Dinacharya: Creating a Daily Routine
Ayurvedic medicine is common to yogi practitioners as its roots are #Indian, although admittedly, this is not an expertise in my own clinical practice. I do appreciate Ayurvedic teachings however, and enjoy diving in now and then to see what kind of wisdom I can discover. Through the years, as I've met with clients who work more closely with Ayurvedic practitioners and I've come to appreciate its foundation in wellness and its honoring of the body. I've also felt a sort of intuitive validation in many of its principles. This is true to of #Dinacharya, which I was introduced to almost exactly a year ago, at the onset of my yoga training. It spoke to me, to that part of me that already knew, but had neglected the nudge to do better for myself.
Ayurvedic practitioners believe the practice of dinacharya will offer a healthier, happier, and longer life and avoid all dis-ease. It is also thought this practice creates balance and harmony in your body and #nature by regulating your biological clock and prioritizing a #healthy lifestyle. Dinacharya is also said to help in establishing proper digestion and absorption, as well as assimilation of food. This discipline improves self-esteem, brings happiness to your life, and promotes #longevity. As I am often saying, it is an investment in life-long #vitality.
Step One involves waking up early in the morning. According to Ayurvedic practitioners, you should wake up 96 minutes before #sunrise. This is called Brahma Muhurta in Ayurvedic and yoga science. The belief is that this is the perfect time for waking up for a healthy person. However, the time of sunrise varies from season to season and certainly is different based on your location so set your time for waking up that supports the rhythm of your biological clock. If you have any sort of dis-ease too, you'll want to adjust this recommendation to meet your needs. Children, pregnant women and aged people require more rest so rising just before sunrise is appropriate. Don't sleep beyond sunrise, otherwise it is said the stool in the bowel will start spoiling your health. If you don't already, you'll soon suffer gas, bloating, acid reflux, and several other diseases.
The second step is to express #gratitude and set your #intentions. You may meditate and pray, thinking on these things. Whichever you do, put a smile on your face while doing so. This is essential for living a stress-free life and improving your memory, intelligence, mental capabilities, and analytic skills.
Step three involves emptying of the bladder and bowels upon waking. Follow your body's urge and I recommend using a #squattypotty. In most people, this is an autonomic reflex first thing in the morning. It should commence on its own. Certainly don't force it. Others may need to take a morning walk before recognizing this urge. If you aren't feeling this urge, then healthy foods can help resolve this issue. After evacuating your bowels and bladder, wash your face and hands with cold water.
After passing the urge for elimination, step four is meditation for five minutes. This helps restore your mind to its natural, pure state and prepare your mind for the day.
Step five involves an ancient ritual of sipping water on a specific occasions, such as after traveling or after taking a bath. Drinking water in the morning is said to help prevent and manage disease and rejuvenate the body. The teaching is to drink the water a few minutes before sunrise. Interestingly, it is said that whatever amount of water you can hold in your adjoining hands is what you should drink 8 times. Therefore the amount of water will vary from person to person. I drink filtered water from a #copper cup and also spritz rose water on my face.
Most people use toothpaste; however, an Ayurvedic practitioner would not recommend this. Rather, for step six, an Ayurvedic practitioner will recommend plant twigs or herbal powders for cleaning the teeth. These bitter and pungent tree stems or twigs are astringents. The best tree twig is determined by your Ayurvedic Body Type. Children should use the licorice plant. If collecting tree twigs isn't available to you on a daily basis, then an herbal tooth powder can be substituted.
My routine in the morning is to scrape my tongue with a copper metal scraper, then brush my teeth using an Ayurvedic paste, and oil pull while in the shower. If you suffer from frequent mouth ulcers, a sour taste in your mouth, hyperacidity, peptic ulcers, GERD or any other acid peptic disorder, then a silver tongue scraper may be better for you. Gold scrapers are recommended for those who have a low immunity and frequently suffer from common cold, cough and fever. Many practitioners will also recommend gum massage with an herbal powder.
Nasal therapy is recommended, as well, although admittedly this is not something I have incorporated into my own morning routine. One may choose to add a few drops of various herbal preparations or even colloidal silver to each nostril every morning during the rainy season, autumn, or spring.
Step eight involves body #massage or dry brushing. This helps to delay aging, reduce tiredness, improve eyesight, nourish the body, increase lifespan, and improve sleep quality. When dry brushing, brush towards the heart to promote strength, improves sleep, and increase the firmness of the hairs and boost growth in children. It also improves skin tone and tactile sensation. Therefore, massage on a daily basis is important. Garshana or dry brushing is also said to help with body pain, fatigue, and debility. You may also try an oil for body massage, using sesame, castor, mustard, coconut, or various Ayurvedic medicated oils.
The body massage is recommended prior to and after step nine, exercise. The massage will help warm up the muscles and make them more flexible. It prevents muscle tension and strengthens the body. Using medicated oils after exercise can also help prevent muscle soreness. Massage the oils into your scalp as well, and then step ten is to rest for fifteen to thirty minutes. Step eleven is to cleanse the body. Deep tissue massage is not recommended prior to a massage. Keep it light.
If you have had a more sedendary lifestyle then work up to 45 minutes of movement in the morning over a few weeks; however, know that your body was made to move. Exercise is termed Vyayama in Ayurvedic medicine. You should move until you are tired. In cold seasons, people who eat more fatty foods must exercise half of their capacity, so when they feel dryness in their mouths and get a sweaty forehead, nose, axillae, or joints of the limbs. Listen to your body and stay within your own limits.
Some recommend the bath before meditation. I have done both and sort of just go with what feels right each morning. My own #meditations have extended to twenty to thirty minutes. Chanting mantras is another part of this routine for those who enjoy that ritual. Meditation in nature, especially at sunrise can be excellent for balancing hormones. Utilize deep breathing as well, or pranayma. Step twelve is breakfast usually around three hours after sunrise. This is the first of two primary meals during the day, with the evening meal being about 40 minutes prior to sunset.
This is not a luxury. This is considered basic body maintenance. Are you practicing dinacharya?