Natural body care

Dinacharya, Daily Self Care

DInacharya

Dinacharyais the Ayurvedic daily ritual of self-care. According to Ayurveda, routine plays a significant role in health. A healthy life can best be maintained by creating a daily regimen tailored to a person’s constitution. Governing  all daily actions, such as the time you wake up in the morning, the time you eat, the  time you begin daily body purification, and the time you go to sleep, is the essence of dinacharya.

Ayurvedic dinacharya has been practiced for thousands of years and has many benefits. It cleanses the body and prevents the buildup of toxins, it helps to keep the senses and mind clear, and it’s very nourishing. Repeating a routine every morning sets the rhythm of your day and gives you a feeling of stability and steadiness. It promotes a healthy organization of the energy channels and the seating of prana (life force) in the body, creating calmness in mind, limiting stress, and minimizing decision fatigue.

The new science of circadian medicine suggests that our genes have lost their ability to perceive and harmonize with the natural circadian cycles of nature. In our modern high-tech world, following the dictates of our body’s circadian clock is becoming more and more of a challenge, and some people are starting to have symptoms of a “nature deficit disorder.” While modern scientists are only now beginning to recognize the relationship between our overall health and the cycles of nature, Ayurveda has emphasized the primacy of this connection for millennia. Current research on this connection may revolutionize modern medicine as we know it, and Ayurvedic practices can be a foundation for this research to build on.

Ayurveda aims to reconnect our bodies to these natural circadian rhythms through the practice of dinacharya. At first, the challenge of establishing a daily self-care routine may seem overwhelming, but you can take things gradually and ease your way into it.

Starting the day right is the most important aspect of dinacharya. According to Ayurvedic teachings, you will have the best health if you wake up before sunrise and excrete waste shortly after. The early morning hours are the body’s natural purification time. Various dinacharya practices that are performed first thing in the morning—including tongue scraping, oil pulling, nasya(herb-infused nose oil) applications, and drinking a glass of warm water with a fresh-squeezed lemon or lime—support this time-sensitive purification process.

Next, to provide a sense of alertness and freshness, you should rub your body with oils and take a bath or shower. Then put on comfortable clothes, exercise, and practice yoga for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Light exercise is necessary each day to keep the digestive system at peak functioning by creating internal heat. Choose the form of exercise that’s best for your constitution, and avoid overexercising. Afterward, rest comfortably on your back with arms and legs outstretched, and breathe from the lower abdomen to calm the central nervous system.

Daily self-enhancing practices are considered crucial in Ayurveda. They don’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. Taking a break as short as 10–20 minutes to refresh your mind and spirit with activities like meditation, pranayama(regulation of the breath), yoga, journaling, or prayer provides immense health benefits. The more time you allow for these types of practices, the greater the rewards.

Eat regular meals daily! Irregular meals and excessive snacking can weaken the digestive fire. The natural course of the day sets the rhythm of our digestive system. Having scheduled eating times is essential, with lunch being the largest meal of the day and occurring between noon and 2 p.m. When the sun is at its highest, our digestive system is also at its peak, so naturally, this is when the largest meal should be eaten; it’s also the best time to eat raw foods and animal proteins. If possible, have dinner before sunset, as the digestive system slows down as the sun goes down. Breakfast should be eaten before 9 a.m. and should consist of something simple and easy to digest. Remember to favor warm, cooked, light meals that are appropriate for the seasons and the doshas you want to balance.

It is best to go to bed by 10 p.m. Keep this regular bedtime as it lets the body know that it is time to wind down and recuperate. To promote healthy sleep, drink a glass of warm cow’s milk or almond milk with cardamom or nutmeg shortly before bed. You can enjoy this while listening to relaxing music. Stay away from stimulating conversations, music, and television for at least one hour before sleep. This suggested regimen follows the flow of energy within the body and its relation to the external environment. Continuous awareness of this natural energy flow is the key to getting the most from your daily routine.

Check out our video 10 things to do before 10 a.m. for dinacharya tips!

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.

