Ayurveda – Part III: Dinacharya, Ayurvedic Routines

Today we’re going to talk about Dinacharya, which means daily routines or daily rituals. In Ayurveda, daily routines play an important role in our health.

Despite in this article we’re giving a general introduction to Dinacharya, it’s important to count on a therapist’s expertise who will prepare a tailor-made program taking into account each person’s doshic balance, together with their job schedule, among other factors. On the other hand, it’s difficult to match this routine in the daily life of many of us, and in this case trying to adapt to, at least, some of these aspects will help us achieve a healthier life.

The three main pillars of these routines are: nutrition, rest and physical exercise.Joana Silva, Nurse, Therapist, Blogger, Terapias D’Alma

Ideally, we should wake up early, before the sun goes up. The first thing to do is to eliminate urine and feces.
 
Still being fasting, wash your face, eyes and ears. Afterwards, scrape your tongue with a scraper. This gesture will improve our digestive process and our ability to taste food. There are various residues like fungi, bacteria, toxins and dead cells that accumulate in our tongue and if we scrape fasting we will promote their elimination, instead of being reabsorbed by the body again. After scraping your tongue, wash your teeth. Ayurveda recommends a flavored toothpaste suitable to our dosha.

Then drink a glass of hot water (or at least at room temperature) which will help clean the kidneys and intestines.

Gargle twice a day with warm sesame oil or room temperature coconut oil to strengthen teeth, gums and jaws, to improve voice and to reduce cheek wrinkles. Rinse well, then spit. Finally, gently massage the gums with a finger.

Use the neti pot to clean the nostrils and sinuses, especially great for people with rhinitis and sinusitis, among other exacerbated Kapha problems. There are videos that show how to do it, just google “neti pot”.

After this, do a self-massage choosing the oil suitable for your dosha, and finally take a bath or shower.

Ayurveda also advises a morning meditation of at least 10 minutes.

It would be ideal to have breakfast no later than 8 am. At every meal, it is recommended to eat slowly, chewing food properly and savoring.

We finally start our day, with work or study.

Lunch should not be later than midday, being this the main meal of the day. If possible, after lunch have a short walk to promote digestion (and the same after dinner).

At the end of the work day, when it is sunset time, do a late afternoon meditation.

Feeling the warmth of the sun, without exposing yourself too much, especially during the most dangerous hours, helps to relax and promotes a sense of peace, also aiding with sleep. It is better not to wear sunglasses all the time, receiving natural light at least 20 minutes daily; lack of natural light can lead to depression and low levels of melatonin and Vitamin D.

Eat a light, easily digestible dinner (always eat 2 to 3 hours before bedtime) and, after dinner, it is good to do light and relaxing activities.

Looking at a candle flame in the dark, in the morning and in the late afternoon for 10 minutes at a time, helps to improve vision.

Go to bed between 10 pm and 11:30 pm; these hours are the ones aligned with the rhythm of nature and ours. A glass of warm rice or oatmeal milk with ginger and cardamom before bed, it is nutritious for the body and relaxes the mind. Massaging the feet with sesame oil also helps to have a relaxing sleep.

 

Yoga is, from the Ayurvedic perspective, a very important activity and should be included in the daily routine, if possible in the morning.
Joana Silva, Nurse, Therapist, Blogger, Terapias D’Alma

There are some more specific things that I don’t mention here, but you already can get an idea of some of the routines Ayurveda advises. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

 

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