Dinacharya - The Ayurvedic Daily Routine
In Sanskrit the daily routine is called the Dinachrya. Din means 'day' and acharya means 'to follow' or 'close to'. So you could think of it as being 'close to the day'.
Making the start of the day something special, bringing some ritual to your life and taking the focus off your job or daily chores is something that I think we could all benefit from. And vatas in particular need the stability that a routine gives them. The routine is quite detailed and will take some readjustments in your life and that is often something we find difficult. You will have to get out of bed earlier, so start slowly if you need to and then once you are feeling the benefits you will have no trouble shaving a little more time off your sleep. Try just one or two things to begin with and then add to them as you become more accustomed to waking up earlier. If you miss a day don't give up and don't be hard on yourself, just try again the next day. Remember that every day is different and new.
Wake, ground and connect with the day - As soon as you wake up, before you do anything else, ground yourself. Don't think about what you are going to do, connect with the moment, say "I am here". Then before you get out of bed develop awareness of the day you are about to begin and the connection you will make with the earth. Say a mantra if you wish. It could be "I am going to have a positive day" or "Today is a good day" or "I am going to live today with awareness", whatever works for you.
Wash - Wash your face, scrape your tongue, do some oil pulling, .brush your teeth and go to the loo
Exercise - Jog, swim, or do sun salutations. Get your Prana (energy) moving, remove the stagnation in your body and strengthen your digestive fire.
Self massage - Connect with your body. Massage your whole body if you have time and if not massage your feet, face, head and ears.
Shower - Use a gentle natural soap to clean your body.
Asana and pranayama - Do some yoga poses, use your breath and focus. Pranayama (focused breathing) will make your day more productive by enhancing physical and mental stamina.
Meditation - Sit or lay in a comfortable position with your spine straight. Calm your mind and focus on your breath.
Breakfast - Eat a healthy breakfast made from unprocessed, whole foods. Eat slowly making sure to chew each mouthful. Be present.
Be home - When you get home take the time to make the transition from your work, studies or whatever it was you were doing to being at home. Change your clothes, massage your feet, do some gentle stretches/yoga and focus again on the breath. Lay on your back, relax and come back into your body.
Dinner - This should be the lightest meal of the day. Try not to eat after 6-7 pm as the body does not have time to digest food eaten late at night. A light early meal at night will give you more energy the next day.
Slow down - Turn off the TV and computer, turn the music to something relaxing, read a book, have a bath, relax. Let your body and mind know that your busy day is over and soon you will be sleeping.
Meditate - Breath, centre, bring your focus within.
Sleep - Dream, escape, allow your body to rejuvenate and your mind to process your day.
Wake up and repeat!