My life crashed and burned, my dinachariya, my daily routine, was obliterated. Cancer happened to me. No, I wasn’t diagnosed with cancer but my husband was. We had a successful business in Florida called Flagler Organics. I got a call to come home when I was in New Mexico training to become an ayurvedic practitioner. From 2012 to 2013, we had cancer. With that cancer came the loss of everything we held dear.
But this isn’t a story about cancer. It’s a story about resurrection.
A dinachariya is a daily regimen which begins before the sun rises and ends after the sun sets. The list is super long of things to do. The Ashtanga Hrdayam is a classic text which provides examples why and how to practice a dinachariya. The day starts with a small prayer while looking at your hands before sunrise. Then rising and thanking the earth for supporting you. It goes on to washing the face, washing the eyes, washing the nose, scraping the tongue, brushing teeth. One then gently hydrates and cleans the digestive system by taking in some lemon water or plain hot water. A yoga practice can be next with some pranayama and afterwards some meditation. As I said, the list goes on and on. It really is a beautiful practice.
Dinacharya is the heart of living, according ayurveda.
In late 2013, my heart got torn away from me. He simply seemed to step out of his body. It was so serene, his life was so complete and it was all in harmony. While he had completed his journey, mine had just begun.
How do you pick up the pieces when you no longer recognize yourself? My dinacharya, my friend, helped me make the journey back home to myself. It took me weeks to realize I no longer needed to be anywhere, no appointments to keep, no more waiting.
Did you know you do a lot of waiting when you have cancer? I digress. My dinachariya didn’t return all at once. Some days I rolled out my yoga mat and just lay there. Other times I drank my lemon water and that was it for the day. Slowly the pieces of my dinachariya practice started to string together like the beads on the mala around my neck. I just kept trying and trying. Slowly another anniversary would come around. The dinachariya would fall apart. Again, I would string together the activities of my dinachariya.
A dinachariya is meant to teach you something as well. Daily tongue scraping has taught me about my health by the way my tongue looks in the morning.
Somehow my day feels more supported when I remember to touch the floor beneath me in thanks.
My dinachariya has a built in flexibility too. Each time the seasons change, certain practices change. My diet or type of yoga may change according to season.
A dinacharya is an amazing way to gauge the rhythm of life. I am grateful each day for my dinachariya, The dinachariya keeps me in tune with my health and the world around me. I doubt my discipline in keeping a daily routine will ever be perfect. But my dinachariya is perfect in what it teaches me about myself and the worlds I live in.
Further reading on where to begin your dinacharya here…