Dynacharya: the Ayurvedic perspective on daily routine
Imbalance is inevitable. The only truth we know for certain about Life is that nothing is permanent and everything is subject to change. Change saunters its way onto the set, bravado director that it is, and without thinking twice throws some edits onto the script, fires and hires actors at random, and fast forwards the plot tenfold. We’re left ruffled, if not completely disoriented, bewildered that someone could be so aghast as to throw the whole operation off kilter. But the fact remains - he’s the boss.
Change doesn’t always have to be chaotic and overt to render us so dizzy. Oftentimes, we feel most offended by the fact that, despite our most diligent and painstaking efforts to direct our lives towards the future that we desire, things simply don’t end up as planned.
“But I was told this diet was so effective… and I followed all the rules!”
“I really thought if I could just obtain/master this one thing, then I’d be happier than ever.”
“Everything was going so well, I did not see this coming at all.”
“I never had a problem with sleep/anxiety/weight growing up. I don’t understand why this is happening now!”
We’ve all been there. This inability to avoid change is a unifying experience for all of us. So how do we get a handle on change and the imbalance it ushers in? From my own experience, the most assured way to weather the upheaval is to find a way into the path of change, a way to orient our lives in some way along the path of least resistance.
The dinacharya is an Ayurvedic concept that explores how energy shifts throughout the 24-hour cycle and offers practical insights into how we can align our daily activities to complement these shifts. The dinacharya helps us intelligently approach the questions of:
when/what is best for me to eat
when/how is best for me to sleep
when/how is best for me to exercise
… and a whole lot more, but this feels like a good place to start, yeah? The beauty of the dinacharya is that we begin to work with the changes that are happening beyond our control, rather than wasting a whole lot of energy working against them. Even as a student of yoga and Ayurveda, I’m happy to say that I am still very much a human being and experience imbalance on the regular, same as everyone else. However, applying the wisdom of the dinacharya to my daily life has helped me walk through changes with a little more grace and self-assuredness, and I’m certain will support me long into the future.
by Marisa Hall