Dinacharya, harmonizing with nature’s rhythm
I was recently away in a long vacation and found myself craving the framework of my daily routine… When I follow it, the days flow easier and I can stay grounded no matter what comes my way.
When you are stressed out about your job, eat at all hours, and stay up late, How do you feel? unsettled? I know I do… regularity in eating, sleeping, waking, and eliminating brings balance to our constitution.
A daily routine is essential to maintaining your optimal health and the integrity of your body constitution (doshas).
A few days before returning home, I wrote down in my diary some of the guidelines that I want to get back into and I am sharing some of them with you as I know they effectively help. I am not going to sugar coated for you… it requires work but the results are totally worth it.
Dinacharya, daily routine
The basis of this daily routine is to synchronize our activities with our biology and constitutional clocks. The following table shows the relations between the clocks and activities:
|Time of day||Dosha||Organs||Activities|
|6 am to 10 am||Kapha||Lung||Light breakfast|
|10 am to 2 pm||Pitta||Stomach||Digestion|
|2 pm to 6 pm||Vata||Liver||Creative time|
|6 pm to 10 pm||Kapha||Colon and Kidneys||Energy decreases, leads to sleep|
|10 pm to 2 am||Pitta||Absorption, Metabolism|
|2 am to 6 am||Vata||Early wake up, read, walk, meditate, eliminate|
Lets look at the middle of the day, 10 am to 2 pm, Pitta is the ruling dosha and digestion is.at its peak. So having a big lunch makes sense.
To create your own daily routine, read the recommendations that follow and then choose a few activities that you want and can perform every day. Start with just a couple of them. What is important is to be regular and perform these activities uninterrupted.
- Wake up at sunrise to synchronize with the rhythm of the sun
- Eliminate physical and mental waste
- Clean all the body’s sense organs
- Inspect tongue and then scrape it
- Dry brushing the body
- Oil massage. See Abhyanga, keeping warm and moist
- Warm bath or shower
- Meditate, practice yoga, or mindful walk
- Drink warm water with lime or lemon juice (gentle cleansing)
- Eat a light breakfast
Preparing for sleeping
- Avoid stimulating activities after 8 pm
- Go to bed at the same time every night
- Read something spiritual even just a few minutes before bed
- Eat meals at the same time everyday
- Eat mindfully, always seating
- Light breakfast in the morning
- Largest meal of the day between 10 am and 2 pm
- Avoid eating 2 or 3 hours before going to bed as it changes the body chemistry and you will wake up feeling tired
- Exercise daily
- Mild exercises are best for Vata (walking, gentle yoga poses)
- Team sports with emphasis on cooperation are best for Pitta (swimming)
- Strenuous sports are best for Kapha (Jogging, cycling, hiking)
- Ayurveda advises not to exert more than half of your capacity
- Morning practice before breakfast
- Regular and uninterrupted practice better than duration
- Practice postures that are best for your constitution. For Pitta, fish, boat, bow, camel, locus, and moon salutations. For Kapha, shoulder stand, plow, locus, bridge, and sun salutations. For Vata, forward and back bends, spinal twists, cat, and cow.
From the yoga sutras, chapter 1 verse 14:
"Practice becomes firmly grounded when it has been cultivated for a long time, uninterruptedly, with earnest devotion"
So you can see how dinacharya can help you get established in your practice and also how your practice is more thatn what you do on the mat.