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Dinacharya - A Daily Routine List according to Ayurveda

By Sharda ten hove

Dinacharya is the Ayur Vedic term for a daily lifestyle/routine. There are several things you can implement in your daily life that will make you feel healthy, happy and full of energy. Pick a few that are do able. This daily routine list was written thousands of years ago and obviously in our lives nowadays it would be very challenging to live completely according to this ancient routine. However maybe it will inspire you to create the time to make a few small changes that can help bring out the best in you!

Morning
Ayurveda recommends an early bird lifestyle -> Waking up at sunrise or even up to 2 hours before is preferable.  The predominant element at this stage of the day is Vata (air + ether). Vata is light, subtle and clear and brings you in contact with the subtle messages nature beholds. Have you ever noticed how magical the early morning can be? The rise of a new sun, a new day, new opportunities.. this is because there is a lot of Sattva (purity, cosmic intelligence) in the early morning air. Open your window or go for a stroll, take a deep breath and start your day with a smile.

Face/nose/mouth wash ->  Wash your face and your eyes with water. Ayur Veda recommends the use of rosewater or Triphala ( an Indian herb acting as complete body cleanser, it detoxifies, purifies the blood ,removes toxins from the liver and is high in vitamin C) Scrape your tongue with a special tongue scraper (not with your toothbrush as you will brush the bacteria in your tongue). When scraping you remove toxins that accumulate overnight on your tongue. Then gargle with warm water to purify your voice. Fill your mouth with sesame oil (this oil is often used in Ayur Veda, its has a warming effect, soothes Vata and has many benefits like being good for teeth and teethgum). You can also put a drop of oil in your nose to purify the senses.

Massage -> Massage keeps us strong and is beneficial for body and mind.  Ayur veda recommends that you massage yourself in the morning, if liked with a bit of oil for about 5 minutes is sufficient. Massage the scalp, forehead, hands and feet (when practicing yoga after massage don’t rub oil on your feet).
Exercise -> Early morning exercise removes stagnation in the body and mind and allows your energy to flow. It also strengthens the digestive fire (Agni) which promotes better digestion of foods as well as emotions.  Recommended exercises are: walking, pranayama (breathing exercises), yoga

Bath -> After your exercise take a shower or bath to remove any excess oil. Put on clean clothes after your bath.

Meditation -> Sit still in a silent area and focus on your breath and take a moment to be grateful for this new day.

Breakfast -> And now it’s time for something healthy and yummy in your tummy. Choose your food wisely; Vata people can choose to eat a warm breakfast like oatmeal or other porridge, Pitta people can also choose oatmeal or cooked fruits, Kapha people are suggested to eat cooked fruit, no heavier breakfast.

Mid-day
Lunch – Ayur veda recommends that your lunch should be taken between 12 and 1 pm and your lunch should be your largest meal as the predominant element during this time of the day is Pitta (Fire + Water) and this element is responsible for digestion.

Siesta -> Ayur Veda recommends just a short nap when you really feel the need but in general sleeping in daytime should be avoided as it can accumulate excess kappa.

Evening
Dinner -> Dinner is recommended to be taken between 6 and 7 pm and should be lighter than lunch as the predominant element in this time of day is Kapha (earth and water). Digestion is low and going to bed on a full stomach prevents you from a having a good night sleep. Try having your dinner at least 3 hours before sleeping. To aid digestion, you can sip a small cup of lukewarm water with some fresh ginger.  About half an hour after dinner go for a short stroll to stimulate digestion.

Sip a cup of lukewarm water before going to bed. When in bed, lie on your back and relax like in savasana (corps pose in yoga). Take slow and deep breaths and consciously hold your attention on every body part and relax each body part. Start at your feet and slowly move up towards the crown of your head.
 
Namasté