Dinacharya | A Guide To Your Ayurvedic Daily Routine

According to Ayurveda, we should invest in our health every day. This is why Ayurveda developed a unique concept called dinacharya, or the ideal daily routine.

Dinacharya is a method for aligning our daily routines with the natural biorhythm in order to prevent friction with cosmic forces. This system can assist us in maintaining perfect health, preventing disease, and slowing down the aging process. Following this daily routine is the best health insurance you can have!

In this article, we are going to explore:

  • How dinacharya is related to the daily cycles
  • A breakdown of the ideal daily routine including: meal times, oral hygiene, washing, meditation, massage, and more

Ready to learn how to live in sync with nature’s natural rhythm?

an image of day and night from above the clouds to represent dinacharya - the ayurvedic daily routine

Dinacharya And the daily cycles

According to the Ayurvedic texts, the human body has two primary cycles:

1. The solar cycle – governs the body during the daytime, related to the Pingala Nadi.

2. The lunar cycle – governs the body during the night, related to Ida Nadi.

Each cycle lasts 12 hours and is divided into three dosha phases – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha

The approximate timing for the each of these phases is –

The Solar Cycle

  • 6:00 am – 10:00 am:  Kapha dominance
  • 10:00 am – 2:00 pm: Pitta dominance
  • 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm: Vata dominance

The Lunar Cycle

  • 6:00 pm – 10:00 pm:  Kapha dominance
  • 10:00 pm – 2:00 am: Pitta dominance
  • 2:00 am – 6:00 am: Vata dominance

Dinacharya helps you to allocate your daily activities according to the fluctuating dosha dominance throughout the day.

Let us explore the wonderful health benefits of Ayurveda considering the daily dosha fluctuation.

a woman stretches in bed in the morning

The best time to wake up

Ayurveda recommends that you wake up during Brahma muhurta (normally 4-6 am). The word Brahma refers to the creator. And this duration is the time when both the mind and the body are in their primordial pure state.

This is the phase of vata dominance. Vata dosha is responsible for all movement inside the body. And the most powerful movement in the body is defecation.

Hence, this is the best time to evacuate the waste matter from the body. Also, bathing at this time can effectively eliminate toxins from the open skin pores.

Besides, the mind is in a peaceful and relaxed state. Therefore, this phase is the best time to study, meditate or start any new health habit.

Drink out of a copper pot in the morning

Ayurveda recommends drinking water stored in a copper pot overnight, first thing in the morning. This water intake helps to initiate a healthy bowel movement. Besides, it also brings the excellent blood purifying and anti-microbial benefits of copper water.

ayurvedic copper water pots lined up on a shelf

Ayurvedic oral hygiene: 5 methods

1. Herbal Teeth Brushing

Ayurvedic teeth brushing uses fresh sticks directly from the medicinal trees. This process is called dant-dhavan (washing the teeth).

Fresh sticks from the trees are the best because they contain the freshest juice, bursting with bioactive compounds. Neem sticks are the most common dental sticks used for brushing teeth. They are normally good for all body types.

Furthermore, neem has powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. In addition to deep cleansing the mouth, it prevents cavities, mouth ulcers, bad breath, and other oral health issues.

Neem also helps to stimulate the taste buds and enhances the taste sensation.

2. Herbal Teeth Rubbing

Ayurvedic texts prescribe a special herbal powder for rubbing on the teeth. This fine powder helps to remove the plaque and strengthen the gums, apart from multiple other oral benefits.

two toothbrushes with tooth powder on a marble surface

3. Herbal Mouth Wash- Mouth Pulling

There are two procedures – mouth pulling and mouth-filling. These oral cleanse procedures are called kaval and Gandush respectively.

In mouth pulling, you put medicated decoctions, oils, or milk and swish it around the mouth for a minimum of 1 min. Most people know this process as oil pulling. But you can use liquids, other than the oils too.

4. Herbal Mouth Wash- Mouth filling

Gandush or mouth-filling may not be an everyday process. It is more suitable as a weekly routine. In mouth-filling, you fill the medicated liquid in your mouth and hold it for a considerable duration (anywhere from 10-45 min).

5. Tongue Scraping

Ayurveda recommends scraping your tongue with a copper tongue scraper to ensure the removal of pathogens and oral debris.

Ayurvedic Face Cleansing

You should wash your face in the morning to maintain the health of your sense organs, especially your eyes. Fill your mouth with water and sprinkle your eyes with water to prevent most eye disorders.

a man washes his face in the sink

Ayurvedic Massage

According to Ayurveda, you must massage your body every day. This practice stimulates blood circulation, helps to eliminate toxins, and balances the Vata dosha.

Ayurvedic Bath

Bath is an essential part of the daily ayurvedic regimen. It boosts circulation, removes excess heat, cleans the sweat, and removes the foul smell from the body. Depending on the season, Ayurveda recommends warm or cold baths.

Also, you can add a few neem leaves to your bath water to enhance the antimicrobial and healing effect of your bath.

Ayurvedic Coryllium For Eye Health

Ayurveda prescribes the use of medicated coryllium for complete eye health. Coryllium helps to drain the excess mucus and balances the Kapha in the eyes. It is an excellent preventive measure for inflammation, infection, pain, or itching in the eyes.

