In Ayurveda, dinacharya is the practice of having a daily morning routine that is both cleansing and rejuvenating.

These simple daily actions can help bring our whole system more into balance, regulate our body clock and our digestion.

When we follow the same routine each morning we are setting ourselves up for the day.
We know that every day will begin the same, which is beneficial for the mind because it takes away a set of decisions - reducing what’s called ‘decision fatigue’. 

Dinacharya is suitable for everyone, but you can tailor it by choosing different oils and yoga practices depending on your Ayurvedic dosha (mind-body type): Vata, Pitta or Kapha.
The routine below is what I've been practicing each morning for many years now.

  • When you first wake up, spend a moment checking in with how you feel both physically and mentally before doing anything else. Scan your body for any aches or areas of tension. Are you feeling any particular emotions? How are your energy levels, do you feel rested or tired? Use this check-in to help you decide what and when you want to eat later.
  • Head to the bathroom, and try to move your bowels. When we get into the habit of doing this each morning it helps to regulate our digestive system. It can help to raise your feet on a step so that your knees are higher than your hips and you are more in a squatting position. 
  • Afterwards, brush your teeth and use a tongue scraper if you have one. You can also try oil pulling for one to five minutes to remove ama (toxins). If you decide on oil pulling, you can use either sesame oil for Kapha and Vata, or coconut oil for Pitta dosha. Take a tablespoon of the oil and slosh it around your mouth like mouthwash. When you spit the oil out you can spit it out onto paper or tissue and put it in a bin to avoid clogging your sink pipes with the oil.
  • Depending on what feels best for your skin type, choose either dry brushing or use a natural body scrub.
    If you’re dry brushing, follow this with an oil massage and then a shower. If you choose a body scrub, do the oil massage first, then scrub, then shower. In either case, you’ll be stimulating your circulation.
    Brush or scrub towards the centre of your body, meaning you'll start by brushing or scrubbing your feet and hands, and work your way towards your belly and lower back.
  • Spend at least five minutes massaging your body with oil. Again, you can use sesame oil if you are Kapha or Vata, or cooling coconut oil for Pitta dosha. Try to feel your body from the inside out - for example, when you massage your arm, try to feel your hand with your arm instead of your arm with your hand. This helps to feel more grounded and to bring awareness into your body.
    If you can only choose one part to massage, make it your belly. This is where we often hold a lot of tension. Follow the direction of your digestive organs using a circular motion: starting at the right side of your belly, circle up towards your ribs, then to your left side and down towards your lower belly and then back to your right side.
    You can either follow the oil with a shower or leave the oil on your body and shower after your yoga practice. Depending on how you feel this could be a warm or cool shower.
  • Next, take at least 5 minutes to sit in meditation. This could be simply sitting comfortably, closing your eyes and bringing your attention to your breath, or any other type of meditation you prefer.
  • Follow your meditation with either a yoga practice, or something else that gets your body moving. You can tailor your practice to your dosha.
  • Make and eat some nourishing food. Choose foods that will support your body and that you enjoy. Again, this could be foods that support your dosha type, but the main thing is to choose foods that make you happy.

Even though all of these steps are relatively small and simple, it might feel as if this is way too much to do each morning.
In case all of this does feel like a lot, just see if there is one thing out of this list that would feel supportive to you. Start by introducing that one. you can always add more if you feel like it. Make it manageable and be kind to yourself. There's no need to try and do everything at once.

If you'd like to learn more about Ayurveda and how you can use Ayurvedic tools to support you in daily life, you can find this - and much more - in my online courses.

Small logo
quote symbol

Irina emits a healing energy that just feels good to be with. Each time we've met, I've relaxed into her presence, openness, authenticity and ability to offer support. She has helped me gain the perspective I needed to be more compassionate and gentle with myself. If you're ready to do the hard work of personal growth, I'd highly recommend partnering with Irina.

- April