If you’ve ever read about yoga, you must have come across the word Brahma muhurta. Ask any yogi, and they will tell you that it’s the best period to wake up and practice yoga for spiritual gains. Brahma muhurta has a vital place in yoga, and if you’re a serious practitioner, you don’t want to miss this golden period of the day.
Brahma muhurta is an auspicious period of 48 minutes that begins 1 hour 36 minutes before sunrise and ends 48 minutes before it. It is considered the best time for meditation and spiritual practices because the mind is fresh and impressionable during this period.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Brahma muhurta. We’ll look at its significance for some inspiration and how you can calculate it for your city. Lastly, we’ll also talk about the activities you can do during this period to speed up your spiritual progress.
What is Brahma muhurta?
It’s interesting how ancient Indians measured time. The smallest time unit is called nimesha, which is the smallest time frame conceivable by humans. It is defined as the ‘wink of an eye’. So one nimesha is the time it takes you to blink your eyes.
Now, 15 nimesha = one kashta
15 kashta = one laghu
15 laghu = one ghatika
2 ghatika (30 Laghu) = one muhurta
30 muhurta = one day (of 24 hours)
People used to measure time in muhurta, just as we do in hours. Muhurta is still used in Vedic astrology to determine the auspicious time for starting an event. When we do the math, one muhurta equals 48 minutes.
Now, Brahma muhurta is the second-last muhurta before sunrise. Some people believe it starts at 3:30 AM and ends at 5:30 AM, which isn’t true. Brahma muhurta begins 1 hour 36 minutes before sunrise, and ends 48 minutes before sunrise, lasting for 48 minutes. The time of sunrise varies each day, depending on the time of the year and geographical location. So the exact time of Brahma muhurta also varies.
How do you calculate Brahma muhurta for your place? By using the sunrise and sunset calculator, you can find out the exact time of sunrise in your city. After that, subtract 1 hour 36 minutes from it. Remember that the time of sunrise changes every day. If you scroll down on the website, you’ll be able to see the time of sunrise for the coming days.
For example, if the sunrise is at 6 AM, the Brahma muhurta begins at 4:24 AM and ends 48 minutes after that, and if the sun rises at 6:30 AM, Brahma muhurta starts at 4:54 AM.
The importance of Brahma muhurta
Brahma muhurta translates as “The Creator’s Hour.” It is considered the best time for prayer, meditation, yoga, pranayama, contemplation, reading, learning, or other religious practices.
After a good night’s sleep, the mind is refreshed and tranquil when we wake up. If you get up in Brahma muhurta, your mind will be free of thoughts, worries, and anxieties of day-to-day life. The everyday struggles take over the mind as we go through the day, but it’s cleaner and purer, like a blank sheet of paper, during this auspicious period.
The atmosphere is also calm and soothing at this time. It’s silent outside, and there are no disturbances. Although you might have to bear the barking and howling of stray dogs if you’re in India, the ambiance is still comparatively more peaceful.
Since both the mind and the world have qualities of Sattva, we can make quicker spiritual progress by practicing during this period. Brahma muhurta is the time you can use to create yourself.
Also, according to the International Journal of Yoga and Allied Sciences, waking up in Brahma muhurta boosts the immune system, increases our energy levels, and enhances the reproductive system.
For this to work, you’ll also have to go to bed at a reasonable hour, ideally around 10 PM. In Ayurveda, it is believed that living in harmony with Mother Nature’s natural circadian rhythms results in a long life. It’s the best way to reverse the aging process.
One should wake up during Brahma Muhurta for perfect health; and for achieving a life as long as one desires.Ashtanga Hridayam
Do’s and don’ts of Brahma muhurta
The ancient sages figured that doing certain things during Brahma muhurta can lead to extraordinary benefits in terms of physical health and spirituality. Dharmashastra, an ancient Hindu text on Dharma,lays down the following activities for us to engage in and abstain from during Brahma muhurta:
- Meditate: Brahma muhurta is an excellent time for mindfulness meditation. The mind can be easily molded during this period, and you’ll find it easier to focus. Imagine starting your day with spreading loving-kindness to all sentient beings.
- Read books: Reading spiritual books or ancient scriptures is another wonderful way to start your day. With no distractions around, the mind is better able to grasp and absorb the sacred teachings. Studying spiritual texts during this period will benefit you tremendously.
- Exercise: You can also practice Yogic stretches or poses. As we’ve said, Brahma muhurta also has physical benefits, and you can ensure you have a healthy body and mind by waking up in this time and practicing both meditation and Hatha Yoga.
- Eating: Try not to eat during Brahma muhurta. Doing so is detrimental to your health and may cause illnesses.
- Strenuous activity: Don’t do anything that requires a lot of mental work. This is not the time to exercise the brain strenuously.
How to wake up in Brahma muhurta
Okay, so you know that waking up in Brahma muhurta is beneficial for your body and mind, but how do you actually do it? It’s tough to change your sleep cycle suddenly and start waking up early. Here are three small tips to help you get up in Brahma muhurta:
- Place the alarm clock far from yourself: Everybody knows that snoozing is the brain’s way of sneaking into sleep again after waking up. Put your alarm clock away from where you sleep, so you’ll have to get out of bed to shut it off.
- Move up gradually: Get up just 15-30 minutes earlier than usual. Do this for a few days and then move up by another 15-30 minutes. Keep doing this gradually until you get up in Brahma muhurta.
- Reward yourself: Usually, you have to force yourself to get up in the morning, but it becomes easier if there’s a reward waiting for you the next day. It can be something simple like a cup of coffee, an enjoyable book, or tasty breakfast (not to be eaten during Brahma muhurta).
Is waking up in Brahma muhurta good for everyone?
Ashtanga Hridayam says that only a healthy person should get up in Brahma muhurta. The text prohibits pregnant women and children from doing so. It also bars you if you’re suffering from any physical or mental ailments or if your last meal hasn’t been properly digested.
Also, aged people who haven’t been waking up early since youth shouldn’t try to change their body cycle now. The physical conditioning of years is difficult to break, especially for elderly people.
Also read: Are Meditation Apps Worth It?
Brahma muhurta is an optimal period for the practice of yogic exercises or meditation. We’re used to staying up till late, and it’s difficult to make the transition from being a night owl to an early bird. However, the rewards are worth it. According to ancient Indian texts, this period is Divine and allows us to connect with ourselves more easily.
Even if you don’t believe in religious texts, you ought to experiment waking up early for a few weeks and see how it feels. You might just be surprised to have all the extra time while the world is asleep.