Dinacharya – The morning rituals with Ayurveda
Namaste from HemaVeda,
Our modern life has become more complicated. There is a lot of stress and even more expectations from ourselves and those around. In this hurricane of challenges we tend to neglect taking care of our bodies, and assume taking care our body is also very difficult. Just eating a healthy lunch or a snack is not enough. A single healthy food may not give our bodies the complete nutrition as well as keep our body cycles in balance.
So, how do we develop a healthy habit? What does it mean taking care of our bodies?
Ayurveda recommends a way of life for different times of the day as well as seasons. These are small activities that form healthy habits. Today, I will discuss a ritual for us to follow in the morning answering questions like –
What is a good time to get up?
What should we do in the morning?
What is self care in the morning?
Dina (day) charya (rituals) is the morning routine recommended by Ayurveda that aligns our bodies natural rhythm for a healthier start of a day. Our bodies like habits and starting our days with the routines that help clean our body and prepare our minds sets us up for a successful day.
Habit forming is making small deliberate actions. Before we know it, our bodies will love these!
Mind and Meditation
One of the important practices to perform to seek the balance of the mind body and soul is to ground your thoughts and center your mind. The best practices to achieve the deep state of meditation is to start with some cleanse techniques for your breath, Kapalbhati or the Bellow breath is one of the best yoga practices you can start with.
For Vata it is very important to center the mind by some grounding meditative techniques like Trataka, alternate nostril breathing, Omkar chanting.
For the fiery Pitta dosha decluttering the mind is very important, appreciation of the tasks completed, seeking balance between over exertion and to remind yourself that by allowing time to empty your thoughts of your weekly to-do list is the best way to calming the Pitta dosha. Sheetali, Seetkari pranayama helps a lot for Pitta dominant individuals.
Lastly the Kapha dosha, which needs movement, activities help to move the dense Kapha. Running, Kapalabhati breathing, Mantra chanting provides the much-needed energy to keep the body and mind alert.
It is very important to take care of the eyes regularly as part of a morning ritual. Eyes dominated by the pitta dosha, herbs like rose petals, hibiscus flowers, Triphala play a vital role to calm down and balance the Pitta dosha in the eye region.
My daily eye wash regimen includes, washing the eyes gently with overnight soaked dried rose petals(1 teaspoon) and ½ teaspoon of triphala churna in 1 cup of hot water and using the herbal water for my eye wash the next morning.
Body Massage/ Abhyanga
The word Abhyanga literally means self love. Massaging the body with warm Ayurveda oils helps in healthy blood circulation, rejuvenation of mind and body and nourishment. The best way to apply oils for a body massage, is to use an Oil warmer in winters or rubbing the oil between your palms and gently massaging the whole body from head to toe. After stimulating the body, leave the oils on the skin for 20 minutes to fully absorb before rinsing off in the shower, leaves your skin nourished and body in an awakened state.
The most relaxing of all rituals is a warm bath. Ayurveda recommends to use aromatic herbs for the bath ritual. Use of sandalwood, Karpura or camphor, Neem, Manjistha, Turmeric, Sariva is beneficial for removal of dead skin cells naturally and rejuvenation of Skin. I have an amazing mixture of aromatic as well as skin detox herbal scrub for daily bath ritual. Just use 2 tablespoons of herbal mixture in 4 tablespoons of water or milk and scrub face and body gently during bath time. It helps in detoxify, circulation of the lymph, and replenish the skin on a regular basis.
Hair care according to the Ayurveda morning rituals include regular application of Ayurveda herbal oil by gently massaging the scalp. Hemaveda hair care and sleep oil is made with 33 types of Ayurveda herbs cooked in carrier oils like Almond, coconut and castor oil. All you got to do is massage the scalp regularly with the oil for healthy, thick and lustrous hair. Next important part of this ritual is Hair wash, Ayurveda recommends the use of bitter, astringent herbal powders like Triphala, Neem, Reetha etc. Soak the herbs overnight in hot water and use the water the next day to wash hair.
A practice that allows us to surrender control automatically eases our mind!
Prayers or Mantra chanting
Praying is an act of surrender, self-realization and love towards spirituality. Praying or Mantra chanting in the morning hours has its own significance. It increases the positivity, happiness in one’s self. It is a practice of self-development.
According to Ayurveda, lighting of a ghee lamp, incense sticks help calm down the nervous system, thus helping to get energized in a balanced way at the start of the day!