Morning 6:00 am to 10:00 am
Wake up: Dinacharya or Ayurvedic daily routine focuses on waking up before sunrise and open your eyes gently. Rub your palms together and gently press them over your eyes and heart as you softly chant a mindful mantra.
- Those with Kapha dosha should wake up 90 minutes before sunrise or between 3 am-6 am.
- Those with Pitta dosha should wake up an hour before sunrise or between 3 am-6 am.
- Individuals with Vata dosha should wake up in the last quarter of the night from 3 am-6 am (Brahma muhurta). Waking up at this time has its benefits.
Drink Water: Ayurvedic dinacharya suggests that water be stored overnight in a copper jug/bottle, and 1-2 glasses of water (up to 750ml) should be consumed on an empty stomach in the morning. Sip the water slowly; do not gulp it down. In Ayurveda, this is referred to as Usha Pan (Water at Dawn). This can be done before or after brushing.
Dental And Oral Care in Dinacharya
Tongue Cleaning: Ayurveda recommends a copper tongue cleaner to gently scrape off the white coat or metabolic waste on the tongue resulting from bacteria buildup during sleep. Repeat this 3 to 5 times after brushing and rinse the mouth with water. Rinse your tongue cleaner with hot water after each use and sanitize it once a week with an alcohol swab.
Oil Pulling (Gandusha): Take a mouthful of sesame or coconut oil and swish it in your mouth from side to side or front to back for a few minutes. Doing this for 5 to 10 minutes is considered ideal. However, you may have trouble holding it initially, so do it for as long as possible and gradually increase the time. Please make sure to dispose of the oil in a waste bin as oil tends to clog drains.
Massage Gums: Like tongue cleaning, massaging gums is essential for the longevity of teeth and good oral hygiene. You can do this right after oil pulling by dipping your finger in sesame oil and gently massaging your gums for a brief period. Rinse your mouth with warm water.
Respiratory Health in Dinacharya
Nasal Rinsing: The nasal passages are the doorway for our breath (prana), and nasal rinsing/irrigation can clean and lubricate the passages to improve health. This process will moisten the nasal passageways, improving the efficiency and absorption of breath. This practice is highly beneficial due to its subtle implications on physical and mental health and to be practiced in dinacharya. (You may use a neti pot to perform this practice)
You can initially perform Nasal Rinsing (Jal Neti) for seven to ten days in a row when you start the practice. After that, you may reduce it to alternate days or even once a week. Ayurveda recommends Jal Neti for those with weak eyes, poor respiratory health, and in cold weather. It is essential to do this before bathing and on an empty stomach.
Nasya: Nasya is a practice of using oil to lubricate the nasal passages in an Ayurvedic dinacharya. You can use two drops of oil per nostril as you lie on your back and tilt your head. Follow up with some deep breathing and gently massaging the bridge of your nose.
Nasya is practiced after Jal-Neti, but is also done as a standalone practice (without Neti). It is essential to do this before bathing and on an empty stomach. Oils used – Nasya oil or lukewarm sesame oil, medicated ghee. Avoid these practices when you are experiencing nasal congestion, phlegm buildup, or when you have a cold/flu.
Elimination And Self Massage in Dinacharya
Elimination: Having a regular and healthy bowel movement in the early morning is an important marker of health in Ayurveda. The body must eliminate waste and toxin buildup regularly to avoid causing an imbalance in doshas.
(Self-massage) Abhyanga: Abh = to rub/massage and anga = limbs. Daily self-massage is an indispensable trait of the Ayurvedic Dincaharya. Abhyanga can last from 10 to 35 minutes based on intensity. It is vital to perform abhyanga with dosha balancing and season-appropriate lukewarm oil to benefit from this practice. Start with the head and work your way to the feet. Ayurveda recommends massage strokes in the heart’s direction. Use long and firm strokes on the limbs, circular motion on joints (clockwise), and a combination of circular and gentle zig-zag strokes on the stomach and torso.
The primary intention of abhyanga is self-care, and one should practice it mindfully, gently, and with self-love. The general recommendation for oil as per Ayurveda is sesame oil.
Movement And Meditation in Dinacharya
Yoga (Asana): Ayurvedic daily routine or dinacharya recommends moderate exercise for 10 to 30 minutes to start the day. In the long run, dosha-based yoga promotes balance, agility, and strength in the mind and body. In addition, it helps an individual attain a tridoshic state (balance all three doshas).
Breath Control (Pranayama): Pranayama means learning to control life energy (prana). It is an organized system of breath control, expansion, and regulation derived from Hatha Yoga.
Alternate Nostril Breathing (Anuloma Viloma) is one of the most commonly practiced breathwork. This practice requires inhaling through both nostrils and exhaling each breath alternately between the left and right nostrils.
Meditation (Dhyana): According to Ayurvedic dinacharya, one should spend 10 to 30 minutes nurturing the layers of the mind before starting the day. Meditation is also necessary for spiritual growth/empowerment and self-attainment. All forms of meditation are suitable for mental clarity. Still, you can practice dosha-specific meditation for better balance and health.
Yoga-Breathwork-Meditation is a trinity of daily morning practices that can enormously affect our mental, emotional, and physical well-being, as per Ayurvedic daily routine.
Early Afternoon: 10:00am to 2:00pm
Early afternoon is the time of pitta predominance, which is ideal for focused work. Pitta lends a sharp focus to the body so you can attend to challenging tasks for this period. It is also the best time to eat a hearty and nutritious lunch.
The ideal time for lunch is between 12 to 1 pm when the pitta is high in the body and the day. This makes it easy for the body to digest the food. Ayurveda recommends avoiding strenuous physical activity and direct sunlight during this time of the day.
Late Afternoon: 2:00pm to 6:00pm Vata Time
This is the Vata time of the day, and the atmosphere is dense with air and ether elements. This expansion in space helps the mind engage in creative activities and problem-solving. No stimulants should be consumed during this time as Vata is already sensitive, and things like nicotine and caffeine can overwork the nervous system and digestion. It is recommended that people drink warm water or sip digestive teas (CCF Tea) during this period to digest lunch and prepare the stomach for dinner.
Night Routine: 6:00pm to 10:00pm Kapha Time
Dinner: Ayurvedic dinacharya recommends eating dinner should in the hour of sunset, usually between 6:30 to 7:30 pm (varies with the season). Dinner should be the lightest and most straightforward meal of the day, involving only two or three (of six) tastes. You should avoid heavy, raw and hard to digest food at night.
Milk Before Bed: The first and last thing a person consumes in the day is very important. According to Ayurvedic sages, cow’s milk that naturally has A2 is lighter and easier to digest. Substitute with any plant-based milk if preferred. In addition, adaptogenic herbs added to warm milk and consumed 45 minutes before bed may help in better sleep and digestion.
Sleep: Sufficient and sound sleep is the foundation of good health and dosha balance. As per Ayurveda, the Kapha time of the day is 6 pm to 10 pm, and it is best to fall asleep before 10 pm. Once the day moves into pitta time (10 pm–2 am), the quality and efficacy of sleep significantly reduce. Therefore, avoid all electronic devices for one or two hours before sleep.
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