Are daily rituals important?
In today’s fast paced environment and numerous distractions it is vital to establish rituals and routines which keep us in balance throughout the day. In Ayurveda, a principle known as “Dinacharya” (daily routine in ayurveda), is recommended to maintain health and balance of the doshas. Although Dinacharya practices are thousands of years old, many health practitioners of Ayurveda believe it to be beneficial in today’s lifestyle.
1) Wake up before sunrise
Ayurveda recommends to wake up ideally 2 hours before sunrise or before 6 am. This time is considered best for meditation and exercise (e.g. sun salutations).
2) Drink a glass of warm water and evacuate your bowels
It is recommended to do so as waiting longer may increase the build up of toxins in the body which lead to imbalances and diseases.
3) Use a tongue scraper
By using a tongue scraper first thing in the morning eliminates the build up of toxins in the body. In Ayurveda health is closely linked with the amount of toxins present in the body. This will improve oral health and digestion as well.
4) Try oil pulling
Using sesame or coconut oil as a mouthwash for about 10 minutes detoxifies the body by pulling toxins from the mouth. It has many health benefits and is an ancient practice which is becoming increasingly popular.
5) Practice self massage with body oil
Typically sesame or coconut oil are used but depending on your condition and dosha different oils can be used. The oil is first warmed up to perform self massage with circular motions from head to toe always in the direction of the heart. This practice has many benefits and nourishes all parts of the body, improves circulation and stimulates the lymphatic system. A daily massage keeps the body strong and prevents it from premature ageing.
After the oil massage wait for about 10 minutes to let your body relax and proceed with a shower. The temperature of water should neither be too hot nor too cold but lukewarm.
At this time of the day it is considered to be the purest so meditation within these hours will be most effective.
8) Have breakfast
Ayurveda recommends having warm and nourishing breakfast.
9) Eat your biggest meal at lunch
The heaviest meal of the day should be between 12 pm to 2 pm. The sun is strongest at this time of the day and so is our digestive fire. Skipping lunch or having it late can cause many metabolic disorders so it is important to have it on time. To digest the food better, walking is recommended after lunch.
10) Around Sunset it is time to relax and unwind
This is the time of the day to relax and meditate
11) Dinner should be taken 3 hours before bed time
This gives enough time for food to be digested. One of the main reason for the buildup of toxins is undigested food. So to prevent diseases and illnesses elimination or prevention of the buildup of toxins is important.
12) Sleep early
Try to sleep by 10 pm and switch off all lights and electronic devices as this is the kapha time of the day where the body will naturally feel heavy and is trying to wind down.
From the recommended practices of Dinacharya it becomes clear that such rituals and routine practices help to avoid the build up of toxins or ama which lead to imbalances and diseases. It is important to follow these practices to maintain good health and prevent premature ageing.