Daily Regime (Dinacharya)

Daily Regime (Dinacharya)

Daily Regime (Dinacharya)
By Shanti Gowans
The Vedic disciplines of Ayurveda (which means the science of life) and Yoga (which means unity), have served humanity for thousands of years.

Preserving the health of a healthy individual and treating the diseased has been the aim of Ayurveda.

Ayurvedic theory is both organic and sophisticated. It unpacks the energetic perspective of what causes imbalances and engenders disease.

Recognising the relationship of those habits which court disease is only half of the equation. Updating habits in real time is the crux and strategy of habit evolution.

According to Ayurveda, certain rituals help us maintain high energy levels and keep the body cleansed.

Dinacharya in Ayurveda plays an important role – dina means ‘day’ and charya means ‘to follow a routine.’  By combining this principle of daily routine with mindful food choices, we can improve the health of hair, skin and nails to radiate our natural outer beauty from within. In Ayurveda, the actions in a healthy daily routine, dinacaryā, are heavily weighted towards the morning cleanse and, among other things, involve giving attention to each of the five sense organs, namely, the nostrils, the tongue, the eyes, the ears and the skin. There are mysterious and scientific reasons for this. For starters, from a certain perspective, what we perceive through our senses adds up to what we know. Therefore, it behooves us to both cleanse our sense organs and refine our ability to sense.
Circadian Rhythms are daily cycles of biological activity based on a 24-hour period and influenced by regular variations in the environment, such as the alternation of night and day.

Circadian rhythms can influence sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, body temperature, and other important bodily functions. They have been linked to various sleep disorders, such as insomnia. Abnormal circadian rhythms have also been associated with obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder.

The importance of maintaining your circadian rhythms is well indicated by facts such as World Health Organisation’s recognition of night shifts as a possible cause of cancer. Research also shows how the times at which we eat contribute to the disruption of our circadian rhythms.

If we pay attention to our cycles then we see bio rhythms influence who we are. If we are in alignment with the rhythms then we experience life more deeply and with attunement. If we ignore them, we are out of step. So much of health arises from living in rhythm.

What would your life be like if you were in rhythm?

The reality is that the more we are in rhythm, the more we are in alignment, the more energy passes through us, the more vibrant, joyful, connected, vibrant and abundant we feel.

Long before any of these studies were conducted and discoveries were made, ancient sciences talked about these rhythms, about balance and synchronicity with nature, about being in alignment with oneself.

Through disciplined sleep routines, prescribed eating, cleansing, self-care practices and recommended exercise, Ayurveda and Yoga provide you with several tools to balance and restore your circadian rhythms.

The sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda delved into these unseen, intangible territories which open into a far “up-levelled” experience of wellbeing, and yet, they were always rooted in the very physical, daily, and practical aspects of life.

Align your sleep schedule with the Ayurvedic clock.

Wake an hour and a half before sunrise, between 4-6am, and go to bed by 10pm.

Conforming with the Ayurvedic clock can be challenging at first, especially if you are required to work later in the night. Just do the best you can, and allow yourself to ease into a new schedule. If you tend to go to bed between 12-1am, try 11:30pm, 11pm, and then 10:30pm over the duration of a few weeks or months.

The results will be amazing. You may be surprised to discover how easily the body will adjust to a new schedule once a pattern is repeated enough times, and you may be equally surprised by how much better you feel.

Your body is like a machine with its activities scheduled directly, and influenced by sunlight. However, people are able to accomplish more work late at night because of artificial lighting and flexible working hours. Unfortunately, this compromises the body’s maintenance routine and impacts your ability to properly digest food, repair cells, generate new ones and clear out toxins. The liver is most active between 10pm and 2am and requires us to be in a sleep state for optimal functioning.

Eat according to the Ayurvedic clock.

In Ayurveda, the digestive force is known as Agni. THis digestive fire is directly aligned with the sun’s daily course.

Ideally true hunger will arise between 6-8am, 10am-2pm and 5-8pm, though you may need to introduce these new mealtimes first in order to balance Agni such that hunger aligns with the universe’s clock. When Agni is weak, a person will feel hungry less frequently, or may experience hunger at less opportune times for digestion, such as late at night when the liver’s fire ignites. This is often confused as ‘time to eat’ when we are awake, instead of ‘time to detox,’ which is what should be happening.

