Monday, October 12, 2009

Fall Dinacharya - The Art of Daily Ritual

Everyday is the art of sequencing. Upon waking, you have the opportunity to organize and focus your life’s energy into numerous priorities or responsibilities at either a sustainable rate or at a racehorse pace. If you choose the moderate path to live by each day, every action will unfold into the next, and life will appear seamless and connected. In comparison, a day on the racehorse track will contain many disjointed, scattered, brief, caffeinated sprints from one activity to the next, which demands a tremendous amount of fuel followed by intense rest. The high and low spikes will eventually wear a person down or “dry them up”, as we say in Ayurveda, the sister science to Yoga.

The ancient yogis taught their students how to live with the natural cycles of the day, season, and life. If you manage your prana (life essence) on a daily basis with thoughtful consideration, you’ll begin to notice strong and healthy ojas, (juicy body tissue) which governs your hormones, autoimmune system and brainpower. Those who choose to disrespect appropriate energy use over the course of their life cycles will look in the mirror at age 50 and “get the face you deserve” as Ayurvedic doctor Robert Svoboda said upon turning 50! It is never too late or too early to consider sequencing your life events today for a healthier tomorrow.

To help you sequence today for a healthier tomorrow, there is a beautiful word in Sanskrit called Dinacharya, which describes the art of daily rituals. Dinacharya teaches us how to merge our personal routines with the natural cycles of the sun, moon, and earth. In the Fall, pay close attention to the elements, Air and Space (Vata dosha). You may notice symptoms such as; restlessness, instability, dry skin, constipation, aggravation in the nervous system, insomnia, and anxiety, as they increase in the body and mind. A few simple ways to prevent the Vata imbalances are to create a weekly or monthly routines that help stabilize your mind, body, and spirit.

Here is an example of a basic template for Dinacharya: (fill in the blank and follow your routine)

Your wake up time (aim for 5-6am)

Yoga Practice (slow rhythmic movement, standing poses, pranayama, and meditation)

Sesame oil massage before a hot shower

Breakfast (choose a time, then eat your warm food sitting down)


Lunch (choose a time, eat warm food away from your computer)

Work-Creative Time

Supper (choose a time, eat light warm foods like soup)

Free time to relax and nourish yourself

Bedtime (aim for 10pm)

The body likes routine. Experiment with your dinacharya for at least two weeks. Keep me posted with any questions. If you need yoga asana support, try my DVD, Yoga for the Seasons - Fall Vinyasa, for inspiration.

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