Relaxing into a routine

A lifestyle is nothing but the long-term pattern made up of our daily routine and habits. Having a daily routine, called dinacharya in Ayurveda, is one of the most important elements of Ayurvedic medicine and a crucial part of our health.

Daily routine = when we do the same things at the same time every day

When the body adjust to a daily routine and learns to count on it, the nervous system can relax. In Ayurveda, the ideal routine is a bit morning-heavy: the idea is to fit in the morning routine really important things like – meditation, self-care, yoga, physical exercise and breathing exercise – all before breakfast, unless we are sure they work better for us later in the day.

Here’s a detailed daily routine that incorporates many elements of a healthy lifestyle and stress management:

  1. Wake up early. At the same time every day.
  2. Clean your face, teeth, mouth. Scrape your tongue and gargle with some warm water. The tongue accumulates bacteria overnight. This helps diminish their numbers.
  3. Drink a glass of warm water. This stimulates a bowel movement and cleanses the gastrointestinal tract.
  4. Eliminate.
  5. Apply cooling salve or cool water to the eyes. This refreshes the eyes.
  6. Gargle with salt water. These steps should only take 3-4 minutes total.
  7. Mediate or read ( min 15 minutes/max 60 min). The goal is to quiet the mind and the spirit.
  8. Apply oil to your body. Bathing and dressing. 
  9. Take a brisk walk (half-hour), followed by 5-10 min of gentle yoga. If you are very thin or weak, a slow stretchy restorative yoga, tai chi or qi gong routine will be good. If you are heavy, a more vigorous form of exercise, such as jogging could be appropriate. 
  10. Do 5 to 10 minutes of gentle alternate-nostril breathing ( to move your prana/life force/ smoothly in the body).
  11. Cook breakfast.
  12. Have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same time every day.
  13. Remember to breathe deeply throughout the day.
  14. Spend the evening quieting the mind and body, in preparation for bed. 
  15. Go to sleep at the same time each evening.

This routine is one that would work for just about anybody, health permitting, but can be modified and tailored for each individual, according to one’s special needs or considerations. If the routine feels daunting, and you start only with 5 minutes of meditation and 15-20 minutes walk – you will still benefit. 

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Info from the book ‘Balance Hormones, Balance your Life’, Dr Claudia Welch, image – Google

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