Dinacharya - Daily Routine To Perfect Health [10 Important Tips]

Dinacharya - Daily Routine To Perfect Health
Daily routine is a vital and integral part of our state of health. A routine that is followed with care and awareness with respect to our individual constitution and balance will bring many health benefits. In Ayurveda there are certain steps to starting the day, and whilst these can take up some time, they are valuable in their relation to boosting vitality.

To help bring us in tune with nature, and rather our own intelligence, following a dinacharya [daily routine] is essential for establishing great health and regularizing our own biological clock. A proper morning routine can assist in digestion, absorption and assimilation as well as generating peace, discipline, happiness and longevity. It is important to assess any imbalances and your natural constitution before initiating a daily routine as it should be catered to your current state of health.  However, there are some general guidelines that are recommended from an ayurvedic perspective.

What Is Dinacharya?

 

10 Steps To Perfect Health

1.     Arising before the sun
2.     Wash face and scrape tongue
3.     Drink warm water
4.     Evacuate
5.     Oil gargle
6.     Nose drops
7.     Oil Massage
8.     Bathe
9.     Yoga
10.   Meditation

1. Awaken Early
Whilst this is not an easy task for some, arising early is beneficial in starting the day. The pure and subtle qualities of nature that is present at this time of the day will bring peace and freshness to the mind and senses. People who have more of the earth and water qualities should arise between 5-5.30AM. Those who have more of the fire element should arise between 5.30-6AM and those who have more light, air and space constitutions should arise between 6-6.30AM. After arising it is beneficial to say a little prayer or mantra before getting out of bed. This is a divine way of starting the day and induce positivity and light into your life.

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2. Tongue Scraping
Washing the face with cold water will bring alertness to the mind. It is a good idea to also wash the eyes and rinse the mouth with cool water. There are a few ayurvedic eye washes that are recommended based upon ones constitution. Triphala tea, rose water and even diluted pomegranate juice are effective eye wash solutions.

An important part of the dinacharya is scraping the tongue. Scraping the tongue can aid in digestion, absorption and assimilation as it stimulates the internal organs. It also removes bacteria.  There are a variety of tongue scrapers available on the market today – gold, copper and silver ones. However, stainless steel tongue scrapers are generally suitable for all.

Tongue Cleaner
According to Ayurveda, cleaning the tongue is an important part of the daily oral hygiene routine, along with regular brushing and flossing of the teeth

3. Drink Warm Water
Although many use caffeine as a morning drink for stimulation, warm water is more preferable at promoting health. Drinking water, especially from a copper cup, can enhance peristalsis and also flushes the kidneys. Caffeine can contribute to adrenal fatigue and constipation and is therefore not recommended as part of a healthy daily routine.

4. Evacuation
Elimination is one of the three pillars of health according to Ayurveda. If there is proper daily elimination, good health is simpler to attain.  When food is not properly digested toxins can build up, creating sluggish digestion. It is important to train the body to have a daily elimination. According to Ayurveda if one misses a daily bowel movement, then the person is said to be constipated. In today’s medical world, constipation is classified as having fewer than three bowel movements a week. To ensure that daily elimination is taking place, one must follow a proper diet and lifestyle for their constitution.  Keeping hydrated and the use of herbs, such as triphala, can also help with regulation of bowels.

5. Oil Swish - Gargle
There are many health benefits of oil pulling. This is a technique where a tablespoon of oil (usually sesame or coconut) is swished in the mouth for 10-20 minutes. From promoting dental hygiene to detoxifying the body and increasing energy, oil pulling is an ancient yet current health benefit. However if time is a factor, even a few minutes of oil swishing is advantageous. After spitting out the oil be sure to massage the gums and brush thoroughly.  In Ayurveda this practice is referred to as ‘Gandusha’.

Daily Swish
Daily Swish is a combination of sesame and coconut oils infused with Ayurvedic herbs traditionally used to support healthy teeth and gums.

