Dinacharya: A Daily Routine to Restore Your Body’s Natural Rhythm

Last updated on May 9th, 2024 at 02:10 pm

What is the concept of Dinacharya and what is its sequence?

The word literally means daily routine and it is a concept in Ayurveda that enlists self-care activities to carry out at the beginning of the day and before bedtime, so as to improve or optimize your health.

Dinacharya focuses on undertaking certain activities in order to balance the doshas that rise or drop according to the time of the day. By following the Dinacharya as mentioned in Ayurvedic medicine, you lead a more disciplined life and set your daily routine to align yourself with nature and remain disease-free and happy. Here is an insight into the concept of Dinacharya and how it can be used effectively to restore your body’s natural rhythm.

What is Dinacharya?

Dina means ‘day’ and ‘acharya’ means ‘activity’. According to Ayurveda, it is a daily regime that includes self-care and helps you achieve alignment of self with nature and greater self-awareness. If you follow dinacharya, you can live in harmony with nature, get rid of diseases and stress, improve your bodily processes, experience internal peace, and thus lead a healthier and happier life.

As per Ayurveda, there are two daily cycles, the moon cycle and the sun cycle. During these cycles, there are 4-hour spans of vata, pitta and kapha doshas, the aggravation of which should be prevented by starting and continuing your day in a certain way and including certain self-care activities in your daily regimen.

During the sun and moon cycles that span the day and night times respectively, the first 4 hours are of the kapha dosha (6 am to 10 am in the sun cycle and 6 pm to 10 pm in the moon cycle). The next four hours in these cycles are of the pitta dosha (10 am to 2 pm in the sun cycle and 10 pm to 2 am in the moon cycle). The next four hours are of the vata dosha (2 pm to 6 pm in the sun cycle and 2 am to 6 am in the moon cycle). The respective doshas are dominant during the said spans of the day and night, and the daily activities enlisted in the dinacharya aim at balancing these doshas and helping you remain healthy and in harmony with nature.

Dinacharya Practices to Add to Your Daily Routine

Dinacharya Ayurvedic Routine

Wake Up

Wake up before the sun rises. During this time of the day, precisely 4.30 am to 5 am, the surrounding energy is conducive for waking up and there is peace and positivity in the environment that your mind and body require. The ideal time to wake up is 3 hours before sunrise. If that’s not possible, rise at least 1 hour or 30 minutes before sunrise.

Brahma muhurta is considered as the best time to wake up and start your day. It is advisable to wake up at the same time daily so that your body and mind tune in to a natural rhythm. It is said that during the early morning hours, sattva guna is dominant. The body has got good rest and the mind is more focused. So, experts consider early morning as the best time for meditative practices. Before getting out of the bed, recite a prayer as this helps you gain some positive energy.


It removes toxins from the body. If this activity is delayed, the digestion slows down and constipation may occur. Having a bowel movement after you wake up is considered a sign of good health. The vata prompts you to evacuate, but if the urge is resisted, vata dosha increases, in turn causing other digestive problems. So, it is advisable to have a bowel movement daily in the morning.

Clean the Eyes (Chakshu Dhauti)

Rinse your face with cold water to increase alertness and feel fresh. Wash your eyes with water. Massage the eyelids by rubbing them, blink the eyes and rotate them in all directions. Some experts say that it is good to use cool water should be used for pitta and warm water should be used for vata and kapha. The practice of washing the facial region is helpful for getting rid of impurities, germs and improving circulation in the area. The cleansing routine helps prevent acne and skin infections and keeps the skin healthy.

Oil the Nose (Nasya)

Lubricate your nose by placing oil in each nostril. As per Ayurveda, this practice improves mental ability and helps prevent or alleviate sinusitis. The nose is considered as a doorway to the brain. Hence nose drops are believed to nourish the prana. The practice of nasya is good for relieving pain in the shoulders, neck and head, for removing fatigue and weakness, for removing dark circles and giving you better sleep.

Nasal Cleansing (Jala Neti)

Some experts advice carrying out jalneti, which is an Ayurvedic technique to clean your sinuses, nasal passage and mouth. It is carried out with the help of a neti pot and should be first learned from an expert before including it into your daily routine.

Oil the Ears (Karana Purana)

Lubricate your ears with oil (preferably sesame oil). Ayurveda recommends massaging the earlobes to activate the marma points.