Ayurvedic Nasal Drops

Ayurveda recommends the use of medicated nasal drops every day. These nasal drops help to moisturize the nasal cavity and trap pathogens. Besides, these drops reach the pterygopalatine ganglion present in the facial region. By stimulating the nerves in the head region, they help balance all the doshas.

an elderly man drops nose drops up his nose

This is the reason Ayurvedic nasal drops help to –

  • Enhance memory and concentration
  • Strengthen the sense organs
  • Prevent hair fall, early greying, and dandruff
  • Improve taste sensation
  • Prevent ear disorders
  • Prevents and alleviates migraine pain
  • Good for sinusitis and allergic rhinitis
  • Helps with chronic headache

morning Meditation

Early morning is the best time to meditate. Meditation currently helps to boost focus and retention. Besides, it clears your mind and enhances your decision-making capacity.

a close up of a woman's hand as she meditates

Ayurvedic Meal Routine

Breakfast

As mentioned earlier, the heavy Kapha dosha is dominant during the first part of the day. It is the time when the body’s metabolism is just getting warmed up. Therefore, the morning is the best time to exercise. Early morning exercise helps to prevent all Kapha disorders like sinusitis, breathing problems, cold, cough, and many more.

Also, try to have a light breakfast as a heavy meal may aggravate Kapha. Kapha balancing dry, light, and warm foods is an excellent choice for an Ayurvedic breakfast. If you are in a warm climate, fresh seasonal fruits are also a great breakfast, as they are normally light, full of fibers, and provide instant energy.

Lunch

From 10 am to 2 pm is a good time for lunch.

The fiery pitta dosha dominates the noon time. Hence, lunch is the best opportunity to enjoy a lavish meal! So, if you want to have cheese-burst pizza, this is the right time for it!

Also, try to avoid anything that generates excess heat during this phase. For example, this is not a great time for strenuous exercise.

a lunch salad buffet laid out

Dinner

The dinnertime differs from person to person. However, the best time for dinner is at least 1 hour before sunset.

Also, this is the time of vata dosha. Hence, it is great to have warm, light, and moisturizing foods, like soups dinner to balance the vata dosha.

Regularly consuming such dinner will help you prevent all vata-related disorders like body pain, joint pain, headache, constipation, bloating, etc.

Also, Ayurveda says that you should avoid eating or sleeping during the sunset. This time of light transition leads to a hormonal shift inside the body. The digestive system is not in the best state to digest or absorb the food.

When to drink water

Water intake during a meal can make or break your health.

According to Ayurveda, drinking water immediately before or after a meal is akin to ingesting poison. This water dilutes the digestive juices, lowers the ideal temperature required for digestion, and may de-activate the digestive enzymes.

However, drinking little water in the middle of the meal is helpful. The first phase of a meal belongs to Kapha when sugars rush through the bloodstream. The second phase is pitta dominant when the digestive heat escalates and the digestive tract may need cooling.

For this reason, drinking a small amount of water or fluids may help to bring down the digestive heat. This meal habit is particularly helpful if you are suffering from acidity, or inflammation.

a woman dressed in sports gear and wearing headphones takes a swig out of her water bottle

Ayurvedic Smoking

Ayurvedic herbal smoking is also called Dhumapana (drinking the smoke). It uses herbal smoking powers in a smoking pipe or rolled in cigarettes. Ancient Ayurvedic text Charak Samhita also describes the process of making an Ayurvedic cigarette!

Ayurveda recommends herbal smoke every day to balance the Kapha dosha in the head region. According to Ayurveda, some of the benefits of Ayurvedic smoking are:

  • Eliminates mucus stuck in the nose, and respiratory pathway.
  • Prevents allergic rhinitis, stuffy nose, breathing disorders, congestion, colds, and coughs.
  • Alleviates chronic headache, drowsiness, and heaviness after meals.

Ayurveda also describes the correct method of smoking with significant details.

You can inhale the medicated smoke either through the nose or mouth. However, Ayurveda recommends that you should never exhale warm smoke through nose. It may lead to loss of vision.

Some of the most common herbs used for Ayurvedic smoke are Guggulu, sandalwood, vetiver, and saffron.

Evening Meditation

Ayurveda recommends that you clean your mind of all positive or negative impressions before you go to sleep. This process helps to you avoid developing prejudices and mental blocks.

Evening meditation does not need to be an extensive process. 5-10 min of cleaning meditation before bed is quite enough to ensure a fresh mind next morning.

a woman meditates in a field at golden hour

To conclude

The extensive process of dinacharya may appear to be complicated and unreal at first glance.

Despite my expertise in Ayurveda, I am unable to comply with all dinacharya rules. So, it is ok to fail. Begin with the simplest steps and refine them over time.

I believe we can gradually become more aware, come together, and frame a new health-oriented society for our children.

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Dr. Kanika Verma

Dr. Kanika Verma

Dr. Kanika Verma is an Ayurveda physician from India, with 10 years of Ayurveda practice. She specializes in Ritucharya consultation (Ayurvedic Preventive seasonal therapy) and Satvavjay (Ayurvedic mental health management), with more than 10 years of experience.

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