DINACHARYA (SANSKRIT: दिनचर्या “DAILY-ROUTINE”) is a concept in Ayurveda that looks at the cycles of nature and bases daily activities around these cycles. In Sanskrit, the word ‘din’ means day or daily and ‘charya’ can mean activity, behaviour, conduct, practice, performance, custom or routine. Embodied in the word, dinacharya, ‘acharya’ refers to following the inherent wisdom of nature by being close to the natural cycles of the day.
In Ayurveda, the activities of dinacharya are synchronized with the natural daily cycle of the sun and performed on a regular basis, because it is believed that daily routine can bring about radical change in the body, mind and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in your individual constitution, it regulates your biological clock, helps with digestion, absorption, assimilation and elimination, and it generates self-esteem, discipline, a peaceful mind, happiness and longevity. As human beings we are naturally a part of nature, and need to be in tune with the rhythms of nature so that we become closer to our true selves.
The sequences of dinacharya are daily activities that are performed at optimal times of the day, dominated by the energies of Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas. The heavy and stabilizing qualities of Kapha affect us between 6-10 in the morning and evening, the dynamic and transforming attributes of Pitta affect us between 10–2 during mid-day and mid-night. The light and inspiring potential of Vata has affect on us between 2–6 in the evening and morning. In Ayurveda’s dinacharya we make small and gradual changes to establish a routine that is suited to our unique doshic nature, and because this is done everyday it has an accumulative and lasting effect.
There are routines around waking and sleeping, cleansing and eliminating, practices for body, mind and spirit, practices for eating, work, creative play and relaxing activities, which are created to suit your individual needs and dosha or constitutional type. These routines are easy to introduce into your daily life and can make a huge difference to your health and wellbeing.