Clean Your Teeth (Dhantadavana)

Brush your teeth. Using a fluoride-free combination of herbs and minerals for brushing the teeth, helps in cleaning the mouth, keeping the gums strong, removing bacteria, getting rid of bad breath and also reducing kapha.

Scrape Your Tongue (Jiva Mula Dhauti)

Clean your tongue. Thereby your tastebuds improve and your digestive responses are promoted. Scraping the tongue helps maintain good oral health, as it removes ama and is useful in preventing bad breath.

Drink water

You may drink warm water with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Drinking water from a copper container is good as it cleans the entire system. This helps the kidneys to flush out toxins and free radicals from the body.

Oil Pulling (Gandusha)

Oil pulling is another self-care practice recommended in dinacharya. Experts say that you must swish oil or fresh herbal juice for a few minutes daily. Swishing is good for keeping the gums, teeth and jaw healthy. It also helps improve your voice. Sesame or coconut oil, or neem juice can be used for this practice.

Head and Body Massage (Abhyanga)

Massage your body with essential oils. This promotes blood circulation, prevents dryness of the skin by moisturizing it, and calms the nervous system. Abhyanga is said to be very good to balance vata and pitta doshas.

Bath (Snana)

A bath will remove excess oil from the skin and give you the freshness and energy required to sail through the day. According to Ayurveda, bathing, apart from removing sleepiness and lethargy, also opens the srotas and cleanses the malas.

Exercise and Meditative Practices

Exercise is an important part of dinacharya. It can be in the form of yoga or cardio workout and it is mainly aimed at burning fat, strengthening the muscles and infusion of energy.

Meditation is a self-enhancing activity, which helps you stay focused on your goals while also remaining calm and balanced throughout the day. Along with meditation, pranayama and other breathing exercises should be practiced. Yoga, visualization and chanting a mantra or recital of prayer, are also recommended as a part of dinacharya. These practices increase your satva guna, reduce anxiety, boost self-confidence and help you attain a higher level of consciousness.

Other Recommendations in Dinacharya

  • According to the Ayurvedic practice of dinacharya, your breakfast should be wholesome and healthy.
  • Lunch should be taken between 12 noon and 1 pm, as the dominance of pitta dosha during this time is conducive for ingestion of a good amount of food and helps digestion. As per Ayurveda, the lunch should consist of foods of all six tastes, sweet, salty, pungent, bitter, sour and astringent.
  • It is advisable to take a stroll after lunch as it helps digestion. A short nap (sleeping on the left side) is fine but a longer sleep duration should be avoided.
  • Sunset, the time between day and night, should be reserved for yourself and spent in prayer and meditation.
  • Ayurveda recommends having dinner between 6 pm and 7 pm. It should be lighter than lunch. Sleeping immediately after dining can lead to digestive problems, so bedtime should be at least 2-3 hours after dinner time.
  • It is advisable to take a walk after dinner, spend time with your loved ones, and spare some time for relaxation.
  • The best time to sleep is between 9 pm and 10 pm. Massaging the soles of your feet with ghee/oil before going to sleep, calms the body and promotes overall health.
  • You should get 6-7 hours of sleep daily.
  • To close your day, it is recommended that you relax. Lie down, close your eyes; you may keep some scented candles around and play soothing music. This practice of unwinding will help you release the stress and tension your mind and body may have accumulated during the day.
  • Some Ayurveda experts advice taking triphala in warm water an hour before going to sleep, as it helps cleanse and detoxify the body and promotes healthy evacuation the next morning.
  • It is recommended that you keep the same bedtime daily as it builds a sense of discipline for your mind and body and helps restore your body’s natural rhythm.

Thus, you can see that the Ayurvedic practice of dinacharya is a way to adopt self-discipline and improve your health. It gives you a strict daily routine and self-care activities that are essential for your well-being. In the cookie-cutter routine that most of us are caught in, the importance of self-care and self-discipline is often ignored. Dinacharya is based on the principle that certain doshas are dominant at a certain time of the day and some specific types of food intake and activities if undertaken at that time, help in balancing the doshas, in turn boosting health. Dinacharya also gets your focus on self-care which is crucial to the attainment of peace and wellness. So, start following this wonderful Ayurvedic practice and you will soon see a great positive change in yourself.

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