Namasté, beautiful earthlings!
And welcome back to this super interesting article! 🙂
No need to feel overwhelmed by this word – Dinacharya. It might be an unfamiliar term for many of you, but it delivers a very simple, yet powerful message: Dinacharya comes from Ayurveda, the sister science of Yoga, and literally means “following the rhythm of the day”.
“While you’re working hard at your daily life,
your body is working hard to keep you healthy and alive. – Or at least trying to!”
If you’re familiar with Ayurveda, you probably know that it is all about creating internal and external alignment and balance in your life. Ayurveda is a holistic, conscious-based approach to health and suggests lifestyle (including nutritional) choices that support your health, wellbeing, and spiritual connection – thus, you’ll prevent disease and disharmony in the body, mind, and spirit.
A little bit about my story …
A decade ago, I found myself totally disconnected from my body, suffered from physical and mental health issues, lived completely out of sync with myself and the world around me. I experienced chaos in my body and mind. Disharmony. Unease. Pain. To the point that I was (physically) forced to consider making changes. And I eventually did…
That was a huge shifting point for me!
As I slowly integrated daily routines, such as eating regularly (at specific times) every day and creating little morning rituals, I experienced a completely different quality of life. Although it took me years to integrate easeful habits, after trying out a bunch of different approaches (diet and lifestyle related), I stumbled across Ayurveda later on and realized one thing:
“When I follow a handful of simple guidelines,
I experience easeful living, thriving health, a clear and focused mind,
and a deep spiritual connection with the universal energy.”
Nowadays, I cannot deny the truth behind Dinacharya anymore! So, it is a huge honor and desire for me to share this message with all of you, beautiful souls! 🙂
Get yourself comfy and enjoy reading!
~ Circadian rhythm: Body – Nature – Universe ~
Have you ever changed time zones as you were traveling to a country on the other side of the planet? Couldn’t fall asleep? Couldn’t get going with your day? Couldn’t go to the bathroom? I bet, many of us have experience some form of Jetlag before. This is a typical example of when we notice that our bodies are following an internal clock.
Just as nature follows a pattern of day and night, seasonal changes, tidal rhythms, and moon cycles – so do our bodies. We are nature. We were created by the same life force energy that has created planet earth and the entire galaxy. Thus, our bodies do have an internal “clock”. It is running in the background and carries out all the essential processes and functions at adequate times.
The circadian rhythm relates to the daily 24-hour cycle that is reflected in physiological processes of all living beings – not only humans, but also plants, animals, and other living creatures. The primary signals are light and darkness which ignite the sleeping and being awake pattern in our physiology. Research has discovered clear patterns of hormone production, brain wave activity and other physiological processes related to circadian cycles.
“As the microcosm, so the macrocosm.
As is the atom, so is the universe.”
According to Ayurveda, the entire cosmos works in certain rhythms. Everything that has been created out of this universe, that has become manifested in physical form (e.g. planet earth, nature, animals, and human beings), innately follows those cosmic rhythms. Research is well aware of the daily (circadian) rhythms. We are not only “part” of this universally driven big eco-system, but each and every one of us literally IS the universe, on a microscopical level – relatively speaking.
~ The purpose of daily routines ~
Research has proven that when we properly align with the circadian rhythm, our tendency towards health, greater resilience, and deep rejuvenation is much higher than when we’re living out of sync – or “arhythmical”.
Aligning your daily schedule (eating, exercising, sleeping, digesting, working) with the universal energy shifts will allow you to create optimal potential:
- On a physical level you will experience your body working smoothly, feeling healthy and bright.
- On a mental level you will be more focused and concentrated.
- On an emotional level you’ll become more resilient and able to bring greater awareness to your inner world.
- On a spiritual level: As you move with the universal forces, the energetic synchronization will enable your consciousness to align with the universal consciousness. Your intuition and higher sense perception will increase. Meaning, you will feel a stronger connection to your Higher Self and be more susceptible to live in alignment – literally “in rhythm” – with the universe.
Overall, you will flow with ease and effortlessness through your day and gain a greater awareness for your body and its needs. Just by implementing very simple practices into your day to day life – give it a go and feel the difference!
Remember: You are nature.
Nature is the universe.
You are the universe!
Three basic rhythms or pillars that Ayurveda addresses in our day to day lives are:
- movement, and
Adjusting those areas with nature will create a strong synchronized organic pattern in your body which gives you the ability to become self-organized. You will float with the current – so to speak -, not against it. This will lead towards greater resilience. You become anchored within your body and your being. Anchored within nature, and the universe. So, whatever challenge may arise in life, it won’t affect you as much as it would if you live out of sync with these rhythms.
Especially in our modern high-tech based society, we’ve become more and more out of sync with the rhythms of nature: artificial lightning, food is everywhere and at all times available, our busy “performance oriented” lifestyle, infrastructure etc are all examples that disconnect us from nature, yet from our bodies … The priorities in our lives have changed, and so has (unfortunately) the state of health of so many people, right?
“When people have the baseline habits to thrive,
all of a sudden they’re able to have more control of their space, of their time.”
I guess nowadays, it is more important than ever before to come back to the simplicity of daily practices that allow us to align with our body, nature, and the universe!
