Dinacharya – The morning rituals with Ayurveda

by Jun 11, 20211 comment

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!

 

morning

First things first!

Morning – Elimination

When it comes to Ayurvedic morning rituals the first thing that comes in picture is Brahma Muhurtam. Brahma Muhurta signifies the time which is 1.5 hrs before sunrise. The time between 4-6 am in most states. This time period is very crucial for elimination of waste products from our body. Brahma Muhurtam Uttishtate is a well-known verse in Vedic literature. It means wake up on Brahma Muhurta. The first ritual to complete during this period to evacuate your bowels. According to Ayurveda this period is governed by Vata dosha. Vata doshas is responsible for all the movements in one’s body. Therefore, the elimination of wastes is easy and beneficial for the body to function effectively. 

 

Recommendation for early morning routine

  • Drink warm water as the first drink
  • Morning time before sunrise – 4 AM to 6 AM for bowel moments
  • Early morning excersizes – as suited for the body type is best

Movement

Vata dosha governs the morning time, it is essential for the body to be physically active. Warm up your body through gentle stretches, gentle calming yoga session, maybe a walk in morning sunrise. Movement in the morning not only increases your productivity throughout the day but also help build a positive mindset.

  • For Vata dominant individuals it’s important to go slow with the physical activities as excess workout may aggravate the vata more.
  • For Pitta dominant individuals, it is best to go with a medium pace of exercises in an early morning sun.
  • For Kapha dominant dosha individuals can opt for vigorous physical activities like running, rowing etc.
steps

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. 

Oral Health!

Brushing the teeth

After the oil pulling brushing teeth with an herbal toothpaste is considered as an important part of the morning rituals. There is a mention of using twigs from certain trees to be used as a toothbrush. The twigs were cleaned, and chewed upon so that the frizzy end of the twig can be used to brush the teeth. I personally do have some preferences of trees in the US which can be used as twigs for brushing the teeth on a regular basis. The twigs from an Apple, Pear, Oak, Willow, Silver Birch can be cleaned and used fresh. You can chew on part and brush in a circular motion, and spit out the secreted juices.

Tongue Scraping

According to the ancient science of Ayurveda,  tongue is the entry way to the digestive system. Healthy uncoated, pink, smooth tongue is the indicator of good digestive health.  Most of us don’t generally think much about it, but there is much information that can be gained from examining the tongue. And by scraping the tongue as a part of our daily routine, we are affecting a positive influence within the entire body. 

Benefits of tongue scraping ritual

  • Clears toxins, bacteria, and dead cells from the tongue to prevent bad breath
  • Enhances the sense of taste
  • Tongue scraping helps enhance the sense of taste, supporting good digestion and
    elimination

Gandusha – Ayurvedic Oil pulling

Oil pulling is an invaluable ritual according to the Ayurvedic texts. Oil pulling consists of swishing of Ayurvedic oils for a certain amount of time as part of the Dinacharya (Morning rituals).

Oil pulling can be used to clean the oral cavity in all these cases.
Gandusha and Kavala Graha are two primary oral cleansing techniques; specialized therapy to treat as well as to prevent oral diseases.

Gandusha involves filling the mouth completely with fluids like herbal decoction or herbal oils so that gargling is impossible. In Gandush, the oral cavity is filled completely with liquid medicine, held for about 3-5 minutes, and then released.

In Kavala Graha, a comfortable amount of fluid is retained with the mouth closed for about 3 minutes, and then gargled. It is a simple rejuvenating treatment, which, when done routinely, enhances the senses, maintains clarity, brings about a feeling
of freshness, and invigorates the mind. These oral cleansing techniques can also prevent bad breath, dry face, dull senses, exhaustion, anorexia, loss of taste, impaired vision, sore throat, and all kapha related imbalances

The oils commonly used for Oil pulling is Sesame and Coconut oil. You can buy one here (maybe a swishing oil we can make). It is a beneficial to massage the gums with the residual oil left in the mouth after oil pulling with your clean finger clock wise, helps in strengthening the gums.

Benefits of oil pulling

  • Healthy gum and teeth health
  • Vata dosha balance in the TMJ (Tempero Mandibular Joint)

    With everyone being remote these days and conducting meetings or talking over the phone, without realizing we are creating “vata” in our jaws. Oil pulling can help reduce vata, reliving any pain and the exersion

Body Care!

Eye care

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.

      Bath

      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

      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.

        Spiritual!

        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! 

        1 Comment

        1. Kalpana

          One of the best blog on Dinacharya!! Meaningful Information and stunning visuals!