Start the new season with fresh routines
There is a lot of emphasis on dinacharya in Ayurveda, an ancient healing system of medicine that stems from India. Dinacharya comes from the root words ‘dina,’ meaning ‘day’ and ‘charya,’ which means ‘guidelines,’ or ‘activity.’ Thus, the actual word means, ‘to be founded in the day.’
Regular Daily Routines in Ayurveda
To put it simply, dinacharya is a set of rituals and practices that help us connect with our internal body clocks. It also teaches us to live in alignment with nature or the universe’s circadian rhythm. When the body clock is out of sync, or there is a disruption in the circadian system it is known as chronodisruption. Disruption in these natural rhythms can lead to several health challenges.
In Ayurveda, a regular daily routine is of utmost importance. It sets the tone for our entire day. Dinacharya brings a sense of calm and wellbeing and helps us understand the best time for our daily routines, including the smallest of tasks. These include waking up, exercising, showering, eating, meditating, praying, working, meditating, getting to work, studying, relaxing, and sleeping. Having this dependable routine gives the mind-body a chance to rest, replenish, ground, and detox.
Determining An Ideal Daily Schedule
Turn to the Ayurvedic clock! What do I mean by this? The basis of dinacharya is two cycles: the sun cycle and the moon cycle. They occur daily and are related to the doshas. Every Ayurvedic dosha (vata, pitta, and kapha) becomes active at certain hours or times of the day.
In a 24-hour period, we cycle through the three doshas of vata, pitta, and kapha. And we experience each dosha twice during a 24-hour cycle. Two periods for vata dosha, two for pitta dosha, and two periods for kapha dosha.
Vata time: 2am-6am and 2pm – 6pm
Kapha time: 6am -10am and 6pm – 10pm
Pitta time: 10am – 2pm and 10pm – 2am
Notice that the Ayurvedic clock breaks the day into six periods. It tells time in 4-hour dosha blocks. So, an ideal daily schedule would honor the above dosha cycles to maintain optimal health and peace of mind. The significance of the routine isn’t just what you do but also when you do it.
Ayurvedic Morning Rituals To Incorporate In Fall
It can feel overwhelming if I suggest 12 new tips to start living in rhythm with nature. But if you start small and follow these guidelines diligently, you should notice a difference in your digestion, mood, sleep, and overall energy levels this fall.
Drink Warm Water
In Ayurveda, water is considered ‘jeevana’ (enlivening), ‘tarpana’ (satiating), ‘hladi’ (gives joy), ‘amrutopama’ (like nectar). Ayurveda also suggests drinking warm water first thing in the morning unless you have hyperacidity, ulcers, or extreme heat issues. Warm to hot water (not scalding hot as you don’t want to burn yourself) can promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.
Drinking warm water helps lower kapha dosha (think improvement in metabolism, reduced hunger pangs, and less lethargy). As a direct result, you may experience a change in your sleep quality.
Additionally, drinking warm water in the morning helps to flush toxins from the body, helps with bowel movements, and cleanses your intestines. If you suffer from gas or bloating or constipation, tepid water is your best friend. Warm water can help with flatulence as well as peristalsis. Warm water can also help in proper digestion, which eventually promotes weight loss. It also alleviates menstrual pain, cramps, muscle spasms by increasing the blood flow to the affected part and soothing the body’s systems.
BothAyurveda and yoga suggest waking up (if you are healthy) in the Brahma Muhurta, which is one and a half hours before sunrise. In fact, a verse from the Ayurvedic text, “Ashtanga Hridayam” states: “To protect his life, a healthy person should get up at the Brahma Muhurta.”
This is the vata time of the day where you can refuel your inner energy resources. I love how my morning meditation–when the world is still asleep–helps me stay connected to myself as well as the Higher Self. It’s a sacred ritual for me to find inner calm. I am a high pitta individual, which means when out of balance, the fire element in me can be reactive by nature.
I would say meditation is that natural pill (chemical-free and without negative side effects) that helps lower stress, reduces anxiety, helps navigate emotions, brings more clarity, increases focus, and teaches one about patience.
I know many adults and children roll out of bed, get dressed, and head to school or work in the mornings. But carve out time to eliminate in the morning. Sipping on warm water and malasana (garland pose in yoga) can help with bowel movement.
I was surprised when a client of mine mentioned that he poops twice or, sometimes, thrice a week. I was shocked when he confessed that his doctor thinks it’s normal to not have a bowel movement every day. I simplified the intake-output ratio: If he was eating three meals a day seven days a week, but he was eliminating only twice or thrice a week, did he realize that there are toxins accumulating in his body? There was a reason his belly was bloated, and he experienced a perpetual sense of discomfort.
Having a bowel movement first thing in the morning is a sign of good digestion and health. Remember the Ayurvedic clock? The vata cycle in the early hours of the morning helps the body’s natural urge to defecate. If you resist the urge to have a bowel movement, you will aggravate vata dosha and eventually develop health challenges. Suppression of any natural urges (burp, fart, poop, urine etc.) is considered a leading root cause of disease in Ayurveda.
Try these three Ayurvedic tips and let me know how you feel!
“Because we cannot scrub our inner body we need to learn a few skills to help cleanse our tissues, organs, and mind. This is the art of Ayurveda.” ~ Sebastian Pole
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. The information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional. If you are looking for advice from a trained yogi and ayurvedic practitioner, contact the author here.