A daily routine is essential to bring fundamental changes in body, mind, and spirit. A functional routine helps to establish the necessary structure for people to thrive. It also helps create a sense of harmony between the daily functions of the body and mind and helps in generating happiness and overall wellbeing.
Nature moves in cycles (day to night, winter through spring). All the animals and plants follow these changes by adjusting their routines to keep themselves healthy. But in this tech savvy modern life, we human beings live a life that drastically separates us from nature. We spend more and more of our lives as per our convenience & comfort, breaking ourselves from the rhythm of the nature. This is one big reason for imbalances, stress & lifestyle diseases.
An apt routine has been described in detail in the ancient texts of Ayurveda, which specifies out a daily, as well as seasonal routine, for people to follow so that they can enjoy optimal health and a harmonious existence.
Dincharya (daily regimen) & Ritucharya (seasonal regimen) are various rules regarding diet and lifestyle to acclimatize the changes happening in nature throughout the day, and as per different seasons, without altering the body homeostasis. These guidelines serve as prescriptions for diet and lifestyle changes throughout the day, and throughout the year.
As the day progresses and also with the change in season, the changes are very evident in the environment which affects (pacifies or ignites) our Dosha: Vata, Pitta, or Kapha. If we don’t take the corrective measures to adapt to these changes, it leads to an internal imbalance, which in turn leads to various disorders & diseases.
Ayurveda has divided each day & night in to 4-hour periods dominated by vata, pitta or kapha.
Morning Dincharya: 6.00 am -10.00am: Kapha Time
- Wake up: Rise early in the morning, before the sunrise (4 to 6am), preferably around 5 am. Sleeping after 6 am will make us lazy and increases our tendency to put on weight.
- Warm water: Drink 2 glasses (500 ml) of warm water.
- Clear Bowels: Evacuate bowels and bladder, ideally within the first hour of waking.
- Clean Teeth & Tongue: Brush your teeth. Scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper. This stimulates digestion and elimination.
- Drink Herbal Infusion: Boil water with some cinnamon, ginger & lemon, &have it warm
- Oil Pulling: To strengthen teeth, gums, and jaws, & remove wrinkles from cheeks, gargle with warm sesame oil. Hold the oil in your mouth, swirl it around vigorously, then spit it out and gently massage the gums with the finger. (practically, you may want to follow this up with brushing)
- Nasyam (Nasal Drops): Putting 2 to 4 drops of waarm ghee or sesame oil into each nostril in the morning helps to lubricate the nose, clean the sinuses, and improve voice, vision, and increase mental clarity. Our nose is the door to the brain, so nasal oil drops nourish prana and bring intelligence.
- Be Active: A 30- 45 minutes practice of Yoga and exercise, or walking, is best done in the morning, when the body is in its Kapha phase and is naturally strong physically.
- Pranayama & Meditation: Do 5-10 minutes of breathing exercises (pranayama) followed by 5-10 minutes of meditative practices.
- Self-Abhyanga: Enjoy your daily Abhyanga (self-massage using oil). Best with sesame oil or castor oil. Start from extreme ends, working till the centre of the body, using firm, upward strokes.
- Bathing: Take shower with warm water.
- Warm breakfast: Eat a moderate amount of warm breakfast. Quantity may vary based on body type/ appetite.
Midday Dincharya - 10.00 am - 2.00 pm: PITTA Time
- Lunch: Make lunch as your main meal of the day. Our digestive fire is at peak during this time, hence better digestion of food happens. While eating, be mindful, and avoid using mobile, TV or talking.
- Follow it up with light walking (10 to 15 minutes) to enable proper digestion.
Late Afternoon Dincharya - 2.00 pm: 6.00 pm: VATA Time
- Do Calming activities: This is the Vata time of day and nervous system is most active. In the last part of this phase it is beneficial to do easy yoga postures or relaxing activities for 15-20 minutes.
- Follow that with a 10 min Pranayama (breathing activities) & meditation session
Evening Dincharya - 6.00-10.00pm: KAPHA Time
- Warm Dinner: Take warm & light dinner at twilight. If that is not possible, avoid a heavy meal.
- Sleep Early: Go to bed by 10pm.
- Apply warm oil to the soles of your feet and rub in till absorbed. Do it an hour before bedtime
- Incase of insomina, have some warm milk with 2/3 saffron strands and cardamom
- Do 10-15 minutes of Pranayama & Meditation just before sleep to help calm & relax. This will help you in falling off to sleep easily, & improve the quality of your sleep.
Before going to sleep: (at least one-hour prior)
- Avoid too much physical activity.
- Do not check mails and try not to dwell on work-related issues.
- Do not watch television in bed, or excessive use of mobiles/laptops/tablets
- Avoid taking caffeine, alcohol and tobacco
From an Ayurvedic perspective, following this Dincharya aligns our biological clock with nature. Lifestyle disorders are very common in our modern world, which is the direct result of living opposite to these simple nature inspired guidelines. Increased dependence on processed food, high in salt, sugar and chemicals is another major cause of disease and imbalance. These diseases and imbalances can be prevented by following these simple rules.
*Image of Milk: Google