In our modern high-tech world, it’s become more challenging to follow a consistent self-care routine. To-do lists, work schedules, and finances have become front and center, with health and wellness on the back burner. Social media and cell phones give us instant access to anyone in the world at any time. These “distractions” make it more challenging to stay in balance, on a routine aligned with the natural rhythms of nature.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, following dinacharya (ideal daily routine), aligns us with nature’s rhythms each day. There is new evidence that demonstrates our genes may have, over time, lost their ability to hear the natural circadian rhythms. Doctors are only now beginning to understand exactly how important it is for the body to stay in harmony with nature for optimal health.
So, how do you realign your routine with the rhythms of nature? Implement the routine below, beginning with what is easiest for your schedule to get on the right track. Over time, add more Ayurvedic rituals to your routine to promote optimal health!
Dinacharya routine for healthy adults
Morning 5:30-8:00 a.m.
- Arise early in the morning, preferably 30 minutes before sunrise.
- If easy and natural, evacuate bowels and bladder. If this is not natural, try taking Organic Triphala Rose and/or Organic Premium Amla Berry before bed.
- Clean and brush the teeth.
- Clean, or scrape, the tongue with a tongue scraper.
- Clean the eyes by sprinkling them with cold water.
- Drink a cup of hot water, or a glass of warm water with a teaspoon of honey (honey should never be heated and one should purchase unpasteurized, unheated honey*), or drink a glass of fruit juice at room temperature.
- Perform abhyanga, a warm-oil massage, for seven to 10 minutes. Abhyanga can be a daily practice. We recommend at least twice a week and especially on the weekends.
- Brief warm-up exercises, stretches, Yoga postures, or five to 10 Sun Salutations for 10-12 minutes.
- Bath or shower, preferably with warm water. Begin with a comfortable temperature and, if you can do so comfortably, gradually lower the temperature as low as possible. Favor washing your head and hair with cooler water — regardless of prakriti, this is something that helps to reset the nervous system first thing in the morning and enliven prana!
- Wear clean and comfortable clothes, suitable to season and activity.
- Practice the Transcendental Meditation® technique or the meditation of your choice.
- Enjoy a well-cooked, light breakfast such as stewed apples or poached pears.**
- Work, or study.
Mid-Morning 10:30-11:30 a.m.
- Have a soothing drink: warm water, or herbal tea; and, if hungry, a snack: fresh fruit, fig bar, etc.
Afternoon 1:00-2:00 p.m.
- A well-cooked lunch consisting of balanced foods. Check out these dosha dietary guidelines.**
- Take a brief rest after lunch for about 10-15 minutes, away from work and stress.
- Work or study.
Mid-Afternoon 3:30-4:30 p.m.
- Have a soothing drink such as warm water, herbal tea, or Organic Vata Tea, and a snack such as fruit or a fig bar.
Evening 6:00-7:00 p.m.
- Physical exercise of choice for 20-30 minutes. Preferable exercises are Sun Salutations, Yoga postures, swimming, or brisk walking.
- Leave an interval of 20-30 minutes between exercise and dinner.
- Dinner consisting of balanced foods.**
- Brief walk for 15-20 minutes.
- Relaxing recreational activities.
- Early to bed: 9:30-10:30 p.m. The ideal is eating three hours prior to sleep. At a minimum, leave about a 60 to 90-minute gap between dinner and going to bed, as this will aid digestion and allow for deeper sleep.
* Ayurveda recognizes that heated honey changes form and is very hard to digest. It is, in fact, considered quite problematic. Infants and small children should not be given raw, unpasteurized honey. Read more about Honey Under Heat.
**Breakfast, lunch, and dinner should support a balanced diet according to your individual constitution, daily requirement, and season. Take our Dosha Quiz to learn more about your unique combination.
It’s the little things you do everyday that make the biggest impact on your health. Dinacharya aligns activities with the natural cycles of nature to promote balance and harmony. For more insights about your personal path to better health, take our free Dosha Quiz!
© 1999, 2021 Maharishi AyurVeda Products International, Inc. (MAPI). All Rights Reserved. MAPI does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. See additional information.