Dinacharya – Daily Regimen
Dina= Daily Charya= Regimen
The best structure to scaffold support each day is through the cultivation of beneficial routines and rituals, dinacharya. Ayurveda emphasizes daily regimen as a constant reorientation toward balance utilizing the five sense therapy to support a wholistic lifestyle that builds upon itself; overtime a momentum of strength and joy pervade one’s experience through the accumulated merit of daily practice.
Within the first chapter of the Asthanga Hridayam it expounds upon Ayuskamiya Adhyaya, the desire for long life. It shares that the person desirous of long life is the instrument for achieving dharma (righteousness), artha (wealth) and sukha (happiness) and will achieve this with faith, patience and practice of the teachings of Ayurveda.
The 3 main causes of “dis-ease” or accumulated imbalance are:
- Wrong intake through the 5 Senses
- Failure of the Intellect
- Time Cycles
The way to stay oriented and centered, remembering of our natural state as a reflection of our environment, great and small, is through daily regimen. Here is part of what is recommended in the second chapter of the Ashtanga Hridayam, as Vagbhat conveys through implication the importance of daily regimen as the key to long life.
- Rising with the Sun
- Cleaning the Teeth and Mouth
- Self-oil Massage
- Moral and Ethical Practices
We have streamlined this as a simple check list you can begin to implement into daily practice. We recommend you add one of these each week to make it feel easeful and allow it to become a routine. If additional support is desired reach out for an Individual Health and Practice Session .
Try at home Dinacharya
- Wake up with the Sun (open the curtains and welcome the day)
- Clean Mouth and Tongue (rise mouth, tongue clean, oil pulling, teeth powder)
- Ghee or Warm water (stimulate digestive fire)
- Daily Meditation or Breath Awareness
- Self-oil Massage
- Sun Salutations
- Time in Nature
Waking up with the Sun
Ayurveda recommends rising before or with the Sun. This connects us with the naturals rhythms of nature that we often find ourselves disconnected from in the modern world. For those embarking on a journey of optimal health, this extra time during the quiet early morning hours lend to an ideal space for self-care and introspection. If we jump out of bed hustle bustling into the new day without a few moments of checking in it is easy to overlook the signs of accumulated imbalance. Dis-ease is not something that happens overnight. It is a slow and steady track creating accumulation or disarray in the body. Giving yourself time and space to complete these simple yet profound practices is hands down one of the best preventative approaches to illness. Health is very natural for us to maintain with insight and practice.
Clean Mouth and Tongue
Waking up and cleaning your mouth is a generally a common practice. However, the sweet toothpastes we see on the shelves actually deter the cleansing process and can confuse the digestive system. To combat the sticky, cloudy accumulation that can occur in the mouth overnight bitter, astringent and pungent herbs and tastes are recommended for optimal cleansing (removing Kapha dosha and ama from the mouth).
Morning Mouth Regimen
- Cleanse mouth with warm water or triphala tea. Rinse, gargle, spit.
- Use tongue cleaner from back to tongue tip gently 10-12 times.
- Follow with tooth powder. (recipe below)
- Take 1-2 Tbl sesame oil or coconut oil and hold in mouth. When you feel the urge to spit begin swishing. Be sure to move oil thoroughly between teeth and gum line. Spit and repeat 3-5 times. (always spit oil in trash or outside)
Easy Mouth Cleansing Powder
1 part Triphala Powder
1 part Neem Bark Powder
1 part Licorice Root Powder
1 part Mint Powder
1/4 part Clove Powder
Mix together in a clean dry glass jar. To use spoon 1/4 tsp into palm of hand. Moisten your toothbrush with water and scoop powder from palm onto brush. Use as you would a regular toothpaste.
**You can find tongue cleaners and the herbs at Banyan Botanicals**
Ghee or Warm Water
Next we want to stimulate the digestion. (Ideally you will eliminate upon rising before beginning the mouth cleansing process- if not start with warm water alone). A spoonful of ghee can be taken in warm water to stimulate your appetite and support healthy tissues. You can discover more about this in an Ayurvedic Consultation with our lead practitioner.
Daily Meditation or Breath Awareness
If we desire to maintain or to create deep internal shifts we must consider the patterns we hold in each of these layers and commit to practicing techniques which address all three.
The benefit of yogic meditation is that through the knowledge we gain in pursuing that state we purify, release or overcome conditioned patterns of behavior which impeded our capabilities, not just in meditation but throughout our lives as a whole; by addressing each layer of our Being and reconditioning them to be free of old operating systems and present to the formation of new ones.
Meditation and daily breath awareness practices can create the container for lasting change. Practices do not need to be overly complicated or for extended periods of time. Start small and watch the seed of grow through the accumulation of merit in practice.
One of the most beneficial practices you can begin at home is self-oil massage. This daily practice stimulates the circulatory system, gently cleanses the lymphatic system and greatly reduces stress and anxiety. The practice is done prior to bathing with warm oil following the directional pattern shown. Light circular movements and long strokes towards the abdominal area help flush toxins out of the body, while increasing circulation around the joints and healthy digestive function.
Get our FREE Self-Oil Massage Guide filled with details on how to begin the practice of self-massage, the best herbs and oils for your constitution and more!
The gentle practice of surya namaskar or sun salutations are an excellent approach to begin with to support a regular mindful-living discipline in our daily lives. We can invest as much time as we want in practicing them because we can get through many rounds somewhat swiftly. This practice will increase our general physical energy and help to neutralize mental energy; allowing us to return to the world with fresh eyes and revitalized enthusiasm. Sun salutations are accessible to the majority of the population and they can be modified in a multitude of ways.
Time in Nature
Spending silent time amidst the elements themselves is one of the best ways to recalibrate. Cultivating honor of the magnitude of the world around us and finding our special place within the ebb and flow of each day, season and our own lives. Try making an effort to find a minimum of 5-15 minutes in silence within the natural world. No cell phone, just you and nature. This can be used as space for meditation or to enjoy wonder of exploring the beauty that surrounds us each day.