Brahma Muhurta: The Best to Time to Wake Up and Do Yoga
Brahma Muhurta Time
Science of it
Benefits of waking up
Best time to do yoga
What to do in this time?
We as living beings are intimately related to the happenings of the universe. Even more than us, the species that are more closely associated with it are birds, especially roosters.
Have you ever wondered what signals roosters to get up early in the arrival of dawn?
Well, it is engineered in the circadian (biological) clock of the roosters. They complete the sleep-wake cycle before dawn and announce to the world that it is time to wake up. This time between midnight and sunrise is known as Brahma Muhurta, the time of creation.
What is Brahma Muhurta?
Brahma, in Hinduism, is the 'creator' of the universe. Brahma is derived from the Sanskrit root Bruh/Brih, meaning expansion, creation, or growth. Muhurta refers to time or period. Hence, the period that signifies creativity or the hour of the creator is called Brahma Muhurta.
Brahma Muhurta is considered to be the time before sunrise. More specifically, it is about one and a half hours prior to sunrise. Generally, it is the time between 3.30 AM to 6 or 6.30 AM, the time of sunrise. This time is also called 'Amrit Vela', meaning the Ambrosial Period.
However, this period can vary depending upon the part of the globe a person lives. But the common understanding is that Brahma Muhurta starts 1 hour 36 minutes before the sunrise.
During the Brahma Muhurta, activities related to creativity or the expansion of our soul are encouraged. Hence, the practice of yoga, meditation, prayers, studies, etc is encouraged to be performed during this time.
The Ayurvedic View
Ayurveda also suggests that waking up in the Brahma Muhurta is beneficial for the person's health. The Vata dosha, which controls the mind, is active during this time and you can perform gentle and mind-calming activities to refresh yourself fill yourself with energy.
A verse from Ashtanga Hridayam states;
"To protect his life, a healthy person should get up at the Brahma Muhurta".
It is important to note that healthy persons are encouraged to wake up in Brahma Muhurta. This means that people who have ill health or suffering from health problems are exempted from this, as it may not be suitable for their altered health condition to wake up early.
Waking up at the time of Brahma Muhurta is not suggested for pregnant women, children, people who have not digested last night's food, or patients suffering from serious ailments. Elderly people who have already adapted to a different biological cycle due to age can also choose not to get up on Brahma Muhurta.
The Calculation of Brahma Muhurta Time
You can always calculate the exact time of Brahma Muhurta based on the time of sunrise at your place.
As stated earlier, the Brahma Muhurta time is 1 hour 36 minutes prior to sunrise, however, how has this time been calculated so precisely?
The easiest way to understand the calculation of this precise timing is in the following way:
Brahma Muhurta starts 2 muhurtas before sunrise. A muhurta is a Hindu unit of time measurement 1.
1 muhurta = 48 minutes
2 muhurta = 48+48 = 96 minutes
96 minutes when converted into hours and minutes come out to be 1 hour and 36 minutes.
So, if the sunrise at your place is at 6 am, the Brahma Muhurta will start at 4:25 am.
It is also said that Brahma Muhurta ends 48 minutes before sunrise, hence the ideal time for doing any productive and positive activity will be from 4:25 am - 5:15 am.
The science behind Brahma Muhurta
While the spiritual importance of waking up in Brahma Muhurta can be found in abundance, the significance of waking up at this time has been backed by science as well. This is hidden in the concept of the circadian rhythm.
The Circadian rhythm is essentially your body biological clock which helps in the functioning of all your organs as per the master clock in the brain. Much of this rhythm is established due to the sleep-wake cycle and environmental aspects like light acting as cues for the body to wake up.
If you have a definitive routine, the circadian rhythm is effectively aligned with your sleep-wake cycle and gives you the perfect restful and restorative sleep. However, even a slight disturbance can create major problems and diseases.
Waking up in Brahma Muhurta will let you stay attuned to your body's clock and reap the benefits of the activities that the brain performs at this hour.
The brain is said to produce melatonin, which helps to induce sleep during the night. This is the result of a signal sent by your circadian clock to the master clock in the brain. During the Brahma Muhurta, the pineal gland secretes this hormone at the maximum and waking will help in stabilizing the sleep cycle. It is also during this time that the cortisol hormone, which is also like your body alarm, also starts to secrete.
Tapping into this transition will help you ease into the day smoothly.
SupraChiasmatic Nucleus (SCN), a special area in the brain, is stimulated with the onset of light. The SCN is responsible for sending signals to increase body temperature and secrete cortisol for waking up. It also helps in correcting the onset of melatonin secretion when the retina perceives darkness.
