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DINACHARYA IN AYURVEDA FOR HEALTHY BODY, MIND & SOUL A PRACTICAL APPROACH….

Part 1

So here is the article which has always interested me. “Dinacharya” contains all the elements that are required for good health. What is the definition of health? As per Ayurveda our texts states:

समदोषः समाग्निश्च समधातुमल क्रियः। प्रसन्नात्मेन्द्रियमनाः स्वस्थ इत्यभिधीयते। सुश्रुत सूत्रस्थानः 16∕48

" One is in perfect health, when the three humors or Doshas: Vata (air), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (water), digestive fire(metabolism), seven body tissues (Seven dhatus; viz: rasa, rakta, mamsa, meda, majja, asthi and shukra), malas (urine, feces and sweat) or excretory functions are in balance  and whose spirit, senses and mind (satva, rajat, tamas) remain full of bliss is considered healthy.”

Or in shortest words “feel good”  

It should be every person’s sincere attempt to maintain good health. As per Ayurveda dharma (religion), artha (means), kaama (desire), moksha (salvation) are the four prime goals of a human life. To attain these one must have good health and so should respectfully listen to ayurveda preaching. If we consider mind as a driver and a body as the vehicle then vehicle maintenance is equally important for the driver to reach the destination. If vehicle (body) is worn out, driver (mind) will not be able to efficiently reach its destination. Therefore to reach your ultimate goal one must willfully follow daily and seasonal routine.

Dinacharya or the daily routine has been very deeply and vividly explained in Ayurveda to maintain good health and holds true even in today’s time. It is therefore very important to understand why and how these principles can be understood and molded according to the present era.

So let us begin from the start

Wake up before its too late

"Brahmi muhurtam uttishthet swastho rakshartham ayushah tatra sarvartha shantyartham smareccha madhusudanam"(Ref: Ashtanga Hridayam)

The line translates as: ‘One should wake up in the brahma muhurta for sustaining perfect health and for achieving a long life span, as desired. ‘

​​​​​​​Utthan or waking up: The ideal time to wake up in the morning is “Brahmamuhurtha”. ‘Brahma’ means God and muhurtha means time. So literally it means God’s time which also means it is an ideal time for meditation. At this hour most of the people are still asleep or just waking up. The traffic of thoughts in the air is minimum and more on the positive end. Just like morning air is considered the freshest and pure; similarly practically few negative thoughts are circulating in the air so being positive is easy. At this hour of the day whatever thoughts we produce, will actually travel its destination faster. This is why it is considered as ideal time for study and meditation. As the day advances stressful thoughts start accumulating leading to congestion of thoughts in the air.

All that matters: Waking up in a morning is not just a product of grit but also a product of understanding the mechanism of action behind this. Some people obviously wake up pertaining to their character or childhood habits and of course if we have to go for work. But for many others it becomes a struggle. So let’s understand few things that are important for waking up early in the morning.

Digestion:  Did you know digestion plays a better role in waking you up then determination. Yes. If you really want to wake up early hours have food early in the evening between 6 to 7:30 pm. In the evenings try to have light food and easily digestible. For many having a balanced meal in a day is a challenge so they look upon dinner as a saviour. No worries be creative make this your main meal but try to keep out of alcohol at least 5-6 days a week. A small wine glass can do. But at the same time try to introduce some healthy snacks in busy or office hours. This can vary from soaked almonds, dry fruits, dark chocolates, fruits and wheat/multigrain cookies. As I mentioned in my previous article stay simple with food and have some healthy supplements. If you have access to a kitchen during work hours try to cook fresh for yourself.

At least maintain 2 hours gap between meals and bedtime. Avoid shower soon after meals coz this will lower down body heat and slow down digestion. Prefer bath before main meal or after at least one and half hour. This might be bit challenging but will be worth the price you pay. If your meals are not digested before sleep then waking up will be a dreadful task coz undigested food increase ‘kapha’ energy while it is ‘vata’ kala. Therefore even if you wake up you will feel lethargic. So by any means if you feel your food is undigested it’s better to sleep.

Value the night time: Many of us might have heard phrases like ‘start fresh with new day”. But the right phrase should be; ‘start fresh with a new night’. We all know that our mind is made up of conscious, subconscious and super conscious mind. Conscious mind is just the 10 % of what our whole mind is. Mainly it is Subconscious mind and then superconscious mind. Conscious mind is basically a logic and action mind. It is limited in its thoughts and judgements. The subconscious is the deeper mind. It is seat of thought and analysis. It analysis the data, interprets it and convert it to samsakara or habits. This subconscious mind is also the link between superconscious and conscious mind. This forms the very basis of many books written on thought power and how to use it for achieving the desire.

When our mind goes into state of relaxation there is a stage where both conscious and subconscious mind are active and that happens mostly when passing into sleep. It is just like the dusk or the dawn; where two times meet. So whatever state your mind is at this stage, will continue doing so throughout the sleep and set your mood for the morning. Therefore whatever bad day one had; coming to a practical solution, as per ones mind-set will bring good results. Therefore it is always good to have relaxing music or listening to an inspiring story, thanking God or anything that has the power to change your mood to good.

But please for God’s sake keep out of violent or emotionally unbalancing TV programs or social media or mobiles and tablets. And yes, keep your phone at a very good distance or at aeroplane mode. HAVE MERCY ON you at least before sleeping. No need to wake up early at the start itself. Your body will need to clear ‘many yearlong’ clutter before finally starting off on a new venture.

Early to bed and early to rise. Yes that is a golden rule till eternity. But in case you have some real challenges or commitments late evening try to have food early and sleep when time permits. Have some simple easy healthy snacks if you face a hunger pang after dinner.

Sleep issues: It is not uncommon to see a scenario, where we feel that despite our being tired, we are unable to get a deep sleep so we always feel like not having slept properly. Apart from understanding the reason for disturbed sleep (could be due to work stress, health concern or personal issues), practising yoga nidra once or twice on a day is a very effective treatment. This one has always worked for me. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4fO1istXvo&t=1286s). Pranayama practised also compensates for the sleep deficit. Along with that there are few other herbal remedies to get a good sleep

  1. Of course washing feet with warm water, applying oil, (preferably mustard oil due to its therapeutic effects)
  2. Putting few drops of oil (any) in belly button before sleep,
  3. Pressing ear lobes and temple region
  4. Head massage
  5. Any of the above

So always remember that “happiness is good health and a bad memory”, so let go off the day and sleep healthily.