 

Why and How to Perform Daily Self Oil Massage (Abhyanga)

Ayurveda is a natural approach to health and wellness that originated in India. It is a traditional form of medicine that utilizes herbs, nutrition, yoga, lifestyle routines and body treatments to provide balanced health. Ayurvedic massage is an ancient practice that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine and can provide you with a multitude of benefits. Understanding these advantages will allow you another choice when it comes to your long-term approach to health and wellness.

Abhyanga (warm oil application) serves to calm the nervous system, strengthen the joints and connective tissue, and stimulate the internal organs. One of the best things about Abhyanga is that by doing this healing practice several times a week, you are paying close attention to your physical body lovingly and attentively.  We all could benefit from more self-love, and this self-massage is an excellent way to practice this and reap some serious health benefits as well.

Daily self Massage helps increase the flow of blood and vital nutrients to joints, restoring fluids to areas requiring motion, such as the ankles, knees, hips, and wrists. It relaxes your muscles and relieves stress and tension at the same time, help improve range of motion and flexibility in joints, and helps increase the flow of blood and vital nutrients to joints.

Ayurvedic massage improves blood circulation to all areas of the body, and increases the number of red blood cells and helps injured tissues to heal. Increased blood circulation also contributes to lower blood pressure and increase the effectiveness of heart function. Ayurvedic massage may also help increase metabolism by eliminating waste products from the body and increases the flow of lymph fluids through the body; it is also known to help relieve symptoms of hypertension in some.

Abhyanga helps you relax and offers the pampering that many of us enjoy after a hard week at work, or during stressful situations. In addition to providing relief of tension, it gives you a sense of calm as blood and lymph fluids flood through the body, strengthening your mind and immune systems. Helping you over come fatigue Abhyanga nourishes and soothes the nervous system and promotes undisturbed sleep curing insomnia, leading to increasing vigor and vitality in your everyday life.

Ayurvedic oils massage loosens the deep seated toxins from joints and tissues and releases them into the system where they are eliminated. Besides this, accumulated toxins from the skin are also released to give you healthy and clearer skin. In Ayurveda, application of oil through massage can be looked at as an equivalent to injecting "medicines" into the body. The massage helps the blood to absorb most of the oil content directly to the blood stream and support overcoming illness.

It's best to choose the type of medicated oil that is appropriate for your Ayurvedic constitution or imbalance. An Ayurvedic Practitioner can suggest this, or you could only use raw sesame oil. Apply the warm oil all over your body 15-30 minutes before a hot bath or shower, allowing the oil to penetrate into the deeper tissues and joints quickly.

  • First begin by running hot water over the bottle or set the bottle in a bowl full of hot water, gently warming the oil.

  • Squeeze about a tablespoon of the warm oil into your hand and apply to the scalp, vigorously working the oil in the scalp. Use your fingertips in small circular motions to massage the head and scalp.

  • With the same oil on your head, move to your face and ears, massaging with a lighter touch.

  • Move to the neck and with an open hand, massage both the front and the back of the neck, more rapidly, creating friction.

  • Apply more oil and use this same technique and vigorously massage your arms straight up and down.

  • At the shoulders, elbows and wrists use a circular motion and then continue with the whole arm straight up and down to tie it together.

  • Then move to your chest and stomach, apply more oil if needed and use gentle circular motions, when covering the breastbone use straight up and down motions.

  • After applying a bit more oil to your hands gently reach around to the back and spin and massage them without straining.

  • Move to your legs and buttocks and repeat the same as your arms, long rapid up and down strokes over the whole leg and small circular motions at the hips, buttocks, knees, and ankles.

  • After massaging your legs, it is important to spend more time on your feet. Using the open part of your hand massage vigorously band and forth over the soles and the top of your feet. Then use your finger tips and create small circular motions all over the foot.

  • Let the medicated oil at least sit for 15 minutes, but no longer than 45 minutes. Rinse off in warm bath or shower.

  • Remember to practice self-love through out the massage, allowing the body to absorb nurture and care.

 

Disclaimer
The sole purpose of these articles is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.