The term “circadian” comes from the Latin terms “circa” – meaning around, and “diem” – meaning day.
The circadian rhythm refers to the natural, 24-hour body cycle that humans and animal body processes or physiologies naturally follow. With a circadian rhythm, people naturally tend to sleep when it’s nighttime and wake up when morning comes up. This is in colloquial language referred to as the biological clock of the body.
The circadian rhythm, present in humans and most other animals, is generated by an internal clock that is synchronized to light-dark cycles and other cues in an organism’s environment. It also causes nocturnal animals to function at night when diurnal creatures are at rest.
It is closely linked with the Sunrise – Sunset cycle and is associated with the waking and sleeping patterns of animals and the metabolism of the plants like opening of flowers, etc.
The exact of time of Sunrise and Sunset are very important as it is neither day nor night, neither light nor darkness. Veda’s describe this particular period as the Passage to Enlightenment ‘Tirtha’ or ‘Sandhya’ i.e. transitional moment. During these moments changes take place in the atmosphere which causes vital impact on all life forms and on the environment. In humans, the mind and body are in balance during this time band.
The sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda attach great importance to this transitional moment. As per Yoga a man makes the use of either the left or the right nostril for breathing during the period from sunrise to sunset and there is a shift in the order beginning with sunset to sunrise. During this period ‘Ida’ and ‘Pingala’, Nadis or channels of flow of energy, located in the breathing apparatus of the body, remain active in succession. Ayurveda has ladi great importance to this cyclical change in the environment as it directly effects vital body functions like breathing, appetite, circulation, etc. Ayurveda also lays emphasis on eating as per the rhythms of nature.
Ayurveda states that the functioning of everything in this world and in our body is linked with the rhythmic alignment to the nature’s bio clock or rhythm. This rhythm of nature can be disrupted by changes in daily schedule. A slight change good or bad can cause a significant effect on our psychosomatic complex. The normal schedule becomes adversely affected and even routine things start falling apart. Small negative changes like staying up too late, eating late in the night, etc lead to many disorders like insomnia, stress, lifestyle disorders, etc.
Any positive or creative activity done during this crucial transition phase adds value to life. Agnihotra, Meditation’s, etc. which are to be done exactly at Sunrise or Sunset synchronise the mind and body with the rhythm of nature and lead to tranquil mind and healhty body.
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