Dinacharya – The Daily Routine
Have you ever had the experience of watching the sun rise up over the horizon? How the earth is so still, calm and quiet before day breaks. Witnessing the formation of spectacular colors and light the sun’s rays project into the sky. How the wind begins to stir and creates movement amongst the trees, blades of grass or ripples on the lake. And as the sun makes it way to hover, suspended in the low sky, how vibrant and warm the space around you becomes. The sunrise, natures signal that the resting, digesting and detoxifying of the night is now over.
In Ayurveda, the Daily Routine or “Dinacharya”, is a sacred ritual and practice of cleansing the body and setting an intention for the day. As quoted by Dr. Lad, “(Dinacharya) also regularizes a person's biological clock, aids digestion, absorption and assimilation, and generates self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.”
Here are five simple, yet profound practices to incorporate into your morning routine and set you off on the path of good health and longevity:
1. Rise with the Sun
Ayurveda is strongly rooted in the elements and rhythms of nature. Mirroring nature’s natural process of rising with the sun brings balance and harmony to the body and mind.
2. Morning Intention
Whether you have a spiritual or religious practice or not, setting an intention, saying a prayer, or bringing thoughts of gratitude to mind, first thing in the morning before you step out of bed, helps to promote inner strength and set a positive mindset for your day.
3. Cleanse Eyes, Nose & Mouth
Splash cool water into the eyes. You may also find spritzing Rosewater into the eyes refreshing and enlivening. I find Heritage Store Rosewater is available in most health food stores.
Ayurveda believes that the nose is the pathway to our brain. Cleansing the sinuses with a Neti Post is especially helpful during flu or allergy season. Follow up with Nasya oil, which helps to lubricated the nasal passage, ward off dryness, and is also said to improve mental clarity.
In addition to your morning brush and flossing routine, consider tongue scraping. A copper or stainless steel tongue scraper removes toxic build up and bacteria that no other tool can. It helps to eliminate bad breath, stimulates your internal organs, improves your sense of taste, helps with digestion and improves your overall health.
4. Warm Water with Lemon
When we sleep at night the body goes through a natural detoxification process. Drinking warm water with a squeeze of lemon helps aid in flushing out the toxins that have built up in the GI tract overnight. Think of when you are doing your dishes after dinner; Warm water with soap makes your dishes sparkle much easier than cold water, sans soap can!
Emptying the bowels first thing in the morning helps rid the body of toxins, which have accumulated in the large intestine, and helps the body feel light and energized.
Bonus! Engaging in light movement or Yoga before you morning shower helps to get the blood circulating, lubricates the joints and creates a sense of openness in the body & mind.