram.com/mommasgonecity, http://www.wellandgoodnyc.com/2012/10/17/whats-your-dosha-find-out-your-ayurvedic-constitution/, http://www.bodyenlightenment.me/blog/2013/02/what-is-ayurveda-and-what-can-it-do-for-me/