Published: 24th April 2009
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Ayurveda is an ancient holistic alternative medicinal science which promotes perfect health through prevention and treatment of health problems by recommending lifestyle changes. This knowledge of daily living was discovered by sages through intensive meditation and passed on orally. These were compiled in the Vedic times more than 5,000 years ago and are followed even today in India and world wide.

In Sanskrit, the daily routine is called the Dinacharya. Din means 'day' and acharya means 'to follow' or 'close to'. To be 'close to the day' in this respect actually means to merge your daily cycle with the natural cycle of the Sun, Moon, Earth, and the other planets in our Solar system. The reason is that your most healthy and happy state is your most natural state.

Dinacharya is one of the best things that you can do to stay in balance, prevent and treat almost any disease. The ancient Ayurvedic experts considered daily routine to be a stronger healing force than any other curative medicine and so devoted initial chapters in their medical treatise to a holistic daily routine.

To really heal, you must return to balance and know your place in the Universe.

One way to describe the daily cycle is in terms of the doshas: Vata -the air element, Pitta- the fire element and Kapha- the water element.

The Air Element is dominant from 2 to 6 in the morning and afternoon. Kapha, the Water Element, is dominant from 6 to 10 in the morning and evening, and Fire Element is dominant during mid day and midnight. Keep in touch with these energies during the day and move with them, not against them.

WAKING-Early morning, the Air Element is dominant which is considered the best period to wake up. In Ayurveda, the night is divided into 16 periods from sunset to sunrise. The ideal time to arise is 2 hours before sunrise or just before sunrise. This is the time when there is pure energy sattva in the air. If rising two hours before sunrise is not possible, try to rise as early as possible.

ELIMINATION -As soon as possible, empty your colon and bladder. Ayurveda suggests some

yoga exercises and drinking warm water in order to cleanse the system.

If you wait until later in the morning or during the day you are slowly poisoning yourself and creating an opportunity for chronic conditions to arise.

CLEAN THE SENSES -Wash your eyes with rose water and Triphala to purify the sight. Wash your ears and apply a tiny amount of sesame or almond oil in them to purify your hearing. Brush your teeth and scrape your tongue with a tongue cleaner to purify your mouth and sense of taste. You can monitor the condition of your body by observing the coating on your tongue every morning.

Gargle with warm water or herbal tea or a quarter cup of sesame oil to purify your voice and strengthen your teeth. Finally, put a little essential oil blend in your nose to purify the sinuses and your sense of smell. This could be eucaluptus, camphor or ylang ylang oil in base oil. An excellent base oil for this is Ayurnas by Dr. Deepak Chopra available at store.chopra.com. The traditional Dinacharya also recommends that you inhale the smoke of medicinal herbs every morning to purify the mind, head, face, neck and lungs.

EXERCISE-Ayurveda recommends yoga or any other form of exercise that is gentle and not forceful in the morning. This includes walking, yoga, tai chi, or swimming. This early morning exercise removes stagnation in the body and mind, strengthens the digestive fire, reduces fat and gives you an overall feeling of lightness and happiness.

It fills your body with good lifeforce called

Prana. It is not to be strenuous, but meditative and easy. In fact, exercising at one fourth to one half of your capacity is recommended. You want long deep breaths to absorb the Prana, not short quick shallow breaths. Too much exercise will aggravate Vata and the blood and imbalances will follow. The exercise will also help the oil that you just put on soak deep into your body and nourish all your tissues.

MEDITATION -If you can manage, try to meditate for 5-10 minutes a day after bathing and before yoga or some exercise.

For those few minutes, sit down and focus internally on yourself, your soul and god, if you want. You can also focus on Mother Nature, elements like air, water, fire and imagine 'prana' flowing inside you. This is the most important aspect of Dinacharya. The whole day, indeed the whole world, revolves around this. Simply be quiet. Sit in Peace, at least for just a little while.

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