6. Nose Drops (Nasya)
Administering ghee or oils in the nasal passages can help with lubrication, cleansing and enhancing mental clarity and improving vision.  Making sure that one is lying down with their nostrils parallel to the ceiling, add 3-5 nasal drops into each nostril and sniff deeply but gently. It is advisable to lie for a few minutes to allow the nasal drops to nourish prana. There are a variety of nasal drops recommended, such as brahmi ghee, calamus oil (medicated, not the essential oil) and regular ghee or sesame oil.  It is important to note that nasya should not be done an hour before or after showering, or after exercising. It is also recommended to do nasya on an empty stomach. The health benefits of nasya are extensive.

Nasya
This Nasya oil is a balancing formula for all doshas and especially good for vata dosha.

7. Oil Massage (Abhyanga)
Massaging oil on the body is a great way to keep the skin soft, supple and wrinkle free. It is a rejuvenating technique that improves circulation and, when done at night, induces sleep. Massaging the scalp can prevent hair loss and graying. In the evenings, massaging the scalp and soles of the feet with bhringraj oil can help in achieving a calm, restorative sleep.

It is advisable to start with the outer extremities and work towards the heart. One should massage in a linear fashion along the limbs and with circular motions on the joints. Some popular oils used are coconut, sesame, sunflower and almond. According to one’s natural constitution, one should pick an oil that is appropriate to their state of balance.

Daily Massage Oil
This Daily Massage Oil is formulated to balance all three doshas: vata, pitta, and kapha. This makes it a good choice if you do not know your constitution.

8. Bathing
Bathing should follow abhyanga to remove any excess oil left on the skin. Bathing is not only cleansing and refreshing, but also an activity that improves mental clarity and revitalizes the body. Using natural and chemical free soaps are recommended. During the summer months it is advisable to shower with cooler water than the winter months. This helps the body to keep in tune with nature and the surrounding environment.

Ayurvedic Herbal Cleansing Soaps
A special blend of light and fresh Ayurvedic herbs that cleanses deeply while balancing soft and smooth skin.

9. Yoga/ Pranayama (breathing exercises)
Practicing yoga daily is recommended for all body types. There are various postures and poses that can help to alleviate many conditions and diseases. Yoga is a vital and important daily activity that brings balance and serenity into life.

There are many types of breathing techniques that have various uses for the body. From lowering blood pressure to reducing weight and cooling the body, it is important to know which pranayama would be indicated for personal use. Pranayama increases the vital energy force in the body and therefore is recommended for health and longevity.

Exercise is an important part of life. Walking daily, particularly in the early mornings, maintains good health and balance. Although many people practice vigorous exercise, this is not always recommended. Ayurveda advises stretching and breathing whereas straining is to be avoided.

10. Meditation
The profound health benefits of meditation are staggering. A simple technique, it allows one to connect with the divinity within oneself and should be a daily practice. There are a few methods that one can choose from simple breathing to mantra based meditation. Amongst many benefits, meditation brings peace, harmony and clarity into one’s life.

These are considered general and basic guidelines for overall health and wellbeing.
This is strictly for educational use and not to be considered medical advice.

References
·        Lad, V. (1999). The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies.
·        Sharma, H. (2011). Ayurvedic Healing. Singing Dragon
·        Lad, V. (2002). Textbook of Ayurveda. Albuquerque, N.M.: Ayurvedic Press.
·        Lad, V. (2012). Ayurvedic perspectives on selected pathologies
·        Pole, S. (2013). Ayurvedic medicine the principles of traditional practice


The Three Pillars Of Good Health ~ An Ayurvedic Perspective

The Three Pillars Of Good Health 
There is nothing as important in life in making a radical change within the body, mind, and consciousness than establishing a healthy routine in daily life. Ayurveda is a science of good health. Its first objective is to preserve health of the healthy individual. Charaka [the founder of ayurvedic medicine] has summed up beautifully the whole technique of how to promote a healthy lifestyle in two lines.

