Dincharya or the daily lifestyle is a unique modality that has been prescribed in the textbooks of Ayurveda. It traverses and interconnects many different planes of the human body – The physical, mental and spiritual planes. Thus it brings the body in rhythm with that of nature and it sets you towards a path of holistic healing. Dinacharya translates “to follow or be close to the day”, and it delineates specific procedure in accordance to the daily movement of the earth in relationship to the sun.
Every morning routine begins with waking up. Ayurveda prescribes waking along with the Sun – in Brahma time period. Waking up also may depend on your body type. Vata people should churn in more sleep about 8-9 hours a night and should get up by six in the morning. Pittas do well with a moderate amount of sleep 7-8 hours a night and should get up by 5:30 AM. Kapha, the unlucky ones, benefits with 6 hours of sleep in a night and should get up by 5 AM.
Then, Take a few moments to recall your dreams and say a prayer. A good prayer, one that echoes in all homes sub-consciously is “the Gayatri Mantra”. It blesses whole of the earth and creates good Karma. Rise from the bed and gently stretch your body. Drink tepid warm water that has been infused with copper (kept in a copper vessel overnight). This encourages the body to undergo natural peristaltic movement and induces easy evacuation. Go to the bathroom to evacuate.
Wash your face, brush your teeth (using charcoal toothpaste – imitates yogis) and scrape your tongue. The methods have been described in the article titled “Oral Hygiene in Ayurveda”. Swish oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes. Spit out the oil, gently massage the gums and rinse your mouth with warm water. Your tongue might be an early indicator of which type of Dosha might be deranged in the body. If you have cracked tongue, the Vata is deranged and you have symptoms like constipation. If you have a bad taste at the back of your throat it means your Pitta is deranged and if you have discolored or coated tongue, keep in mind that Kapha is deranged.
After oral cleansing, Neti or Nasya might be preferred for cleaning nose and sinuses. The oil that you use – for oil pulling, Nasya and massage – depends on your body type. Vata people should use sesame oil or almond oil, Pittas should use coconut oil or melted ghee and Kaphas should use corn oil, sesame oil or olive oil. Ayurveda then recommends applying a moisturizer. The moisturizer you use also depends on your body type, as mentioned above. Clear out the excess moisturizer with a gentle bath or a hot shower.
Practice yoga. The daily yoga practices do not need to be a tedious and time-consuming task. Don’t try to pull out all poses into your day to day practice. Try to be selective. Ayurveda recommends specific poses for specific body types. Practicing this way is not only a time saver but also promotes health. Here are a few recommended poses according to your body type:
|Body Type||Recommended Poses / Pranayama|
|vata||Sun salutation (performed slowly), Spinal twists,|
Forward bend, Backward bend, Warrior pose,
Dancer’s pose, Anuloma viloma, Suryabheda
|pitta||Moon salutation, Sleeping (on back or belly) poses,|
Rag doll pose, Reclining butterfly pose, Child’s pose
Sheetali, Sheetkari, Chandrabheda
|kapha||Sun salutation (performed briskly), Inverted poses,|
Cobra, Abdominal twists Bhastrika, Suryabheda
A light breakfast lifts up the day. A heavier breakfast is suitable especially in colder seasons. Eat breakfast according to your Dosha type. Vatas should eat breakfast by 8 am, Pittas by 7:30 am and Kaphas by 7 am. This gives enough time for food digestion according to the different Doshic clock.
Dincharya: Through the Day and into the Night
The work place is a hectic meshwork of stress and chaos. But it doesn’t have to be as such. Putting in mindfulness in your workplace allows you to perform better and ultimately reduce stress. Most of the burdensome work should be performed in Pitta time (by 2 pm), as Pitta is a sharp energetic component of the body and allows you to perform most of the work without much hassle. Lunch should be consumed in Pitta time. Make lunch the biggest meal of the day. Vata people should lunch by noon, pitta people around noon and Kapha people should lunch the only afternoon.
Try to keep the stress of your work at the workplace. When at home, usually at the evening Kapha time, try to spend time with your family or loved one. If you are alone try taking care of yourself – practice dry brushing of the body, oil massage and take a warm bath or shower (these could be practiced in morning Kapha time as well). Kapha is associated with love and compassion, thus Kapha time should be reserved for just that.
Prepare your dinner involves mindfulness, so does eating. Eating with awareness allows you to eat in moderation, not too much and not too little. Do not eat while watching TV or any other electronic media. Pay attention to your food. Vata should eat their dinner around 6 pm. Pitta should eat their dinner around 6-7 pm and Kapha around 7-8 pm. Early dinner allows you to get your belly empty by the time you sleep. Eating late at night causes the stagnation of food, there is a creation of Ama-toxin and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). Try to avoid late night eating.
After dinner, a gentle walking for about 15 minutes helps in getting the intestines moving and gastric juices flowing. Try taking Triphala (Indian gooseberry and pairs of myrobalans) either as a powder or a capsule. It is a super antioxidant, rich source of vitamin C and also a good colon cleanser. A good colonic health helps in a better approach to meditation. There is a new term floating in the scientific community called microbial-gut-brain axis. Triphala helps in regulating the axis.
Try consuming milk about fifteen minutes before you sleep. Milk helps in nourishing the Shukra dhatu – the reproductive tissue of the body. Avoid milk if you have problems like heartburn or acidity. Vata and Pitta people should try to retire in bed by 10 pm, while Kapha should retire by 11 pm.
Vatas should sleep on their left side, Pittas should sleep on their right side and Kaphas should sleep on their left side. Avoid electronics for an hour or so before bedtime. Use the extra hour for reading. Electronics aggravate Pitta. So, electronics might cause insomnia if you look at it during Pitta time. Sound sleep and regulated is healthy and might even help you lose weight. A 2004 study published in PLOS Medicine found that short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index.
Begin the next day with prescribed time according to Ayurveda – waking along with the Sun – in Brahma time period. Waking up also may depend on your body type. Vata people should churn in more sleep about 8-9 hours a night and should get up by six in the morning. Pittas do well with a moderate amount of sleep 7-8 hours a night and should get up by 5:30 AM. Kapha, the unlucky ones, benefits with 6 hours of sleep in a night and should get up by 5 AM. Kapha people, if they had it their way, would sleep for 9 or even 10 hours.
No night is complete without talking about sex. Ayurveda goes a step further in describing the sex in correlation to constitutional type. Kaphas despite having to do will less sleep can make love two to three times a week. Pittas can do with once a week. Vata, the unlucky ones in this prospect have to do with only twice a month. Kapha people having more vitality “Ojas and Shukra” can be involved in more frequent lovemaking, Vata has too few of Ojas and should be involved in lesser lovemaking. The vitality of the body can be increased by consuming one teaspoonful of “Ashwagandha” (an herb) along with milk you consume.
In iterating the Dincharya procedures, we see that it prescribes a mindfulness-based approach to take on daily life.