According to Ayurveda, cultivating a daily routine is one of the most important ways we can support our health. The practice of an Ayurveda daily routine, known as Dinacharya, is based on following the natural doshic times of day so we can achieve alignment with mother nature. Having a routine allows us to sync our circadian rhythms and energetic potential to enjoy optimal health.
The following is a sample daily routine according to Ayurveda.
The morning is the most important part of your daily routine. The morning hours are the time during which you set the mood for the rest of your day. Here are some tips for a great morning routine according to Ayurveda.
- Get up early. Ayurveda recommends that we get up before the sun rises. The hours before sunrise (2 AM – 6 AM) are Vata time. When we wake during these hours, we feel more energized and alert.
- Detox. Throughout the night, our bodies process toxins so it’s important to evacuate and engage in toxin removal techniques, like tongue scraping.
- Oil up, then cleanse. Practicing Abhyanga is an essential component of a daily routine. Allow the oil to sit for about 15 minutes before showering and bathing.
- Take Chyawanprash. Chyawanprash is a versatile and potent supplement that helps bring energy and vitality into the body. Chyawanprash is most effective when taken on an empty stomach, 15-45 minutes before eating breakfast.
- Practice pranayama, meditation and yoga. The Vata time of the morning relates to breath and spiritual practices, and is the ideal time for pranayama, meditation, and yogic practices. Vata time is also a good time for creativity so consider journaling and engaging in creative thought.
- Exercise. As we enter Kapha time (6am – 10am), it’s a good time to engage in exercise to wake up the body and get the blood flowing.
- Eat breakfast. By the time you finish the above mentioned activities, it’s likely near 8 AM and a good time to eat breakfast.
- Work during the late morning and early afternoon. The pitta hours – between 10 AM and 2 PM – are the times during which people feel motivated, focused and productive. These are the best hours to work and solve problems.
- Nourish yourself at lunchtime. Your agni is highest at midday, and as such this is the best time for you to eat the day’s largest meal.
- Late afternoon / early evening walk. The late afternoon and early evening is a good time to take a walk. This can stimulate agni and improve digestion.
The evening is the time during which you wind down after your day. A good Ayurveda daily routine will include some of these tips.
- Reduce stimulation. You want your evening hours to be relaxing and free from excessive stimulation. These are good hours for relaxing music and gentle activities.
- Practice pranayama, meditation and yoga as needed. Pranayama, or breathing exercises, are great evening-time exercises that can help to promote relaxation and encourage a good night’s rest. Meditation and yoga can also help to bring about relaxation and can help you overcome the day’s stressors.
- Follow the same bedtime schedule every day. It is said that a regular daily routine is more important than the occasional medicine. In this sense, it’s important to make sure that you get to bed at the same time everyday. This helps to solidify your circadian rhythm (your sleep-wake cycle) and ensures that you can get up early to start your Ayurvedic daily routine in the morning.
Reviewed by Dr. Jayant Lokhande, MD (Botanical Drugs), MBA (Biotechnology)