Implementing Dinacharya aka "Daily Routine"
Our past blogs have followed the Ayurvedic concept of Ritucharya aka “seasonal routine”. Our bodies are affected by the ebb and flow of our planet’s natural rhythms. I love that. We can learn to ride that wave in order use it’s changes to our advantage. Next month we will dive into the Ritucharya round for Spring, but for now (while this snow is on fleek and we don’t know what to do with ourselves) we are going to take a look at another concept that is even more intimate because it affects us daily: Dinacharya aka “daily routine”
Kapha, Pitta, and Vata roll in patterns throughout the 24-hour day too! Dinacharya takes advantages of the energetic variants of the daily rotation of the earth. When we follow those patterns, we utilize it to maximize our energy in the day and improve our sleep at night. This helps boost the immune system and amplify healing as well as overall wellbeing.
1. Try to rise two hours before the sun. Waking up this early indulges you in the purest time of day, when the air quality is at its best. This is the best time for students to learn, and meditative prayers to be answered. — (Yes, this time will change as the seasons do. For in the summer your energy will be paced longer throughout the day, and in winter, energy will be condensed and more sleep will be needed.)
Exceptions to early rising: those who are too young, or too old; new parents; those with a fever or diarrhea.
2. Drink lukewarm to warm water, to stimulate digestion and flush out toxins before they settle into your system.
3. Detox and cleanse your sensory organs: wash the eyes, brush and floss your teeth, scrape the tongue, Nasya or Neti pot.
4. Self-massage the whole body to help keep the body strong and prevent premature aging. Self-touch is also a huge attribute to self-love, this is an affirmation of self-confidence and is key for the morning routine.
5. Light exercise such as: yoga, breathing exercises, a walk, etc. Vata energy in the early morning is the best time for stretching the body. This removes stagnation in the fascia and deep tissue as well as joints -- which is in fact incredibly helpful for the mind.
6. Bathe. Be mindful of the temperature: don't overheat the body.
7. Meditate. This is a key factor for mental clarity and cleansing.
8. Eat a warm breakfast to bring nutrients to the body and start up the digestive functioning. Did you know, skipping breakfast does not help with weight loss, it amplifies the body’s stress to put on weight to survive because it feels as though it is being starved. Skipping leaves the body lethargic, grumpy, and irritated. Stimulating the digestion by eating well cracks down on a deep sense of security as well as boosting energy to tackle the day.
9. From here, the work day begins.
1. Eat the heaviest meal of the day between 12pm - 2pm. Because the sun is piqued, so is the body's internal fire and height of digestion. Skipping or having irregular lunch patterns is the primary reason for many metabolic disorders.
2. Take a walk after lunch.
1. The work day finishes at sundown. This is time for meditation and relaxation.
2. Eat dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime, by 7pm. Be sure it is lighter than lunch, and cooked to digest easily during the evening and sleep.
3. Lights off by 10pm. If we miss this window and enter into Pitta time (10pm-2am) which represents intensive activity, the ability to fall asleep and sleep well will become much more difficult. Sleep 6-7 hours a day, to ensure your rest is deep, strong, and condensed. This pattern and duration will allow better sleep at night and more energy during the day.