The fourth yama, according to Patanjali, is Brahmacharya. Various sources list two main meanings for this Yama. In one sense it means to have control of the senses. This definition also includes conduct that leads to the realization of the Self, or Brahman, study...
Dinacharya: The Art of a Daily Routine
Today’s society has become so hectic. Most people spend 2-4 hours per day commuting to work on a given day. Diet and exercise often fall to the wayside due to time constraints. However, Dinacharya is a daily practice that one can adopt even if they have limited time.
Dinacharya is associated with Ayurveda which is the sister science of yoga. It involves having a daily regimen. Routine helps to establish balance in one’s constitution. Furthermore, it also regulates person’s biological clock, aids digestion, absorption, assimilation, and generates self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.
The following is a list of practices one can choose from in developing Dinacharya:
1. Wake Up Early in the Morning – Vata people should wake up between 6-7AM, Pitta people should wake between 5:30AM-6AM, and Kapha people should wake around 5AM.
2. Say a Prayer before Leaving the Bed
3. Clean the Face, Mouth, and Eyes – Splash the face with cool water and rinse out the mouth. Dosha specific eyewashes can be prepared and used too.
4. Drink Water in the Morning – Drink a glass of room temperature water, preferably from a pure copper cup filled the night before.
5. Evacuation – Sit or squat on the toilet and have a bowel movement.
6. Scrape the Tongue – Gently scrape the tongue from back to front until you have scraped the whole surface for 7-14 strokes. Vata types should use a gold scraper, pitta types a silver one, and kappa types should use a copper one.
7. Clean your Teeth – Always use a soft toothbrush and an astringent, pungent, and bitter toothpaste or powder.
8. Swishing Oil in the Mouth – Hold sesame oil (for vata and kapha) or coconut oil (for pitta) in the mouth and swish for up to 30 minutes. Spit oil into a garbage can as spitting into sink or toilet can lead to plumbing problems.
9. Chewing – Chewing a handful of roasted white or brown sesame seeds strengthens the teeth and helps in cases of receding gums.
10. Nasya – Putting a few drops in each nostril of Nasya oil helps to lubricate the nose, clean the sinuses, enhance the voice, and improve vision and mental clarity.
11. Abhyanga – Oiling your body each morning will improve circulation, keep the skin soft and free of wrinkles, and help you feel fresh all day. Vata should use warm sesame seed oil or almond oil, Pitta should use warm sunflower oil or coconut oil, and Kapha should use warm mustard oil or corn oil.
12. Bathing – Bathing and showering are cleansing and refreshing.
13. Dressing – After bathing put on clean clothes.
14. Perfumes – Use natural scents or perfumes, such as essential oils helps to bring freshness, charm, and joy.
15. Exercise – Regular exercise and yoga asana improves circulation, strength, and endurance.
16. Yoga Asana and Pranayama – Vata should do slow, gentle asanas, such as camel, cobra, cat, cow, plough, spinal twist, leg lifting, plus up to 12 sun salutations done slowly. Pitta should do calming asanas, such as boat, bow, bridge, fish, child’s pose, and up to 16 moon salutations done moderately fast. Kapha should do stimulating asanas such as, lotus, locust, lion, peacock, and tree plus up to 20 sun salutations done rapidly.
17. Meditation – Meditate at least 15 minutes in both morning and evening.
18. Breakfast – Breakfast should be light in the summer and more substantial when weather is colder.
19. Lunch – Lunch should be your main meal.
20. Dinner – Dinner should be light and eaten around sunset or earlier.
21. Evening – Rest, read, and relax during the evening.
22. Bedtime – Vata and pitta should go to bed at 10PM and Kapha should go to bed at 11PM.
23. Sexual Activity – The best time for sexual activity is between 10PM-11PM.
Keep in mind that Dynacharya is not about adding more stress to your life but rather self-care to oneself. Start by just adding 1 or 2 things into your daily regime. Surprisingly, after 30 days you will notice it will be easier to add more things.
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