We live in a world where resiliency is key. It is like money in the bank: you want to have it when you need it.
The noise and speed of life make it clear that to thrive we need to flow with change. Because of the massive number of inputs and conventions in our lives, our own health and resiliency get lost in the shuffle. This leaves us vulnerable to the twists and turns of our life’s course. Dinacharya, or daily routine, is one of the practices in Ayurveda that builds resiliency.
My favorite metaphor about life is a water skiing course: it is high-intensity with sharp turns and lots of bumps. Successful negotiation requires focus, physical and mental strength, and quick recovery—in other words, resiliency.
Little bumps in life don’t damage the strong and resilient water skier; they polish and refine her skill. Then, as in life, the course, conditions, and lessons advance to up-level the learning experience.
So what does the daily routine have to do with this? A lot.
Habits good or bad build patterns that deepen and strengthen through repetition. Life shapes us as our choices and decisions add up over time. The practices of the daily routine align our automatic responses to optimize prakruti, one’s original nature.
In our world driven by instant gratification, discipline can seem a very foreign concept. Tapas, discipline, and will are muscles that can be built and shaped to support your highest expression.
Discipline builds agni and ojas. Each day when we engage with the healthful habits of the dinacharya, we tell ourselves we are valuable enough to care for, build and optimize. We rank high before the distractions of the marketers, materials, and pulls of society. We choose to align with the true nature of our world and our own highest self-expression.
Most people’s daily routines are not perfect every day. Life intervenes or we lose focus. But the will to do as much as you can as often as you can is a key way to engage with your daily routine. Discipline burns mental ama and builds mental stamina. Release guilt or ego and come back to the patterns that most serve your wellness and growth, as soon and repeatedly as you need to.
Meditation is such a perfect way to align with flow through the bumpiest parts of life. Silence is like an adaptogen for the mind, body, and spirit; it gives us what we need to thrive and persevere.
This practice also burns mental ama and provides us the space to engage with life from a new, brighter place. We begin to see the course of life, the connections, and the openings for learning. We can embrace opportunity and enjoy the air hang-time as we ride the waves.
Everything moves and flows. Movement brings us into alignment with the nature of our physical body.
The big sack of water we walk around in really benefits from mindful movement to lubricate joints, soothe organs and eliminate toxins. Our bodies love movement and reward them with better biochemistry and stronger, more flexible muscles and joints.
Movement can disrupt negative thought patterns and mind chatter and improve our moods. In movement, we are present in the moment and most able to engage with bumps and respond with ease.
I believe that sleep is a true gift. It is unfortunate that with our busy lives it is a struggle to get enough rest for our minds and bodies.
Being in bed by 10:00 p.m. for a regular, restful sleep is one of the core planks of dinacharya. Contemporary life makes this practice a challenge to honor.
Sleep is the time in which the body moves toxins out of the tissues and has its main repair and maintenance activities. Consistently sleeping at the right times helps stabilize our rhythms and hormonal environment, directly supporting ojas and a cushion of resiliency.
The things we do each day often have the power to heal that we are unaware of. Many of the regular habits of typical American life—like morning coffee at the drive-through—don’t really add value to our lives. The deliberate choice to build resiliency with a healthful daily routine will pay itself forward.
Plug into this opportunity to help yourself and your family. Dinacharya gives rise to the energy and skills to thrive in an active, evolving life.
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