Updated: Sep 28, 2020
Whether it is something that we would like to admit to ourselves or not, it’s true that our daily routines and habits play an integral role in our long term health. Every decision made throughout the day impacts the way that we look and feel: the foods we eat, lifestyle choices we make, even the subtle thoughts we think. Sometimes, these decisions can feel overwhelming. It takes awareness, experimentation, and dedication to establish healthy habits that actually stick and that is why beginning an Ayurvedic journey and self-care routine can be the best thing you'll ever do for yourself.
Ayurveda, India's 5,000 year old medical system, empowers us to take our health into our own hands, by providing simple practices that can be easily implemented over time to ensure a happier more balanced life. Dinacharya is the Sanskrit term for daily Ayurvedic rituals which, when practiced regularly, help to support a life of optimal wellness through routine, detoxification and nourishment. When we are healthy and balanced, we are able to fulfill our dharma, our essential life’s purpose, allowing us to feel our best and share our gifts with the world. Although dinacharya references the routine you keep throughout the entire day, we tend to focus on the morning rituals. Through the ancient practice of dinacharya we can deepen our roots back to nature and begin to re-establish a connection with our authentic selves.
Dinacharya's are best completed during the hours of 6am-10am. This is one of two Kapha times of day. It's when we have the most strength and fortitude, and is also a great time for the grounding that dinacharya's bring. Some of the elements of a common Dinacharya include:
Waking before the sun - before 6am is usually best.
Drink a glass of warm or room temperature water. With lemon is ideal.
Splash cold water on your face. Complete your skin care routine.
Brush your teeth, and perform tongue scraping. This removes ama, or toxins, from your tongue. It also stimulates your digestive system.
Consider oil pulling as part of your oral health routine. This can strengthen gums, whiten teeth, eradicate plaque, rebuild enamel, draw toxins out of the body, eliminate bad breath and alleviate the symptoms of TMJ. Different oils will benefit different doshas, but coconut oil is a very commonly used oil.
Evacuate bowels and bladder within an hour of waking.
10-15 minutes of light yoga. Different dosha types will benefit from different sequences. Include some pranayama, or breathing techniques, in your flow.
10 minutes of meditation.
Shower or bathe.
Light oil massage following your shower.
Eat a light breakfast that is tailored to your dosha type.
Daytime 10am-2pm - Pitta Time
This is the time of day that is ruled by Pitta. Harness the energy of productivity during this time and do your biggest projects and hardest work. This is also the time of day when you should consume your largest meal - lunch. Your digestive fire burns brightest during this time. You should always aim to make lunch your largest meal.
Daytime 2pm-6pm - Vata Time
This time is ruled by Vata, which means it should be saved for your problem solving and creative thinking. This is also a great time to incorporate some movement into your day. The best option would be a walk in nature. It provides grounding, and replenishes your energy. Evening 6pm-10pm - Kapha Time This is the perfect time to unwind, read a book, eat a light nourishing dinner, meditate a second time, and flow with the energy of Kapha. Use this time to surrender yourself from your productive day. Also incorporate your night time routines and rituals to wind down. Ideally? You are going to be at 10pm. Overnight 10pm-2am - Pitta Time Your body uses this time while it's sleeping to detoxify, and perform maintenance on your organs. If you commonly wake up during this time frame, this can indicate a Pitta Imbalance. Overnight 2am-6am - Vata Time
This is the time of the most active dreaming. It's also when your immune system and your nervous system do most of it's healing and replenishing. Waking up during this time commonly can indicate a Vata Imbalance. The single most effective thing you can do is to establish consistent daily routines that you can stick to. It's important to be gentle with yourself as you are establishing new routines and consistency. Although these practices may seem simple to initiate, making changes to your habitual patterning is often the most challenging part. Begin with a recommendation that feels most supportive to your needs & build from there. Once your new routine becomes a habit feel free to add on from there. Soon, your dinacharya will come as second nature & its practices will be ones you can not live without.
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