“Nityam hitahara-vihara-sevi samikshyakari vishayeshvasaktah
Data samah satyaparah kshamavan aptopasevi cha bhavati arogah”
- Charaka Samhita

Translation:
A person who practices regularly a wholesome lifestyle, eats wholesome food, is deliberate in all his actions, not involved in the objects of the mind [i.e. overindulgence in sense pleasures], who is generous, just, truthful, forgiving in nature, who is service-minded and helpful to one's own kin - will remain unaffected by disease.

 

The Three Pillars Of Positive Health:
The ancient seers of Ayurveda understood the importance of wholesome [sattvic] lifestyle and its importance to health and overall well-being. Likewise, when lifestyle is not in accordance to the natural principles then this, too, is considered to be the root cause of disease and the aging process. Ayurveda has explained the three pillars to positive health as follows:

- Food [ahara]
- Sleep [nidra]
- Regulated lifestyle [brahmacharya]

 

1. Food [ahara]:
Ayurveda reveres food as providing nourishment to the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of human life. This being of such vital importance that vedic culture explains that one’s own kitchen should be as clean and pure as a sacred temple. Even further, it’s not only the food which one eats that determines the subtlties of health but more importantly the manner in which one eats. For instance, food is considered to be so sacred that when one eats, one is not only feeding oneself but rather feeding the God within. Therefore, when eating one should simply eat, free of all distractions.

Herbal Digest
Proper digestion and metabolism, on the other hand, results in the conversion of the foods you eat into healthy body tissues. Herbal Di-Gest is a blend of 10 ayurvedic herbs and spices that promotes healthy assimilation and elimination, so you won’t feel dull and heavy after meals.

Organic Digest Tone
Supports digestive system and elimination; assists body in absorbing nutrients; high-quality antioxidant; wide range of benefits.

“That is why eating the right food at the appropriate time, in the proper environment, and with great love and respect will not only nourish the body, but also the mind and soul.” - Dr. Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic Physician 

2. Sleep [Nidra]:
To live peacefully it’s important to rest peacefully and nothing provides as much rest and peace than sleep [and meditation]. Therefore, cultivating a routine to help promote sound sleep is another pillar of positive health according to the science of ayurveda. It’s interesting that yoga [a sister science of ayurveda] describes “yoga nidra” [or “yogic sleep”] as a sleep-like state as being among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness. Even scientific investigations have revealed the benefits of Yoga Nidra. In 2006, Kamakhya Kumar was awarded a PhD for his work "Psycho-physiological Changes as Related to Yoga Nidra". Therefore, for a sound body and sound mind - one needs sound sleep.

Blissful Sleep
Natural sleep aid for falling asleep faster and enjoying deeper, more refreshing sleep; balances, and nourishes.

Deep Rest
To support sleeping through the night; helps in falling asleep more easily, and in returning to sleep when awakened

 

3. Regulated lifestyle [Brahmacharya]:
Brahmacharya is normally understood as maintaining celibacy. In reality, brahmacharya is a form of regulated lifestyle with a [healthy] balance towards sex. Abnormal sexual practices, overindulgence of sex, and sexual frustrations are thought to be the cause of many diseases which fall under the category of “asatmyendriyartha samyoga” [overindulgence and wrongful use of the sense organs]. This also implies that frequent sexual activities can deplete “ojas” [vital-life nourishment] and can even make one weak and susceptible to disease. Therefore, one should consider replenishing ojas after sexual activity by considering having a gentle massage and drinking something nourishing such as almond milk or ashvagandha milk.

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Parting Message: 
In essence, Ayurvedic lifestyle recommendations are simple and elegant yet powerfully effective in helping one to establish and maintain balance. In fact, health is a state of perfect balance. Ayurveda says that there is an integrative relationship between the body and mind.  Ayurveda goes on to say that when the influences of the body and mind are balanced then one will begin to experience the sense of bliss and only then is one thought to be in good health. Therefore, be balanced, be happy and be healthy.