The Importance of a Daily Routine
The Sanskrit word used in Ayurveda for daily routine is dinacharya. An essential component of being in balance is sticking to a daily routine. Conscious awareness in our daily lives enables us to be whole and healthy beings, bringing us closer to our true natures. Living in harmony with the cycles of nature is important in Ayurveda and also a path to good health. Having a structured routine will always help us to take better care of ourselves. Ayurveda suggests a few more key steps besides just washing our face and brushing our teeth!
Rise and Shine
It is important to arise well before 7:30 am. Using a tongue scraper after you brush your teeth in the morning is important to remove the toxins that accumulate on your tongue after a night’s sleep. Dry brushing, followed by a warm oil massage (abhyanga) would be ideal before you shower (more on self massage in upcoming blog posts!)
Digestion of Food and Information
Starting your morning with a cup of warm water (with a slice of lemon or lime) is a healthful habit to get into. It improves digestion, boosts your immune system, reduces inflammation, aids in weight loss, alkalizes your body, eliminates toxins, reduces sugar cravings, relieves constipation and fires up your digestive system. Eating three meals a day at the same time is also important, as well as making sure that your largest meal is at noon.Try not to eat after 7:30pm so your body isn’t busy digesting food when you are trying to sleep. Make sure you stay away from screens (computer and tv) close to bedtime so they don’t interfere with the melatonin that your body naturally produces. Being in bed by 10:00pm is essential so you are asleep before you enter into another phase where you get a “second wind”.
Movement and Stillness
A daily movement or exercise practice is also essential for your body’s health as it increases circulation and oxygenation of the tissues, strengthens your digestive fire, tones the body, reduces fat and enhances vitality. Just as essential as movement, is taking a moment to be still. We cleanse our bodies each day, so too must we cleanse our minds of accumulated thoughts that no longer serve us. Direct your attention inward. Notice your breath and invite calm and relaxation into the body for a few minutes each day.
If you don’t do many of these practices yet, please don’t be overwhelmed and try to do everything at once. Try adding one new practice a week or every few weeks. I am confident that you will soon
feel the benefits and will be happy to incorporate them into your new and healthy lifestyle.
What daily practices do you use to keep your health in check? Tell us in the comments below!
Barbara Chernov AHC, CPT, CP
Barbara Chernov is a Certified Ayurvedic Educator, PanchaKarma Technician, Core Synchronism Practitioner, Ayurveda Health Counselor, and Cooking Class Director at Kanyakumari. She has been involved with healing for almost 40 years, starting with massage therapy, healing touch and homeopathy. Barbara continues to travel to India to further her studies in Ayurveda. She presently offers Ayurveda bodywork and Panchakarma treatments, as well as Core Synchronism treatments. "Health is free flowing energy" and the balance and healing that comes from Core Synchronism is something that must be experienced. She is also presently teaching Kanyakumari's Food As Medicine Informational and Cooking classes. She is happy to accommodate and personalize any requests for cooking classes. In the past she has taught cooking classes for children, families, and groups of friends. For the past thirty summers she has been working with girls at her summer camp, Birch Trail Camp For Girls in Northwestern Wisconsin, teaching them about nutrition and healthy lifestyles.