Revamp Your Dinacharya
The root of Dinacharya in Sanskrit means Din=day and charya=to follow. Ok. Let’s all face it. A regular daily routine, or dinacharya, of Ayurvedically appropriate actions such as yoga and meditation is rather difficult to maintain. We’ve all been there; in bed, warm, underneath the covers, wanting twenty more minutes before commencing. Then there’s the inner reasoning. All of the sudden, the mind is a powerful lawyer with the opening argument of a lifetime. Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am tired. It is dark outside. Meditation and yoga can wait while I focus on the higher spiritual act of lucid dreaming…
Time for a Change
In this month’s newsletter I offer a few tips on how to revitalize your daily routine. It is now March and most of you I bet made some sort of resolution back in January that had to do with your spiritual practices. You may have made a resolution to do more yoga or start meditating or chanting. If you’ve been able to keep it up, great! If not, consider adding or subtracting or redesigning your dinacharya to better suit your practical everyday needs.
Why Not at Night?
There is no doubt that the spiritual energy of the morning is strong. The quiet and clear nature of early morning brings about an inner stillness that is precious. Though, for many, waking up and taking an hour to meditate, chant, and do yoga is not realistic or possible. Work, family, and school get a tight hold of the morning and time slips away. Or, some don’t feel rested and ready for the day after being awakened at an early hour. What I suggest, is to shift to a nighttime routine. After dinner and before bed, shift your practices and use them as preparation for sleep.
This means doing Vata reducing yoga postures such as sitting or standing forward bends, slow moving cat/cow stretch, and/or triangle pose; just to name a few asana options. Vata is pacified in the body via yoga when apana vata is activated by means of slow, deliberate, engaged, movement of the pelvis, thighs, knees, ankles, and feet. Mantras that help lower Vata such as the bij mantras that engage the first chakra, LAM and second chakra, VAM, will also be of great help. Furthermore, most sitting meditation practices pacify Vata. (These are also good suggestions for anyone with high Vata insomnia.)
Now, let’s think outside the box of the normal dinacharya. Walking and being in nature can be made into a practice, either to replace the normal sitting meditation or in conjunction with it. Furthermore, to practice yoga outside may be just what you need to take your hip opening or balancing poses to the next level. Use the tree. Touch the ground. Balance on a boulder. For mothers, include your children. Staying warm and connecting with nature with intention and awareness is great for all the doshas and dhatus (tissues) of the body.
What will it take for you to embrace your daily spiritual practice? For some, it’s a matter of timing. Some go outside first thing, so as to have the crisp air wake them up a bit. Then return to the house and are able to easily move and then sit. For others, a night time routine is exactly what is needed for overall peace of mind. Maybe for you it’s about integrating journal writing, gardening, or dancing. The point is; you have the power to create your own schedule, to shake things up a bit, with practices that deeply nourish your heart and spirit. Namaste.
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(Re-printed from our March 2013 newsletter.)