Adopting a fixed daily routine nurtures your health and well-being and makes you more productive throughout the day. ‘Dina’ means Day and ‘Charya’ means routine or a group of habits. Dinacharya or daily routine is meant to enhance health and prevent diseases. It is essential in our daily lives to achieve good health and vitality.
Dinacharya is time-tested and has been followed as instructed by the great Himalayan masters for thousands of years which increases its credibility and reliability. People who have regular habits are able to build a deeper connection with their spiritual, psychological, emotional and physical well-being because routine makes them more aware of their body’s mind and spirit. Ayurveda insists on shaping lives according to positive sensory experiences so Dinacharya’s habits put together aim to enhance sensory perception in the most positive way which improves our overall human experience.
Dinacharya consists of many steps starting right from the time you wake up. It teaches us the importance of waking up early helps to cleanse the body and energizes it. Following are the steps of daily routine that need to be followed from the time you wake up.
Ayurveda recommends waking up approximately 90 minutes before sunrise. This waking-up time, however, differs from each Dosha type. Vata are the ones with quick energy expenditure who get excited easily. They have lean muscle, mass, and body weight so they need a little more rest so they can wake up as late as 30 minutes before sunrise. Pitta who are moderately built, are fire types and they get to sleep in up to an hour before sunrise. Kaphas, the water types or the earthy types, are the big builds, strong and robust and have to wake up an hour and a half before sunrise.
Nowadays, our social lives and work lives have become night-driven due to which we are unable to get an adequate amount of sleep in the night time. Many people believe that securing a mere 8 hours of sleep after going to bed late at night is enough. However, Ayurveda states that merely resting your body is not enough as sleep is a mental phenomenon that works in synchrony with our circadian patterns. Disconnecting from the circadian rhythms can make us isolated in terms of our functionality and reality and might make us experience anxiety, panic, and fear. Hence, waking up early helps a person stay connected to the rhythm of nature.
In the morning, our bodies are taken over by specialized systems like the parasympathetic system and an autonomous system that are active during the sleep state. These nervous systems are capable of generating bowel movements, urine, gas or even menstrual flow and have the ability to regulate internal organs. So, when we wake up early in the morning these systems have finished their function and they're ready to expel their waste products in the form of urine, gas, feces, etc.
Ayurveda says that this urge to empty our bowels is subtle and subconscious so when we wake up early in the morning and immediately check our phones and gadgets, we shift that nerve impulse from parasympathetic to a sympathetic impulse. This slowly fades away the urge to defecate that leads to long term digestive issues, constipation, urinary issues, etc.
Hence, Ayurveda does not recommend the over stimulation of sensory organs by checking messages and scrolling through emails on mobile phones and gadgets early in the morning right after waking up. Instead, it is advised to avoid contact with any form of artificial light and let natural light seep in through your window.
When you wake up early in the morning and if there isn’t an urge to use the bathroom yet, you must open your eyes slowly and set an intention for the day. The intention can be something positive and simple like hoping that your day is filled with love or looking forward to spending your day in selfless service.
Ayurveda believes that when you wake up before sunrise, you can put an application to the creator i.e. Lord Brahma to let you have complete control over your day. This helps you in achieving a positive outlook even before you begin your day.
After setting an intention, rub your palms against each other briskly to make them warm and slowly rest them on your eyes without pressing the eyeballs.
After opening your eyes, align the two palms together and look at them clearly from a distance. This is important because it is scientifically studied and proven that among all the activities the humans do in their awaken state, eye and hand coordination is the most commonly employed neuro activity. We look at something and our hands follow it, that's the constant sensory and the motor action that goes on. So, it is important to take a moment to stare at your hands to establish a connection between your eyes and the hands so that they function with at most ease and with positivity.
Vedic sciences, which are precursors for Ayurveda, believe that the three goddesses can be visualized in the hand. The goddess of prosperity is on the tips, the goddess of knowledge is at the base of the palm near the wrists and the goddess of courage is in the center of the palms. We need prosperity, courage, and knowledge every minute of the day to lead a productive day.
Ayurveda believes that most patients being is Mother Earth. Hence, after waking up we ask for permission and forgiveness from Mother Earth before we start stamping on her and ask her to provide us with a powerful grounding that is unshakable. After doing so, we touch the ground, get up and attend to the rest of the routine for the day.
A regular bowel movement is essential to optimal health. However, some people experience indigestion and irregular bowel movements. To tackle this, it is recommended to take Triphala the night before. Triphala is a combination of three fruits dried into powder which is great for day-to-day regulation and cleansing of the digestive system and it also helps to keep the digestive organs healthy. Hence, 2-4 capsules of Triphala are recommended to have with hot water at night to move the waste material down towards the colon, activate the digestive tract so that when you wake up in the morning, you will have a natural urge to visit the bathroom and defecate the entire waste material that was formed the previous day. Triphala also helps in reducing Pitta irritation in the colon as it can inflame the gut.
People working the graveyard shift who have varying work hours often struggle to follow Dinacharya. People who travel frequently cross timezones and find it difficult to synchronize their routine with the circadian rhythm and avoid falling out of balance. They are advised to create their own self-managing routine.
For instance, if someone goes to work at 3 a.m. in the morning and returns at 12 p.m. in the afternoon, they are advised to have lunch soon after they return. They are also advised to perform oil massage as waking up in the night regularly can bear down on Vata energy and may stress their nervous system.
After having lunch and after the food is digested in the stomach it is advised to massage the body with oil, take a shower, complete with the rest of your routine work, have an early dinner and go to sleep by 7:30 p.m. When you keep repeating such a routine over and over again, your body becomes accustomed to it and the tissues which tend to be depleted by abnormal routines slowly start to adjust themselves to the self-created regimen, thereby providing nourishment & nutrition to the tissues.
To conclude the morning routine in brief, remember to wake up early, set an intention for the day, avoid feeling that you have no control over your life, be grateful, thank mother earth, do not over stimulate yourself with gadgets when you wake up, and take care of your bowel movements by taking Triphala every night as it ensures that the toxins of the gut are expelled through defecation.
Athreya always wishes for good health and well-being of its users which is why we recommend that you follow Dinacharya every day regularly.
We, at Athreya, wish for your good health. However, it is advised not to take any supplements mentioned without the consultation of your health-care specialist.