As Spring arrives and new life starts to pop up all around us, we could get a bit scattered. Having a daily routine, especially at the beginning of the day, puts a calm and a peace into our lives. This regularity is seriously needed as all kinds of new Spring and Summer possibilities present themselves to us. We need to start that pattern/routine before the new seasons take us in all kinds of potentially non-balancing directions.
Ayurveda, which is the sister science of yoga, offers us some help in developing this “daily routine” (dinacharya). A dinacharya sets our day in a motion that gives us a stable start to the day. It cuts down on decision fatigue because I am not frantically trying to figure out what to do next while I am going through my early morning activities. It creates and supports a calm mind.
When my daily routine is upset. For instance, when I take our son Luke to the airport for a 5 am flight or drive with Mary before dawn to Madison or Oostburg to do grandchild care, I experience some confusion, dis-orientation, and stress. I do some yoga postures (asanas) and sit in meditation after I get to the destination, but it is not the same.
Ayurveda, which is the science of living a long life, suggests a very clear set of actions that can help us move more gracefully into and through the day. They help me. Here are some components of my daily routine, my dinacharya. You also might find these helpful:
Waking up before dawn or before 6 am. This also includes getting to bed before 10 pm, so that I get at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
Going to the bathroom to empty my bladder. This helps my body begin to think about emptying my colon as well.
Brushing my teeth.
Scraping my tongue, which continues to give my body the message to have a bowel movement.
Neti washing my nose. This cleanses the inside of my nose and sinuses from the bacteria, viruses, pollutants that make me stuffy and inhibit my meditation.
Drinking about two quarts of alkaline water (lemon water, if I don’t have access to the Kangen Alkainized Water). This continues the process of preparing me for a bowel movement.
Sitting on the toilet and emptying my bowels.
Shaving and taking a warm shower.
Massaging myself lightly with Triphala Oil, which has a cooling sesame oil base. This continues to invigorate my body after the shower.
Gentle stretching and movement of my joints.
Sitting in meditation. The length of the sitting depends on my current prayer and pranayama pattern, and the mantras that I am employing at the time.
All this takes from 60-90 minutes. After my dinacharya, I am ready to start the day. It makes Michael a happier Michael, as I smile thinking about this morning’s practice.
I share this with you, not that you must follow my routine, but to give you an idea of what Ayurveda suggests will make you a happier yogi or yogini. Notice, I did not turn on the radio or television. The morning is “my time.” I don’t want the outside world pushing itself in on me during these precious starting moments of my day.
May your day begin with some regularity, whatever that may be, as Spring and Summer begin to press us forward.