In Sanskrit, the daily routine is called Dinacharya. ‘Din' means 'day' and ‘acharya' means 'to follow' or 'close to'. In Ayurveda, the focus is levied on the early hours of the day. It is instrumental in setting the tone of your whole day.
Ayurveda believes that routine is a discipline for the body and mind which strengthens immunity and purifies the body of its wastes. With the help of simple health routines, one can clean the body & mind, balance doshas, strengthen immunity and start the day on a refreshing & rejuvenating note.
Following simple routine in the morning will help you start the day on a blissful note. Here is your guide to a refreshing morning.
Ayurveda recommends an auspicious time- Brahma-Mahurata which means ‘the time of Brahma. The pure intend for rising up in the morning'.
The early hours are considered best for attaining bhram gyan (meditation and self-analysis), supreme knowledge and eternal happiness. Meditation at this time improves mental performance, thus it helps in increasing satva guna therefore subduing mental irritation or hyperactivity and lethargy which is contributed by rajas and tamas guna.
Power of Breath
According to Ayurveda, the right side of the brain controls creative activity while the left side controls logical verbal activity. According to research, when one breathes through the left nostril then the right side of the brain is more pre-dominant and vice-versa.
Follow the ancient tradition of observing the lines in your palms and remember the Goddesses of Wealth, Knowledge and Power. Rub the fingertips with your thumbs in a circular soothing rhythm - right clockwise circles and then left anticlockwise circles. Rub the palms using fingertips and then turn the right wrist clockwise and the left wrist anticlockwise. First kiss the palm of that side of your body where the flow of breath is stronger, then kiss the other palm. (Kissing confers energy. By kissing your palm, you give your best vibrations to your most effective tool for self-expression.) Rub both hands together and move the palms slowly over your face, covering head, shoulders, arms and legs. This creates an energy shield which wards off negative influences for the whole day.
Recite the protection mantra that belongs to this simple but effective morning ritual. After reciting the mantra, sit silently with an empty mind for a few minutes.
Step out of the bed and touch the ground with the leg that corresponds with the side of the body where the breath is flowing dominant (check nostrils).
Wash hands, face, mouth and eyes with cold water. Clean nose, teeth and tongue.
Meditate and Exercise
Relax and do pranayama until the breath flows evenly through both nostrils. Meditate while centering your energy in the heart chakra or at the third eye.
Vyayama or physical exercise usually comprises of yoga postures like Surya Namaskara or sun salutation and breathing exercises. But it can be anything including a walk or a swim.
Massage the body (abhyanga) with sesame oil. Massaging the scalp, forehead, temples, hand and feet for about 2-3 minutes is sufficient.
Bathe in water which is neither too hot nor too cold.
Lunch should be taken early between 12-1pm as it coincides with the peak period which is responsible for the digestion.
This is a special time of balance between day and night. This is the time for evening prayers and meditations.
Dinner should be taken at around 6-7pm and should be lighter than the lunch. The dinner should be at least three hours before bedtime as it gives ample time to digest the food.
The ideal time to sleep is by 10:30 pm. To calm the system, one can massage the soles of the feet before going to bed.
Dr. Nisha Manikanthan, senior faculty, Art of Living.
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