The Ayurvedic clock is naturally expressed by your body’s needs when you create space for it with your sleeping and eating routines. Once aligned with this clock, you will find that any other schedule feels unnatural.

Compose your meals Ayurvedically

Every individual’s constitution is different when it comes to specific food choices, however, certain rules apply to everybody. Composing your meals wisely throughout the day ensures that you receive the best possible nourishment, digest food properly and fuel yourself with energy when it is most needed.

Whole, organic foods are recommended for the high quality nutrients they contain, and cooked foods are recommended for ease of digestion.

Snacking is generally ill-advised. Meals should be nutritionally dense and sized to fuel you to the next one; however, you should never ignore true hunger. When true hunger arises in-between meals, snack wisely: try dates, raisins, nuts or seeds.

Daily self massage

A regular practice of self-abhyanga, or oil massage, in conjunction with at least one monthly synchronised abhyanga therapy by a qualified Panchakarma Practitioner is recommended to nourish the skin, firm the muscles, calm the nerves, improve circulation and assist in the elimination of toxins.


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Leaky Gut

Leaky Gut

Leaky Gut by Shanti Gowans
The most common Ayurvedic prescription in India today is a gentle but powerful herbal gut-healer called triphala. With origins dating back 6,000 years, Ayurvedic medicine’s ancient healers have understood the importance of the gut or millenea. And they are right. Most medical disorders can be traced back to your gut.

If you don’t keep your gut healthy, you could end up with a condition called ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’, which can cause many chronic diseases… serious health issues, such as celiac disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

Sadly, Western medicine barely recognises Leaky Gut Syndrome, even though it afflicts millions of people.

A leaky gut can be the source of real discomfort. It often goes hand in hand with multiple allergies, as well as asthma, eczema, headaches, sinusitis, gas, bloating, gastroenteritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Here is how it happens:

The lining of your gut is similar to a fine net, built of just a single layer of cells. It is this barrier that keeps food in your digestive system until it can be broken down safely.

If your gut is healthy, tiny holes in the lining allow nutrients to pass through. This is how your body absorbs vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients..

The problem is, the modern world is hostile to your gut. Antibiotics, steroids and other prescription drugs wipe out the delicate gut microflora in your small intestine. These are the good guys you need to crowd out the “bad bacteria.”

Additionally, and to compound matters, making it worse, a western diet of processed starches, sugars and food additives, such as emulsifiers, feed bad bacteria and break down the integrity of these tiny intestinal holes.

When you have a leaky gut, these tiny holes become misshapen and enlarge.

Large undigested food molecules, yeasts, bacteria, toxins and invading pathogens can now flow freely into your bloodstream and damage your body.

If you have allergies, it may be a sign that you have a leaky gut…

Your body treats all that “sewage” as foreign invaders. Gradually, you develop reactions to foods such as milk, cheese, nuts, grains, eggs, and more.

Now, every time you eat these foods, your body launches an immune reaction. This leads to chronic inflammation throughout your body, the root of all chronic disease.

But Ayurvedic doctors know exactly how to treat a leaky gut, as well as the diseases and conditions that spring from it. The first choice of medication is a herbal remedy called ‘triphala’. It is named from two Sanskrit words that literally mean ‘three fruits’. Triphala is made by blending the dried and powdered rinds and flesh of amlaki (or Indian gooseberry), haritaki (from the terminalia tree) and bibhitaki (from the bahera tree).

This combination forms a powerful gastric healer and acts as a gentle, safe and highly effective detoxifier for the intestine, colon, blood and liver, and an ancient intervention for constipation.

It is packed with antioxidants such as gallic, ellagic and chebulinic acids, as well as flavonoids and polyphenols with potent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antidiarrheal properties. And it is rich in vitamin C.

Ayurvedic doctors prescribe it for almost everything gut related and more, from constipation and indigestion to gastroenteritis to cardiovascular disease, mental health conditions, liver and pancreatic disorders and cancer. (A study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute confirms that triphala prevents and slows the growth of pancreatic cancer tumors. Studies also confirm triphala can repair the large intestinal holes caused by Leaky Gut Syndrome. It tightens your gut wall and rebalances intestinal mucus, which is key to protecting you from further intestinal attacks).

