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The new science of Circadian Medicine is suggesting that our genes have literally lost their ability to hear the natural circadian cycles of nature. (1-3) Scientists are only now beginning to understand exactly how important it is for the body to stay in rhythm with nature.
In our modern high-tech world, this is becoming a challenge, as more and more folks have what some are calling a “nature deficit disorder.” (4)
While Ayurveda has touted the importance of a connection with nature for millennia, it was nice to read in a recent issue of Scientific American that Circadian Medicine may revolutionize medicine as we know it. (2)
In this article, I will share the Ayurvedic daily routine designed to maintain and reconnect us to the natural circadian rhythms.
In Ayurveda, a daily ritual of self-care is called dinacharya.
I have written full articles and eBooks (free) about most components of this routine, so if you unsure about the benefits of a certain technique, check out the articles and the science behind it (which can be found in the links in the bullet points below) and see if it fits for you.
This daily routine can become very elaborate, so I have listed the basics (marked with an asterisk*) along with the optional components.
- Arise early in the morning, preferably before the sunrise.*
- Drink a large glass of warm water – with lemon out of a copper cup is ideal.*
- Wash your face.*
- Scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper which stimulates digestion and elimination, preferably a copper scraper.*
- Brush your teeth with natural tooth powder or paste.*
- Evacuate bowels and bladder, ideally within the first hour of waking.*
- Do 10-15 minutes of morning yoga and/or 15-30 minute brisk walk or exercise while performing nasal breathing – see my nose breathing workout articles and videos.*
- 5-10 minutes of breathing exercise (pranayama).
- 5-15 minute meditation or sit in silence – see my One Minute Mediation or TAT – Transformation Awareness Technique Meditation eCourse.*
- Shower or bathe.*
- Perform oil pulling – swish herbalized coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for 10-15 minutes while showering.
- Enjoy your daily abhyanga (self-massage using oil). Best with our Lymphatic Massage Oil or Tri-Doshic Massage Oil – this can also be done in shower).*
- Breakfast: eat a small amount, but make it big enough to get you through to lunch without needing a snack. Quantity may vary based on body type.*
- Lunch: relax and make it the largest meal of the day. Do not snack until dinner.*
- Brief rest on left side and light walking (10 to 15 minutes) after lunch to facilitate digestion.
We Recommend3 Habits of People with Perfect Digestion
- Supper: the lighter and earlier, the better.*
- Evening yoga, breathing exercise and meditation.
- Go to bed by 10pm.*
From an Ayurvedic perspective, following this dinacharya also aligns you with nature’s rhythms each day. (5)
For instance, exercising is most optimal in the morning, between 6am and 10am, when the body is in its kapha phase and is naturally physically strongest.
Eating the largest meal of the day at lunchtime aligns with the pitta time of day, from 10am until 2pm, when the digestive fire is strongest.
Between 2pm and 6pm, which is the vata time of day, the nervous system is most active, so it is beneficial during this time to do calming, centering activities such as mental work and meditation. (5)
To experience a complete Ayurvedic lifestyle, try our 28-Day Ayurveda Challenge, (6) an online eCourse where you receive a new Ayurvedic challenge each day for 28 days, including articles, tips, and videos – it is a program that has the power to transform your life and enhance your health and vitality.
What are ways that you incorporate the practices from the Ayurvedic dinacharya into your everyday life?