To keep the tridoshas in a state of healthy equilibrium, digestion and metabolism in proper state, Ayurveda prescribes for each individual a specific daily routine (dinacharya) and seasonal routine (ritucharya) depending upon the types of season.

Dinacharya


In Sanskrit the daily routine is called the Dinacharya. Din means ‘day’ and acharya means ‘to follow’ or ‘close to’. To be ‘close to the day’ actually means to merge your daily cycle with the natural cycle of the Sun, Moon, Earth, and the other planets in our Solar system. The reason for this is that our most healthy and happy state is the most natural state, and vice versa. Dinacharya is one of the best things that can be done to stay in balance, prevent disease and in the treatment of almost all diseases. Researchers have long discovered that our body has many inbuilt rhythms or cycles. Most of our body functions follow a daily cycle. Our weight fluctuates during the day and is maximum in the evening, our body temperature is highest in the evening, most of our hormones have their well-defined periods of high and low secretions during the day and the most obvious of all the sleep – wake cycle. Therefore intrinsically the emphasis in our body is on natural cycles.

Everyday two waves of change pass through us, each bringing a Vata, Pitta, and a Kapha cycle. The approximate times of these cycles are as follows:

First cycle:

  • 6 A.M. to 10 A.M. – Kapha
  • 10 A.M. to 2 P.M. – Pitta
  • 2 P.M. to 6 P.M. – Vata

Second cycle:

  • 6 P.M. to 10 P.M. – Kapha
  • 10 P.M. to 2 P.M. – Pitta
  • 2 A.M to 6 P.M. – Vata

Based on these two cycles, Ayurveda prescribes following daily regimes for each and every individual.

Morning


Our biological clocks are attuned to the rising and setting of the sun so it is better to get up at sunrise in perfect organization to the natural clock. From 2 until 6, or until dawn, the Vata element is dominant. In Ayurveda the night is divided into 16 periods from sunset to sunrise. The ideal time to arise is during the 14th period that is about 2 hours before dawn, around 4:30 to 5. This is the time when there is the most sattva in the air. It is the most fresh and pure time of the day. Very young children, the old people, parents of small children and people suffering from fevers are the exceptions of this daily regime.

Natural Urges


The last portion of the night being ruled by vata is involved in the process of elimination. Dawn is the best time to eliminate the body’s physical waste. Proper elimination also helps in removing the kapha that naturally gets accumulated overnight. Drinking a glass of warm water helps in easy elimination of the accumulated wastes. Never suppress the natural physical urges as elimination, hunger, thirst, sleep, sneezing, yawning, vomiting, flatus and ejaculation as it leads to discomfort and even various diseases.

Cleanliness


To purify the bodies sense organs the limbs, face, mouth, eyes and nose needs a thorough washing. Brush the teeth and scrap the tongue. Ayurveda considers the coating of the tongue as an indicator of toxins in the colon. Gargle with warm salty water with little turmeric to purify voice and strengthen the teeth and gums. Wash the eyes with rose water and triphala to purify the sight. Wash the ears and apply a tiny amount of sesame or almond oil in them to purify your hearing. Finally do Jal neti and put a little oil in the nose to purify the sinuses and sense of smell. Always keep the hair and nails clean and trimmed. Always wear clean clothes. The traditional Dinacharya also recommends that one should inhale the smoke of medicinal herbs every morning to purify the mind, head, face, neck and lungs.

Exercise


In Ayurveda, physical exercise is known as vyayama. The yoga asanas, aerobics, walking, swimming are regular exercises that increases the body’s stamina and resistance to diseases by facilitating the immune system, clearing all channels, promoting circulation, elimination process and destroying fat. The early morning exercise removes stagnation in the body, mind, strengthens the digestive fire and gives an overall feeling of lightness and joy as it fillsthe body with good prana. Exercise should be done moderately as too much exercise aggravates vata resulting in imbalance.

Massage


Body massage is necessary for each and every individual. It is known as abhyanga in terms of Ayurveda. The oil massage makes the skin supple, controls vata by reducing its cold, dry, light, rough & erratic qualities, enhances blood circulation, encourages quicker removal of metabolic wastes and relaxes the body. Body massage is one of the best ways to prevent aging.

Bathing


Bathing is necessary after exercise and massage in order to remove the oil and dirt from the body. Warm water baths are recommended but too hot water should not be poured on the neck and head as this results in imbalance. Wear clean clothes after the bath and apply essential oils.

Meditation


Meditating for a while is ideal for disciplining the mind and removing stress and strain. Meditation helps in satisfying the mind’s hunger, controls desire and is the key to longevity and immortality. Daily meditation helps in maintaining health of both mind and body. It increases the general awareness, provides clarity to the thoughts.

Breakfast


Meditating for a while is ideal for disciplining the mind and removing stress and strain. Meditation helps in satisfying the mind’s hunger, controls desire and is the key to longevity and immortality. Daily meditation helps in maintaining health of both mind and body. It increases the general awareness, provides clarity to the thoughts.

Employment


Our work consumes at least one-third part of our lives and success or failure in the profession affects self-confidence. Therefore, it is important that the nature of our work should match our body type. The people with vata as dominant usually love work that requires sudden bursts of intense energy. At the same time it makes the people exhausted also. They need adequate rest, especially in the afternoons. They should avoid places where the air is exceptionally cool and dry. Pitta people are very practical are good administrators but not original thinkers. They are aggressive by nature and self-promoting. They do not take delays and obstacles to their plans and try to be seriously fair and keep their professional and private lives separate. They should avoid work that is physically irritating or involves heat (as welding or metal casting) and listen more to others. The people with Kapha as dominant are stable and are great administrators. They must make a conscious effort to bring change and variety to their daily routine.

Dinner


One should eat around 6-7 pm and it should be light. It’s better to have a light walk with family or friends after dinner. Many are in the habit of skipping dinner especially the spiritual practitioner’s as the dinner sometimes is interfering with their meditation.

Sleep


One should sleep around 10 pm to have a sound sleep for at least seven hours. The person’s with disturbed sleep should massage the soles of the feet with oil before going to bed. This will calm the system and promote well-being. A state of physical inertia with mental relaxation, sleep promotes proper growth of the self.