The art of the daily routine in Ayurveda is referred to as dinacharya. Dinacharya comes from two words: “dina,” which means “day,” and “acharya,” meaning “activity.” The meaning of dinacharya is, therefore, daily activities. It includes:  

  • The times we wake up each morning and go to bed each night
  • The times of day we take our meals
  • When we use the toilet – this will become rhythmic when our eating does
  • When and where we incorporate self-care and hygiene rituals
  • The days and times in which we exercise

Ideally, we want to make the times and places that we do these daily activities consistent.

Why is dinacharya so important?

According to Ayurveda, a daily routine balances our doshas, it relieves feelings of stress, it helps us stay positive, healthy, and happy, and helps aid in digestion. When our digestion is functioning efficiently, our body is able to properly put nutrients in their place and eliminate what is not needed. This then ensures that there is no build up ama (toxins).

In addition, everything in nature is cyclical and has a rhythm: the seasons, the phases of the moon, birds flying south for the winter, etc. We are no different, as we are made up of the same five elements; space, air, fire, water, and earth, as the rest of the universe. Our body functions better when things are rhythmic.

Dinacharya and Doshas

Dinacharya involves maintaining a daily routine of rituals to form positive habits and maintain discipline, which is especially important for Kapha and Vata dosha types, as they struggle the most with routines. Pitta types thrive on routines, as it ignites more of their drive. In this respect, Pitta and Kapha types can also benefit from occasional spontaneity, to help reset their tendencies towards control (Pitta) or stagnation into unhealthy routines (Kapha). 

Each dosha will benefit differently from a consistent dinacharya, however, they will all achieve balance when they develop an Ayurvedic routine that is suitable to their constitution.

Dinacharya Starts in the Morning

Developing a strong morning practice of dinacharya can help you set the precedence for the entire day. Here are some good morning rituals to follow as part of dinacharya (for more, read our guide to creating an ayurveda morning routine):

  • Wake around sunrise. This may be difficult at first, but after developing the habit, it will become easier. This can also be helped by sleeping in a room that allows in some natural light of the sunrise. Waking early gives the mind a sense of peace and purity, as it is during a sattvic time of day.
  • Give time for elimination and cleansing, including bowel movements, tongue scraping, cleansing of the teeth, and oil-pulling. Splash and clean the face with cool water. This aids in the natural detoxification of the body, and cleaning the membranes and skin of the face helps to awaken the senses and bring alertness. Drink a large cup of warm water – potentially mixed with a sachet of Radiance Salt Tea – to cleanse and detoxify the organs.
  • Apply oil to the body and head (abhyanga), then bathe. Oiling the body and head keeps the skin soft, increases circulation, reduces muscle aches, and promotes clarity. For the best results, use Ghruta ghee. Bathing before beginning the day helps wash away sleepiness, dirt, oil, and other impurities. It helps the body and mind feel refreshed and awake. After bathing, you can anoint the body with oils specific to one's dosha, to ignite joy and beauty.
  • Take Chyawanprash, and have an Ayurvedic breakfast. In the warmer months, enjoy a lighter meal, and in the colder months, have a warmer breakfast. Be sure to eat according to your dosha. Eating breakfast helps to activate organ function on a consistent time table, promoting healthy digestion and strong agni.

Dinacharya Continues Until Bedtime

The middle of the day should include lunch, work, and reflection. It’s healthiest to eat around the middle of the day, when the sun is closest to its peak in the sky, to improve the function of agni in the organs and tissues. If you suffer from heavier digestion, be sure to take a walk 30 minutes after lunch. Taking an herbal supplement (such as Digestion) can also improve digestion and regularity.

Working between 10 AM and 2 PM (Pitta time) is best, as it is when Pitta dosha is most active within the cells and within your environment. This results in successful project completions, and the manifestation of creative ideas.

Before eating dinner, take a walk in nature, read, listen to music, or have some tea. Kapha hours begin around 6 PM, and to help with digestion and relaxation, it is best to engage in activities that are mildly stimulating, while promoting rest. Afterwards, drink some CCF (cumin-coriander-fennel) tea. Before bed, take Triphala for better digestion and ease of elimination in the morning, but it is best to speak to an Ayurvedic practitioner about how and for how long you should take Triphala.

Seasonal Routines: Ritucharya

In addition to a daily routine, Ayurveda also says it is important to adjust for the seasons. A seasonal routine, known as ritucharya, helps us balance our bodies and minds in relation to the qualities of the season. Here’s how we should adjust our daily routine for the seasons:

  1. Food - Eat foods that are in season because nature provides the foods we need to balance the qualities of the season. Example: During the fall months, it is beneficial to eat foods like root vegetables and soups because they are warm and grounding, which is the opposite of the cool and windy days we often experience during this time of year. 
  2. Self-care and hygiene rituals - Adjust self-care and hygiene rituals based on the qualities of the season. Example: During the summer months, it is beneficial to take cool showers to balance the excess heat of the season. 
  3. Exercise - Adjust your exercise practices to balance the qualities of the season. Example: During the winter months, it is beneficial to engage in activities that help us cultivate heat and energy to balance the cold and heavy qualities associated with the winter months.
The rituals of dinacharya may take some practice, but once implemented, offer consistency of health. Your bodily systems, including your consciousness, will begin to feel lighter, clearer, and more alert, allowing for a better quality of life. For more information on creating a healthy daily routine, explore our Ayurveda Daily Routine Guide.
Back to blog