Dinacharya-Sticking with a Routine

Dinacharya is Ayurveda’s “daily routine”.

“A daily routine is absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind, and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in one’s constitution. It also regularizes.” Dr. Vasant Lad

We all at one time or another think that “routines” are boring, lazy and sometimes even refer to them as “being in a rut”. But scientific studies show that a certain amount of routine in our day is quite beneficial to our health. Routines or habits don’t take conscious energy, we do them without having to think about them. Because we use less conscious energy, we conserve that energy to be used on making more important, maybe difficult, decisions. Ayurveda believes in morning and evening dinacharya’s (daily routines). Below is an example of a morning routine. You may already do many of the things on this list. Now you don’t have to do everything on this list or even do this list in order we have suggested, but come up with a routine that works for you and do it in the same order every day.

  1. Wake up before the sun rises.
  2. Say a prayer before leaving the bed.

3. Drink warm water in the morning-Before any food or other liquid, drink a glass of warm or room temperature water. To aid in morning evacuation try a cup of warm water with lemon (or lime if you are pitta or your pitta is high) and raw honey.

4. Scrape your tongue to remove ama and stimulate digestion. Brush teeth using a neem based toothpaste and neem bristled brush.

5. Gargle with warm sesame oil (Massage some of the sesame oil on your gums, then sip a little water, hold it in your mouth while swishing, and spit water out after one minute).

6.  Use Neti Pot with warm water and neti salts. Follow this by using Nasya oil. Naysa oil. Nasya oil lubricates the nasal tissues and delivers herbs to calm senses, or other medicinal needs, decreases congestion, and offers clarity of sense intake.

7. Evacuation-the water, followed by sitting on the toilet at a set time each day helps to regulate bowel movements. One bowel movement a day, first thing in the morning is considered to be healthy elimination. This gives food time to digest fully and completely to nourish the body. Eliminating too often doesn’t give the body time to digest fully. Not eliminating daily, leads to toxins sitting too long in the body.  Constipation is often a symptom of incorrect food intake which leads to dryness in the bowels and hardened feces.

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8.  Skin Brush and Abhyanga- Oil massage of entire body.

9.  Yoga-Pranayama-Meditation or Exercise

10. Food Sadhana-Choose the food of the season. Give thanks and feed someone else first before yourself. Sit in a calm environment and chew your food with mindfulness. Eat meals three times a day, largest meal between 10am and 2pm.

11. Take triphala-1/2 tsp of herb in a glass (6 ounces) of water. Leave all day and drink at night. Leave remnants of the herb in the glass and add more water, leave again and let it stand overnight. Drink in AM.

As we discussed earlier, this sounds like a lot to do in the morning, but you probably already do many of these things. Like all habits, the more consistent one is, the faster the habit develops. Try this for 3 months and see if you feel more energized, focused and healthy. Once you have the morning down, begin to build an evening routine.


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