In Ayurveda, there is a way to go through your day to keep your mind and body performing at its best. It’s called Dinacharya. It has many benefits. Setting your day up in a routine will give you the ultimate feeling of centeredness. Small changes in your daily routine can help you feel your best and perform your daily tasks feeling energized and like your able to accomplish what you need to do that day. These small tasks include:
- Waking time
- Between 6 and 8 am
Yes, the hardest thing to do in your daily routine, at least for many. But it doesn’t have to be if you go through your day using Dinacharya to guide it. For this part of your day, you should focus on doing a few things that will help wake you up in a relaxed way which will set your day in motion with a sense of calmness instead of jumping right up out of bed. Make sure to set your alarm a little bit earlier to ease into the day instead of scrambling to get things done in a frantic, unrelaxed state of mind. Wake up slowly and stretch your spine and twist from side to side upon sitting up in bed. Do not sit up in bed in a hasty manner. It is important to start your day slowly. You can always move quicker, later on, to make up time if needed.
This is a very important step in your day. It’s like taking the trash out every night. You should keep things errrr….. moving. It’s not good for your mental health or physical health to keep the toxins and garbage we accumulate from the food we eat. Even when we eat a fairly healthy diet this is still a necessity first thing in the morning. This also includes cleaning out sinuses by simply blowing your nose or even using a neti pot. Also, scraping your tongue gets rid of the previous days build up.
Of course, this is a must for all. Making sure to include all the steps of your normal skincare routine in the morning and practicing dry brushing even before showering will keep your skin at its best. Dry scrubbing is a good habit to practice and use daily. First off, sloughing off those dead skin cells before showering in the morning is great for your complexion and not just on your face. Doing a routine daily body dry scrub will help keep all parts of your body looking its very best and keep the buildup of skin and oils away. Some tips on how to dry brush:
You will want to use an actual dry brush.
- First, make sure you remove all clothes and are in a standing position. Good circulation while brushing your body is best so it gets your blood moving and energized.
- Then, just start brushing. You want to start at your feet and start to brush in and up moving towards your heart. Make sure you are brushing in small circular strokes.
- After you get both legs done start on your arms and do the same thing. Going in towards your heart.
- If you need help with your back I would suggest getting a partner or friend to help but you can also get a long handle dry brush like the one I linked up above. I have one myself and its really great and easy to use.
- That’s it! Pretty simple and only takes a few minutes out of your day. I would recommend doing this in the morning but if you can’t fit it in then its just fine to do any other time of day too. Make sure you don’t put on lotions/ oils or anything of that nature before doing so. You need clean, dry skin before starting dry brushing.
Yep, good old massage is a must for Dinacharya. This is best used as a before bed routine but can also be used in the morning as an energizing way to start your day. You can use oils or just lotion. Make sure to cover all areas of the body and focus on the neck/shoulder area and the feet the most, also the head. These are the places that hold the most stress and tension. Massage the scalp first and work down towards your feet.
Exercise. It’s beneficial to mental and physical well being. It’s important and needs to be done on a daily basis. Even if you just walk, clean, etc. It still counts as exercise. Make sure it’s integrated into your daily routine. No one expects you to be an athlete but if you sit all day at a desk then mornings are probably best to get this part of Dinacharya in your day. By the end of the workday, it will be harder to be motivated to get any sort of exercise worked into your day. Try and start early with this one.
This is pretty simple. But this also includes HOW you bathe as well. In Dinacharya, bathing is seen as a must and precisely in the morning rather than at night and as a way to also wake up full of energy and ready to start your day. Dinacharya suggests that you take a cold shower to do this but if you can’t manage that then a simple lukewarm shower will do instead.
- Meditation and/or Prayer
In Dinacharya, meditation is an essential part of life and must be practiced daily and usually more than once. If you don’t already meditate or pray I would highly recommend it. It is a clearing and calmness of the mind you have never experienced before. It gives you new ideas and a calmer sense of self and others around you. It keeps you humble and is a way to let the stresses of everyday life lift from your spirit and soul. This is also best practiced in the morning as well but can truly be done any time of day. If you really can’t find the time for this you can practice mindful meditation as well or mindfulness. This is also an important step for before meals as well and aids in assimilation and good digestion of your food.
Meals are best eaten after prayer/meditation and while sitting, not standing. Standing up while eating upsets digestion and assimilation of the foods we eat. A relaxed state of mind and state are essential at mealtimes. Rushing while eating also causes upset stomach and indigestion. Not something anyone likes. You should eat your largest meal midday, your lightest meal at night and a moderate sized meal for breakfast.
There is a time for play and a time to work. Studying. It is something that is actually good for your mental health. Whether it’s just articles, a book, anything really to keep your mind building, improving, learning new things. This helps you grow as a person and is an essential part of Dinacharya.
This may seem like the hardest part of the day and it usually is. Whether you’re in school, an office, out in the field work is part of anyone’s day. There are many different forms but they all require one thing. Effort. With effort you get things done and when you get things done you feel a sense of accomplishment. This is what is rewarding about work. It may be hard but you did it. Congratulate yourself. This is also great for your mental state. Use your time wisely in your day to accomplish what needs to get done. You will feel more relaxed knowing you tried your best.
There are many different way people relax whether it’s playing video games, watching a favorite show or movie, going for a walk, spending time with your family or even all of the above. This is an important aspect of Dinacharya and must be done daily for your overall health. The mind and the body can accomplish very much without some down time. Work it into your day however you must. Your health depends on it.
- Between 9 and 11 pm
Next to eating well sleep is of the utmost importance in your health. Without it your mind and body would go into chaos. Sleep and good sleep are what will set your well being and mental state for the next day. Make sure you relax with some meditation and even some journaling before nodding off for the night. Going to sleep between 9 and 11 is best. Going to sleep after 11 pm affects mood, skin, even hormones. If you want to feel your best to bed earlier rather than later.
Of course, there are instances when this routine won’t fit into your life just this way but if you try to stick to Dinacharya as best as you can you will see vast improvements in your physical body and in your mental health and well being. I, myself have practiced this very closely and I can attest to this. It actually made me more peaceful, happy and centered. It really works.
When you make even small changes to your daily routine it can have long lasting positive effects in your life.