If Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is the importance of a structured day. In times, when we are not able to step outside, and are mostly managing workplace, online classes of children, and regular housework all from the confines of home, things tend to become stressful.
Ayurveda underlines the importance of a Dincharya or a daily routine for a happy and efficient life. Dincharya is something that helps us in balancing all aspects of life beautifully as per our biological clock. From the right time to wake up, cleansing, eating, and sleeping, Ayurveda has recommended a lifestyle that could help you lead a healthy life. When you follow a routine, it makes you happier, improves your digestion system and makes you live longer.
Ayurveda recommends the following daily routine for a healthy and happy life.
Waking up before sunrise
Waking up early in the morning at the time of sunrise will help you be in sync with nature. With morning breeze blowing gently and the sound of the birds chirping in the backdrop, early mornings can be magical indeed. Also, at this time the Vata element is predominant which is light, clear and subtle and your body and mind feel completely refreshed. If you wake up late, you would end up feeling dull and slow the entire day. Waking up early in the morning is sure to boost your productivity as you will be more energetic throughout the day and will wrap up your work faster. Even in today’s context, best utilization of early mornings can take away a lot of stress from your day.
Drinking water first thing in the morning, preferably a glass of it filled in a copper vessel and kept overnight, is very beneficial for our digestive system. It also cleanses the gastrointestinal tract and removes toxins from kidney.
Sitting down in a squat position is recommended for proper bowel movement. This should be done everyday at the same time so as to form a routine. Eating unhealthy food at night, stress, or lack of proper sleep can affect your bowel movement and lead to constipation.
Follow a proper cleansing routine
After saying a prayer, one must wash the face and eyes with fresh water to clean the remnants of the previous day. Rose water and Triphala are especially helpful in de-toxification process. Apart from brushing the teeth, tongue should be cleaned too with a proper tongue scraper.
When we eat, after around 12 hours, harmful bacteria may invade teeth, tongue etc. It is important to cleanse these toxins. A warm water gargle can help remove toxins from your throat. Nasya (putting few drops of oil or ghee in your nose) and oil pulling (swishing your mouth with edible oil) is recommended for safeguarding yourself against infections. Putting few drops of sesame oil in ear can help us get rid of problems like excess wax, lockjaw, poor hearing etc.
Chewing has apparently more benefits than breaking down the food for digestion. In morning, if we chew seasame seeds, dates, dried coconut etc, then it stimulates our digestion system and boosts our metabolism. After chewing, clean your teeth again.
Proper blood circulation helps to keep you active and energetic throughout the day. Ayurveda recommends oil massage of your body parts like forehead, scalp, hands, feet, teeth and gum. Here is a caution, if you are planning to do yoga after the massage routine, do not put oil on your feet as they may get slippery.
Exercise or Yoga
Morning time is important for physical exercises as that is the time when sunlight has the maximum amount of Vitamin D. When you do yoga asanas like surya namaskar, and you move your body accordingly, the absorption of Vitamin D in your body goes up, making our bones stronger and better. Early morning workouts also improves the digestive fire (agni) and boosts your metabolism. If you have the tendency to suffer from mood swings, doing physical exercises in morning time can help you tremendously.
Take a bath
The last step in cleansing process is taking a bath. Ayurveda recommends an early morning bath for mental health benefits. Bathing removes toxins, sweat and dirt from the body and refreshes your body and mind for the day ahead. After taking bath, fresh clothes should be worn.
Natural scents, essential oil or perfumes can help feel one better as the fragrance of them have a positive effect on our mind and improve our self esteem. There are different perfumes recommended for people with different predominant doshas. For vata, perfume made of hina or amber is recommended, while for pitta people, khus, sandalwood or jasmine work better. Kapha people can use musk or amber.
Pranayama and Meditation
Doing breathing exercises strengthens your lungs and help you take in fresh oxygen. Just like your body needs an exercise to remain fit, mind too needs meditation for sorting out of thoughts.
After waking up at the right time, cleansing your body, working out and doing meditation, one should sit for nutritious breakfast. People should choose breakfast as per their pre-dominant doshas in order to balance them. Vata people should have warm breakfast, while Kapha people are recommended to have a light breakfast.
If you follow, the above-mentioned routine for a few weeks, you will start noticing changes in your over-all well being. Your stress will reduce and your energy levels will go up. You will be much more productive in the first half of the day, finishing off important tasks and feeling much relieved. As for lunch, Ayurveda recommends you to have it between 12-1pm as the pre-dominant element at this time of the day is pitta which is a combination of fire and water. Your digestive system works the best during this time and you must have a large meal.
Ayurveda says you can have a short nap in the afternoon, if you really feel the need of it. Otherwise, it should be avoided at this time as sleeping for a longer time can make you lethargic and slow.
While lunch should be the largest meal of the day, as per Ayurveda, dinner should be lighter than that. The ideal time to have it is between 6-7pm as your digestive system gets ample time to digest it before you sleep. The pre-dominant element during this time of the day is Kapha which slows down your digestive system. Also a heavy dinner can interrupt with your sleep. One can take light walk half-n-hour after your meal.
You can wrap up your day with meditation and Shavasana in order to relax and de-stress your body. It will also refresh your mind.