In addition to aligning your circadian rhythm, waking up at Brahma Muhurta will benefit your lungs in breathing in fresh and unpolluted oxygen. If you perform yoga, go on a walk or perform some light exercises, it will reduce your body-mass index and weight reduction. Good oxygen intake also removes the chance of diabetes significantly.
With a good sleep pattern, you can also stay away from serious mental health issues like depression, anxiety, insomnia, etc.
Benefits of waking up in Brahma Muhurta
The Brahma Muhurta is the time when the world is getting ready to wake up. It is the time where everything is still yet it is also moving. The serenity, calmness, and purity of this time is considered to fill you with vigor and positivity. It intensifies the energy of the universe and fills the space with inspiration, peace, and hope.
In this time, you can indulge in your favourite hobbies, practice yoga and meditation, perform prayers or mantra chanting, go for a walk, read, etc. This will stimulate your brain to feel energetic and creative, and also fill your heart with love, compassion, peace, and acknowledgement for the world around you.
Waking up in Brahma Muhurta offers the following benefits.
1. It contributes to maintaining overall health
Waking up in the Brahma Muhurta contributes to the person's overall health. Ayurveda prescribes that an individual who wishes to be disease-free and protect his or her life should start the day with Brahma Muhurta.
Even the scriptures like Vedas and Bhagavad Gita explains the importance of getting up early to maintain a healthy state. It is the time when last night's food is completely digested and all the systems are ready to begin their work for the day.
2. It helps enhance the mental operations
It is suggested to wake up in Brahma Muhurta because a person's mental activity is heightened during this span. He or she feels the positive vibes of the atmosphere and mentally prepares for the upcoming tasks.
A review article of April 2019 shows 2 that the mental faculties during Brahma Muhurta are at their highest capacity. It happens because of the high amount of Vitamin E and D in the environment. This leads to the secretion of Serotonin - a neurotransmitter attributed to the feelings of well-being and happiness.
Serotonin helps the mind stay alert and active. That's why it is said that what is studied in the early morning is remembered better. It also explains why meditation is recommended during Brahma Muhurta.
3. It decreases tendency of developing obesity and diabetes
As it is beneficial to prevent yourself from diseases, getting up in Brahma Muhurta also helps reduce the tendency to develop lifestyle disorders like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, etc.
A 2021 review published in the World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research says that chronic sleep loss causes an increase in cortisol, which contributes to a rise in blood pressure or secondary hypertension 3. But when a person wakes up in the early morning, their insulin levels are balanced, resulting in a reduced risk of high BP, diabetes, and obesity.
4. It speeds up the healing process
Waking up in Brahma Muhurta is beneficial because the Ozone level is highest during this span. The air is less polluted and a person can breathe in more Ozone, which is effective for treating many disorders.
A review article documents a 2011 research 4, which shows that Ozone is good to disinfect and cure various diseases. It helps in the healing of infected wounds, circulatory disorders, geriatric conditions, muscular degeneration, viral diseases, arthritis, and cancer.
By breathing high amounts of ozone during Brahma Muhurta, a person can help heal the wounds faster. Scientists discovered that the ozone layer on the earth generates more ozone gas which will be helpful to change the psychological parameters of mammals. The same reason why breathing exercises are most effective during this period.
5. It helps reverse the aging process
Waking up early in Brahma Muhurta can reverse the aging process.
When we tune our biological clock with the sun, we naturally put ourselves in sync with nature. This leads to the reversal of the aging process. When we wake up late, we are lagging behind the natural schedule, out of which many problems emerge.
But syncing ourselves with the clock of nature is the best way to reverse the aging process and live a healthy life.
6. It intensifies the transmission of knowledge
Vata (air) is the element in the body that is dominant during Brahma Muhurta. It regulates movement and communication. It also embodies flexibility, lightness, creativity, and clarity. Vata is responsible for governing the flow of the breath as well as microscopic and macroscopic movements, pulse, and contraction of the muscles.
Hence, the transmission of knowledge, creativity, and clarity of the mind is higher during Brahma Muhurta. That's why it is good to practice meditation and physical postures during this time.
7. It provides the cleanest oxygen for exercises
The oxygen in the early morning is more and clear as there is less pollution in the air. This helps with breathing healthier air during yoga and pranayama practice.
A 2021 research article stated that oxygen during Brahma Muhurta mixes easily with hemoglobin and forms oxy-hemoglobin, which aids in nourishing the remote tissues at a rapid rate. When the tissues' performance is up-to-date, the effects of exercises are amplified.
Importance of practicing yoga in Brahma Muhurta
Brahma Muhurta is the time where activities of all living beings are about to start and there is a divine quiet in the environment. The body is also at total peace after a night's sleep and complete digestion of the food. This amount of internal and external quiet is an excellent time for the practice of yoga and meditation exercises.
