Dinacharya: The perfect daily rhythm according to Ayurveda

Dinacharya: The perfect daily rhythm according to Ayurveda

Nature is organized in such a way that all things, however different they may be, proceed according to a certain rhythm or cycle. Modern medicine has already revealed many cycles in our body. Consider, for example, the fact that our heart beats every three-quarters of a second and that our lungs swell ten to fourteen times a minute to breathe air. However, many of the changes in our bodies remain a mystery. In this article, you can read what the explanation is for these changes according to Ayurveda.

The main cycles of Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, there are several main cycles in our body that are controlled by the so-called quantum mechanical body. Two waves pass through us every day. These both consist of a kapha cycle, followed by a pitta cycle, and finally a vata cycle. The three phases run from sunrise to sunset and then again from sunset to sunrise. The division of the two cycles looks like this:

  • First cycle:
    6-10 hours: kapha
    10-14 hours: pitta
    14-18 hours: vata
  • Second cycle:
    6-10pm: kapha
    10-2pm: pitta
    2-6pm: vata

To live a life in accordance with nature it is important to observe these main cycles and to go with the waves of nature.

Dinacharya: The perfect daily rhythm according to Ayurveda

The first cycle

The day, and with it the first cycle, begins with a kapha period. Early morning is considered kapha as the body feels sluggish, heavy, relaxed and calm upon waking. These are all kapha properties. Noon takes place in the middle of the first pitta period. This is the period when the body is most active and appetite is greatest. Pitta is responsible for converting food and distributing energy, among other things. The first cycle concludes with a vata period that begins at 2 p.m. Vata controls the nervous system and the afternoon is therefore the time when people, for example, do better on psychological tests.

The second cycle

The second cycle again consists of a kapha, pitta and vata period. The kapha period is relaxed and slow and during this period our body returns to its permanent resting place through the sunset. Pitta digests the meal when you go to bed and the energy is spent keeping you warm and your body regenerating. The vata period in the early morning hours is expressed through the nervous system and this is the time when we dream intensely.

Dinacharya: a perfect rhythm

Dinacharya: The perfect daily rhythm according to Ayurveda

Ayurveda has developed an ideal schedule, which is also called the dinacharya. This chart shows what it would be like to live a day in perfect rhythm. This schedule is based on four times that determine the rhythm of the entire cycle of a 24-hour period. These are 6-8am (waking up), 12-13pm (lunchtime), 6-7pm (dinner) and 9:30pm-10:30pm (bedtime).

The above times are approximate and vary with the seasons. According to Ayurveda, it is best to follow the sun and get up an hour before dawn every day of the year. When you do this, you get up during a vata period, which means you benefit from the vata qualities of lightness, cheerfulness and freshness. If you wait too long to get up during the kapha period, you will wake up feeling duller, heavier and less fresh. Below is explained how each time would be organized on an ideal day according to Ayurveda.

6-8 am: get up

On an ideal day, first of all, you wake up without having to set an alarm. Then you drink a glass of warm water and go to the toilet. Then you brush your teeth and take a shower or bath. When you have taken a shower, it is time to do some exercise or breathing exercises. This is also a good time to meditate. You will then have breakfast and finally you can take a morning walk.

Dinacharya: The perfect daily rhythm according to Ayurveda

The morning is a special time in Ayurveda. This is the moment when nature sends its most subtle messages and we are most sensitive to it. When you wake up, you should feel alert and clear-headed. You should be free from the worries of the previous day. This indicates that your body is ready to be renewed.

12-13 o’clock: lunch

Lunch should be the largest meal of the day and it is important to sit still for five minutes after this meal. After this, you can walk for five to fifteen minutes to stimulate digestion. You can close this period by meditating.

To make the most of the pitta time of the day, it is best to eat early, around noon. This is the moment when the agni, the digestive fire, is lit white-hot. That is why Ayurveda also advises to make lunch the largest meal of the day. It is also important not to drink alcohol to prevent you from becoming drowsy.

6-7 pm: dinner

Dinacharya: The perfect daily rhythm according to Ayurveda

It is important not to eat as much in the evening as in the afternoon. It is again good, just like after lunch, to sit for five minutes after eating and then walk for five to fifteen minutes to stimulate digestion.

Before you start your evening meal, it is good to meditate. The beginning of the kapha period, which is around 6 o’clock in the evening, is the time when our body wants to relax. It is not good to put too much fuel in your body right now, because your body will not digest this until 10 o’clock in the evening. It is preferable to drink warm water or herbal tea with dinner.

21:30-22:30: bedtime

Try to do only light activities in the evening and go to bed early. It is important that you go to bed at least three hours after dinner. Don’t read, eat, or watch TV while you’re in bed.

Since you have to get up before sunrise according to Ayurveda, it is also important to go to bed early. By going to sleep at 10 o’clock in the evening, the rhythms of the body are given the opportunity to relax in a natural way. You need your sleep to experience a day in the perfect rhythm.


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