Dinacharya - 10 Daily Ayurvedic Rituals
In a fast-paced world of work, career, and wealth management, health often takes a back seat, resulting in frequent doctor visits. This can be prevented. Ayurveda is the ancient self-care science behind ensuring we stay healthy and live the lifestyle we all aspire for - naturally. The classical texts of Ayurveda have mentioned a safe and affordable lifestyle change called - Dinacharya - “Daily Routine”
In the Ancient books of Veda, the maharishis have revealed the secrets to a healthy lifestyle that can be incorporated into our day-to-day routine. An Ayurvedic lifestyle encompasses nature, the cycles, and other rhythms of the universe with our bodies. And when we live according to Ayurveda - we experience and understand that support from nature & the universe is available to us readily. Try this and see the change in your activity levels and overall health.
- Wake Up Before Sunrise
- Clear Bowels = Clean Gut
- Oral Health
- Nose and Ear Cleaning
- Abhyanga Oil Massage
- Shower Right
- Eat Breakfast
- Relaxing Breaks Are Important
- Sleep Well
1. WAKE UP BEFORE SUNRISE
Try to wake up at least an hour before sunrise. Meditating during this time is very useful to calm the mind and start the day with a clear head. Waking up early also regulates mood and helps one to be alert throughout the day. It will also give you that extra time to plan the day. According to Ayurvedic scriptures, this is the time to catch the most Sattvic energies of nature.
2. CLEAR BOWELS = CLEAN GUT
We Suggest a glass of warm water with 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of honey first thing in the morning, before your eliminate the bowels. Drinking water on an empty stomach has various benefits like reducing weight, improving skin and hair, removing toxins from the body and of course speeding up the bowel movements.
Once wide awake, one must do a bowel cleanse. This is called shauchvidhi i.e., cleansing of the body. Emptying the bladder at regular intervals and the bowels is good for your gut health and prevents many diseases by cleansing the whole system. If our gut is clean, 90% of our health issues will disappear.
Tip: Most of us spend much time in the toilet - either reading newspapers or aimlessly scrolling through cell phones. This leads to incomplete clearing of the bowels. Ensure that this time is focused on clearing your bodily fluids and NO PHONES IN THE LOO!
3. ORAL HEALTH
An oral hygiene routine is essential for optimal health, but with Ayurveda, the practice includes a little more than just brushing your teeth.
Tongue scraping is done to remove the previous day’s coatings on the tongue. It removes bad odor, gives freshness to the breath, removes obstruction and thus enhances the perception of taste. It is said that the tongue is the mirror to the digestive system. So a healthy clean tongue means a healthy system. Try using a tongue cleaner/scraper made of copper or stainless steel.
Next comes oil pooling and oil pulling (Gandusha & Kavala). The mouth is filled with medicated decoction or oil, called the Gandusha or oil pooling. This is done till there are secretions from the nose and eyes. Swish a small amount of the oil vigorously, and the movement of the liquid done inside the mouth is called Kavala or oil pulling.You can use 5 oil pulling for this process.
4. NOSE & EAR CLEANING
Nasya, applying herbal oil in the nostrils and ears is an age-old Ayurvedic ritual to keep a healthy mind, and regulating the organs and tissues above the neck. In classical texts, it is mentioned that the nose is a doorway to the brain, meaning that the medicated oil instilled, nourishes the brain and helps in relieving the doshas in the head region like clearing sinuses, headaches, allergies, etc. Our Anu Nasya Oil is really popular for this ritual. It helps in alleviating the doshas in the head region, clears congestion, and is said to give clear vision too.
We all know a little extra movement makes the mind and body strong, keeps one energetic throughout the day, gives energy and motivation to push the limits, and improves digestion. Exercising in winters should be done half of one’s strength and avoided in summers since energy is lost due to excessive sweating. Yoga is a great form of exercise which is synonymous with Ayurveda practices.
6. ABHYANGA OIL MASSAGE
Self Abhyanga oil massage is a popular ayurvedic practice. It helps reduce wrinkles, strengthens the tissues, eliminates fatigue after physical exercise, and overall nourishes the body. Udvartan is massaging the body with dry powder of herbs. It helps in removing oil left after a dosha oil self massage (it exfoliates the skin, reduces fats, imparts shine and glow to the body). Dhoomapana is smoking/ inhaling medicated herbs which alleviates doshas and gives strength to the throat, and thus sweetens the voice. One can also use essential oils and diffuser during the Abhyanga massage. The use of Ayurvedic Body oil is an application of medicated oil to the body, routinely applying oil to the body helps in alleviating vata dosha, slows down aging, gives strength to the muscles and makes skin soft and glowing. Applying oil to the head, ear and feet gives maximum benefits to the body. Checkout oils good for your specific dosha here.
Start your Self Abhyanga using both your hands, massage with natural oils, and begin from the head, slowly moving to your face, neck, shoulder, arms, chest, stomach, and eventually the legs.
Ayurveda recommends this massage daily, unless you are experiencing indigestion, gastritis, asthma, surgery or right after a meal (wait 2 hours after eating).
7. SHOWER RIGHT
A good shower not only cleanses us but helps to purify the body, eliminates fatigue, sweat and dirt and refreshes you instantly. Did you know that using warm water for bathing below the neck provides strength and energy but taking bath overhead with warm water harms the roots of the hair and vision? Therefore, it is advised to use lukewarm water or cold water above the neck region.
8. EAT BREAKFAST
As per Ayurveda, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should NEVER be skipped. The activities mentioned in the routine lead to increase in hunger and one must have a warm, freshly cooked meal consisting of sweet, sour, salty, astringent, bitter and spice tasting food. It promotes strength, energy, and happiness. Instant, frozen, and canned food items should be avoided as and when possible and emphasis should be on fresh home cooked meals.
If you are not a big breakfast person, as per the scriptures, you should at least have one of your main meals before 11am. This encourages an optimal digestive system and optimal energy levels required for the day.
Understanding your Dosha in Ayurveda is very important to know what kind of meal & foods suit your body. Learn more about it here
9. RELAXING BREAKS ARE IMPORTANT
The body needs relaxation, so does the mind and can be achieved by practicing meditation, breathing exercises like Pranayama, Sudarshan Kriya, Yogic asanas, Surya Namaskar/ Sun Salutations- to begin with 3 sun salutations everyday and go on increasing it by 1 more each day, and chanting mantras. Practicing these for at least half an hour in a day will be helpful in relaxing the mind and enhancing the memory.
10. SLEEP WELL
A good routine is not complete without a proper, good night sleep for at least 8 hours. One must pay keen attention to their body clock and reduce screen time, and other distractions during the sleeping hours to induce sleep naturally.
This regime is a daily ritual which and when followed will give you a healthy lifestyle and overall better health, improved immunity and a clear mind. If you cannot do all the rituals, at least ensure you follow the basics and try to do the others on weekends or once a month.