In the peace of the Brahma Muhurta, when the person's body is calm and absorbing more energies from the environment, he or she can focus better on the breath.
Modern science suggests that the natural production of melatonin is high during Brahma Muhurta. Melatonin is responsible for preparing our body for a conducive atmosphere, which is why meditation is more impactful in this period.
During this span, Prana or the vital force is at its highest level of operations. Hence, when people sit for breathing exercises (or pranayama) and do asanas, they can regulate the flow of prana better in the body. Practising yoga at the Brahma Muhurta intensifies its effects.
In the human body, the five elements work through the three doshas: Vata (air), Pitta (fire), and Kapha (water). Brahma Muhurta is the period when Vata dosha is active, which promotes the internal as well as external movements of the body. It is considered a good time to perform yoga asanas and pranayama.
What to do in Brahma Muhurta?
If you've determined to wake up in Brahma Muhurta, you can start by creating a routine that is easy to follow and will also give the maximum benefit. However, as stated earlier there are some exceptions based on your health. So make sure you are not suffering from any diseases or ailments and also recall if your doctor or Ayurveda expert has forbidden you to get up at this hour.
Once you are up, take a short moment to analyze your health. if you deem yourself to be fit and healthy, address nature's call. Most people suggest drinking lukewarm water or water kept in water in a copper vessel overnight to ease and strengthen your bowel movements and detoxification.
Next, you can choose to meditate, practice yoga, pray, pranayam, take a walk in your garden, study if you're a student, do gardening, practice any instrument, and/or read your spiritual books. The idea here is to perform some productive and positive activities.
Avoid looking at gadgets, eating foods that generate excessive heat or are cold, being in an angry mood, or any strenuous activity that will drain your energy.
Brahma Muhurta is ideally a time to connect with your inner self and perform activities that you enjoy or bring happiness to your soul.
The yoga practices you can choose to perform in Brahma Muhurta would also depend upon which element dominates in your body.
Vata tendency - meditation, slow-paced yoga, pranayama, and slow walking
Pitta tendency - meditation, moderate-paced yoga, pranayama, and walking
Kapha tendency - meditation, fast-paced yoga, pranayama, and exercise in nature
You can follow this routine in Brahma Muhurta
1. Sun Salutation
To warm up your body and remove the night's lethargy, you can do a few rounds of traditional sun salutation first thing in the Brahma Muhurta. The speed of sun salutations can be decided based on your health condition. People who have high pitta and Vata doshas are suggested to go for slow practice of sun salutations.
2. Breathing exercises
Brahma Muhurta is the best time for breathing in the fresh air. Thus, breathing exercises are recommended during this span. You can practice full yogic breathing and Nadi shodhana pranayama as they are the balancing breathing techniques that help achieve equilibrium of prana in the body.
3. Yoga asanas
Brahma Muhurta is a great time for flexing our body in coordination with breathing. You can practice asanas that help burn fats, remove the stiffness from the body, strengthen digestion, and freshen your mind for the day. However, the practice of the asanas during this time should be done mindfully, experiencing peace and stability as you do them.
4. Walking in the Nature
Taking a peaceful walk in nature is also an excellent exercise during Brahma Muhurta. You can breathe in the cleanest air, which helps enhance the functioning of your lungs and heart. Also, walking in the fresh air soothes your body and mind to prepare you for the day.
Meditation is the best-suggested practice in Brahma Muhurta. The mind is at complete peace in the early morning. When there is nothing to distract, you are able to meditate with better focus. To meditate at Brahma Muhurta, start by focusing on your breath and slowly practice concentration, leading to dhyana.
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Brahma Muhurta is the time when the energy of the universe is more intensely available. The cosmos spreads positivity for us to absorb and achieve overall well-being. To experience these effects, ancient scientific scripture like Ayurveda suggests waking up at Brahma Muhurta and following a healthy routine by exercising and meditating.
The practice of yoga, pranayama, and meditation double the effects when they are performed in the peace and positivity of Brahma Muhurta. Modern scientific evidence also lands on the same revelations. Brahma Muhurta is the opportunity to become a better, healthier, and more divine version of ourselves and we can attain this with strong intention and dedication.
Hindu units of measurement https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Hindu_units_of_measurement
Brahma Muhrata for Healthy Lifestyle https://wjpr.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/article_issue/1556613364.pdf
Effects of Dhincharya on Health https://wjpr.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/article_issue/1617447445.pdf
Correlating Health-Oriented Human Traditions with Basic Science https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s42087-019-00061-1