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Yogic Lifestyle: Starting the Day Properly

by Michael Ketterhagen

“Starting the day properly sets the tone for the rest of the day.”

--Pandit Rajmani Tigunait

The fifth “yukta,” that is, starting our day properly, is a powerful way to bring one’s self into the day peacefully. Because humans are such habitual beings, yoga encourages us to begin the day with a regular pattern and to begin the day when the biological clock inside says that it is time to start dealing with one’s surroundings.

When we don’t listen to that clock, we are not listening to the “voice” of God. If we develop proper sleeping habits, like going to bed before we get our second wind, our body will wake us in either 6, 7 ½ or 9 hours. We will then have plenty of time to establish a morning routine that would allow us meditate before we begin our work or daily tasks.

This morning routine is called a “dinacharya.” This routine orients our day toward fulfilling our purpose that day. It prepares us to use the first part of the day to connect with our inner world providing clarity and enthusiasm for the day ahead.

Yoga suggests a specific dinacharya, one that sets the stage for our meditation. In meditation, we have the opportunity to consciously connect with the Spirit within. During the morning dinacharya we prepare our bodies and minds for that time of conscious presence with the divine within us. The routine gives us a chance to clean the temple of our inner Spirit, God within.

Yoga’s dinacharya is:

getting out of bed promptly when awakened by our biological clock,

going to the bathroom to empty the bladder,

brushing the teeth,

scraping the tongue,

washing the insides of the nostrils with a neti pot wash,

preparing a warm drink (coffee, tea, or warm lemon-honey water). This stimulates the peristalsis of the bowels.

emptying the bowels,

taking a warm shower,

do some yoga asanas to awaken the body, then

sitting for meditation.

Then, yoga says we are ready for the day. Of course, this routine can vary. The main purpose is to prepare one’s temple for our meditative worship of the Divine within us. This meditation then sets us on a course of purposeful, peaceful acting during the coming day.

Over the years, this pattern and similar ones have allowed me to maintain a wonderful daily experience, one that has helped me stay connected with my purpose and with the Spirit within. It has also helped me stay free of the electronic devices until I have recognized and spent time with my Divine Mother.

As you start slowly developing your own personal dinacharya, may it help you as well.

I pray to the Divinity in you!


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