As the saying goes, it is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is permission, but this is a risky approach in the context of health. If there is mending to be done, we have waited too long to care for our well-being. Preservation of health through daily routine, or dinacharya, is a foundational concept in Ayurveda. It is your daily health code that keeps you up and running and allows you to face your day as a glorious picture of health. The ideas of rejuvenation and rasayana promote longevity and immunity and act as mental and physical safeguards. These restorative remedies make certain we are in it for the long haul. Dinacharya and rasayana go together like turmeric and mung beans—they are a perfect pairing for a lifetime of health and happiness.
When you weave rejuvenation practices into your daily routine, you establish sound footing. It’s like putting on your sea legs. When you can keep balance as your ship navigates the daily waves, grand gestures to re-establish health are less critical. A seasonal cleanse and days of rest are still required, but there is less likelihood of finding yourself in a subpar state of health and wondering, “how did I get here?” Yes, a rejuvenating daily routine is as good as it sounds. The best news is the application doesn’t have to be complex. Here are five recommendations to use as your guide for building your best restorative regimen. Start slowly, as to not overwhelm, by choosing one recommendation that resonates with you. When you feel like it sticks, move on to the next.
Take Your Daily Hygiene to a New Level
There’s the typical face washing, tooth brushing, and tending to nature’s calls that are a part of your daily routine, but there is so much more to consider. Ayurveda advocates a full regime of self-care on a daily, nightly, and seasonal basis. In a comprehensive but practical dinacharya practice, you’ll find tongue cleaning, oil pulling, nasya or nose oil, dry brushing, and self-massage with oil or abhyanga. These practices may vary in materials used and are performed with one’s health and the season in consideration. In our modern day Western culture, we may find they are based on priority or what fits into our schedule. Many of these components do not require much time, but for the lengthier, such as abhyanga, there may be 1–2 days a week where you can make it happen without stress. Nonetheless, a thoughtful daily routine will keep your channels or srotas clear, tissues or dhatus durable, and digestion or agni strong.
Incorporate Morning and Evening Rituals
In a time where most are overscheduled, a well-established morning and evening ritual can act as bookends to a day. Rituals prevent one day from merging right into the next and help us to keep a head that’s level. A morning ritual sets you up for more mindfulness in tasks and interactions at work and home. An evening routine helps establish quality sleep that isn’t interrupted by an overactive mind, thus making tomorrow a fresh start. You may choose for your morning ritual to be hygienic practices, time on your meditation cushion, or reading the newspaper. An evening routine could be oiling your feet, drinking a hot cup of tea, or journaling. All in all, the most important piece of this idea is for things to happen the same way at the beginning and ending of every day, no matter which ritual you choose.
Enjoy an Herbal Tonic
The meaning of the word rasayana relates to how we receive nutrition and transport it to the body. It’s about building dhatus or tissues that will lead to graceful aging and overall vitality. In a perfect world, we get the nutritional support we need from our meals, but you can also make up for what you don’t receive by having a daily herbal tonic. Approach this by tuning in to how you felt throughout the day. Add nutmeg to a warm milk drink at night if you need to calm your nerves, or drink turmeric tea if you are trying to soothe an inflammatory response. In a broader approach, try adding an herb or formula that is categorically a rasayana, such as amalaki, shatavari, ashwagandha, or Chyavanprash. Rasayanas nourish all seven dhatus and rejuvenate body and mind, even if you’re already feeling on top of your game.
Make Your Routine Consistent
Consistency in your routine is as important as the contents. We know through both Ayurvedic medicine and modern medicine that our body acts cyclically with nature. There’s a best time for eating, sleeping, and even times we are more proficient in planning and creativity. We are more likely to stay connected with these cycles when our day has some predictability. Look for ways to eat meals at the same time each day so you can take advantage of a strong agni or digestive fire. Make bed time a constant, in bed by 10 p.m. and up by 6 a.m. This could be a struggle at first, but will put you in sync with circadian cycles and ultimately lead to more restorative sleep. Exercise, cleaning, organizing, meetings…there are many things you can put on a regular schedule.
If you find yourself resistant to this concept, remember consistency isn’t monotony. Instead, it provides a framework that allows for more spontaneity and better energy to enjoy what life has in store.
Rejuvenation comes not only from diet and physical care, but also mental hygiene. For this, one of the most restorative practices is achara rasayana or revitalization through means of social conduct. This is akin to Yoga’s yamas and niyamas and advises we act ethically, avoid indulgence, maintain truthfulness, and above all, be kind to ourselves and others. These are rejuvenative actions that don’t require special food, tools, or extra time, they only require pause before we speak and act. How we conduct ourselves can be the most powerful component in keeping of sound health in body, spirit, and mind.