~ The Ayurvedic clock ~
According to Ayurveda, the Doshas (certain elementary energies; find out more in my previous article about Ayurveda) are not only related to a person’s mind-body-type, but also to everything else in existence, also to the seasons and times of the day. Thus, we undergo a Vata-, Pitta-, and Kapha-time every single day. Each Dosha represents two cycles of four hours during the day:
- Kapha times: 6-10 am and 6-10 pm (elements: earth and water)
- Pitta times: 10 am–2 pm and 10 pm–2 am (elements: fire and water)
- Vata times: 2-6 am and 2-6 pm (elements: air and ether/space)
The energetic qualities of the three doshas are present during certain times of the day:
- Kapha is connected to the sunrise and sunset. It has a grounding earth-like energy. Some typical Kapha qualities are strength, steadiness, resilience, but also heaviness and sluggishness. It prepares us for the day and night. It is best to have some light food during this time (breakfast and dinner).
- Pitta represents the peak of the day as well as during the night. It has a strong, sharp, fiery quality, and represents the digestive fire (“agni”). During the day, our digestion is the strongest at lunch time. During nights, it is responsible for detoxification. At that time, we experience the deepest sleep.
- Vata is the transitioning phase between night and day. It brings a dreamlike, ethereal energy. You may experience vivid dreams during the early morning times or even insomnia, if imbalanced. Before 6 am is the perfect time to wake up and meditate. In the afternoon, you want to be gentle on yourself and let your creative juices flow.
If we align our daily activities with the different energies that are prominent during the day-night-cycle, we’re highly likely to experience ease, health, balance, and wellbeing in life.
~ Morning practices ~
You’re probably familiar with the following proverbs, aren’t you?
“The early bird gets the worm.”
Or: “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise”.
There is actually a lot of wisdom coming through those lines. Just as nature wakes up with sunrise, thus, daylight in the morning, so do our bodies.
- Wake up before/with sunrise:
The perfect time to wake up is before 6 am, during Vata time. If you want to enjoy an extended spiritual practice during the most potent energetic phase of the day, you will wake up 90 minutes before sunrise. This time is also known as Brahma Muhurta (“the time of the creator”), according to spiritual gurus.
- Elimination and meditation:
After the fasting and detoxification process during night, you want to evacuate bladder and bowels first thing in the morning. Yes, Ayurveda puts a strong emphasize on that! Afterwards, it’s the perfect time for your meditation practice, journaling, or any other spiritual practice of your choice.
- Physical hygiene:
Ayurveda offers some hygienic practices that you can implement as part of your daily self-care (morning) routine. These include:
- Tongue scraping
- Oil pulling
- Teeth brushing
- Dry brushing
- Abhyanga (warm oil-massage) followed by a shower, where you can cool down the temperature gradually.
- Drinking a cup of hot or warm water, either with lemon/lime juice, ginger, herbs, or even a pinch of sea salt.
- Daily movement:
You don’t need to go to the gym or follow a vigorous two hours exercise routine on a daily basis. However, moving your body for 10-15 min. every morning warms and wakes up your system, so your body is prepared for the day. Some stretches, yoga asanas (5-10 sun salutations) or a little workout will do. The more you go within and listen to you body’s signs, the more you will sense what exactly it needs that day.
- Light breakfast:
In Ayurveda, digestion is compared to a fire (“agni”) which follows the rhythm of the sun. At sunrise, it is pretty light and our systems are in the heavy Kapha energy. Thus, you want to take in an easy-to-digest light breakfast to gently wake up your digestive fire during this time (6-10 am).
~ Daily and evening routines ~
Mid-morning is the most productive time of your day – Pitta energy arises. Just like the sun gets stronger during the day, so do your energy levels. You want to use this time for your most important tasks that require your attention and concentration. This is the time of your highest mental and digestive power.
Lunch is supposed to be the biggest meal of your day: As you can image, the digestive juices are flowing during noon until 2 pm, your “agni” is the strongest – just like the sun. The body is most efficient in breaking down foods, absorbing and metabolizing nutrients.
In the afternoon (2-6 pm), Vata energy comes into play. This is the time of lightness, movement, and creativity. You might even find yourself daydreaming during this period. It’s the perfect time to do some creative work, but at the same time it is important to stay grounded – especially if your constitution is already dominated by Vata qualities.
By 6 pm at night, Kapha energy rises again, just like in the morning. You want to have an earlier lighter dinner, preferably before 7 pm, so your stomach has digested the food before going to bed. A brief walk after dinner can also be helpful to support digestion. At this time of the day, you want to wind down and choose relaxing, soothing activities. I highly recommend you create an evening routine and optimally, stay away from any screen one hour before bedtime.
You want to be asleep by 10 pm, because at that time, Pitta energy arises once again. If you stay up past 10 pm, you might get hit by a “second wind” and have troubles with falling asleep. The Pitta phase during night is intended to build, regenerate, metabolize, and detox your body. Just until we move straight back into the early morning phase with Vata energy.
I am so incredibly fascinated by this ancient wisdom of Ayurveda that we can apply in our day-to-day life. I’d love to hear your take on the topic of “Dinacharya”. Are you already following some of those practices and routines? Do you find them helpful? I’m super curious – Let me know! 🙂
Thank you, dear ones, for being here. Remember: You are a precious gift for this world. You’re always guided, supported and loved.
Sending you a big hug & love from the bottom of my heart!