You can buy triphala powder from Shanti Yoga Health Institute Australia, and simply prepare a soothing cuop of triphala tea.
* Add ½ teaspoon of triphala powder into a cup of hot water.
* Taken on its own, it can taste very bitter. Try adding a little rice malt/maple syrup and ghee (Indian clarified butter) to the mix.
* Always take triphala on an empty stomach before meals or at bedtime.
Triphala can also be purchased as a supplement in tablet form or as a liquid extract.

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Yoga Posture – Shoulder Bridge

Yoga Posture – Shoulder Bridge

Shoulder Bridge, in Sanskrit known as DVI PADA PITHAM or SETU BANDA ASANA is a  relatively easy supine backbend because the head, neck and top edges of the shoulders remain on the floor while the knees are flexed with the feet also flat on the floor.

• Strengthens any weak muscles in your lumbar region.

• Increases the suppleness of your spine.

• Strengthens your arms and wrists.

• Massages and tones your adrenal glands and kidneys.

• Gives you a feeling of vitality.

1. Lie flat on your back with both your knees bent. Hold your ankles.

2. Breathing in, press down on the balls of your feet, squeeze your buttocks

and raise them. Keep your head on the floor, without straining your neck.

3. Arch your spine up as high as possible. Breathe freely.

4. If necessary, support your back with your hands, and hold the pose for 5

to 10 breaths.

5. Breathing out, lower your spine, vertebra by vertebra.

6. Relax and rest.

Extract from Shanti Gowans’ book HATHA YOGA FOR BODY MIND SPIRIT

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Heart Health

Heart Health

Boost your Heart Health

Terminalia Arjuna is the ages-old Ayurvedic medicinal herb and powerful cardio tonic made from the bark of the Arjuna tree. It is used both as a protector against heart disease and a powerful treatment for the condition itself.

It is very effective for women cardiac patients, which is very important, because heart disease is a killer that strikes more women than men. But mainstream medicine, which was fashioned in the image of a man’s body, still regularly misses the different symptoms of heart disease in women. A woman’s heart is very different to a man’s heart, in terms of circulation and the receptors they have for certain hormones. If you have a heart attack, it’s likely to be more deadly than it would be for a man. About 38% of women die within a year of a first attack, compared with 25% of men. (‘Women and Heart Disease Facts’. Women’s Heart Foundation.)

Most men having a heart attack arrive at ER with “classic” symptoms, such as sharp chest pains, shortness of breath, pain running down the left arm, and so on.

But 42% of women don’t have chest pain at all. And they often get other symptoms that men don’t usually get.2

Women are more likely to report pain in one or both arms, their jaw, neck or back. They may have discomfort in the upper part of the stomach or heartburn, nausea or vomiting. You are also more likely to feel extreme fatigue or have problems breathing. Other signs, such as light-headedness and dizziness also occur more often in women than men.

To make matters worse, doctors prescribe Big Pharma cardiac medications that actually weaken your heart — such as statin drugs, which not only lower your “bad” LDL cholesterol but also your “good” HDL cholesterol, which raises your risk of a heart attack.

Mainstream medicine sees your ailments as packages of symptoms that need to be either drugged or cut out. Ayurveda connects body, mind and spirit to nature and whole-body health. This is exactly how Arjuna works.

Modern science backs up its ancient cardiac healing power. (Patel S. “Plant-derived cardiac glycosides: Role in heart ailments and cancer management”. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 2016-12-01).

 The tree bark of Arjuna contains:

  • Natural CoQ10: Works to boost your heart’s pumping power.
  • Glycosides: Increases the output force of your heart and decreases its rate of contractions, making Arjuna a powerful weapon against congestive heart failure.
  • Antioxidants: Prevents oxidation and inflammation, and shown to prevent heart attacks and protect heart tissue from damage after a heart attack. (Gauthaman K, Banerjee SK., et al. “Terminalia arjuna (Roxb.) protects rabbit heart against ischemic-reperfusion injury: role of antioxidant enzymes and heat shock protein.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Jan 15).
  • – Tannins: Contains catechins, which have been shown to prevent atherosclerosis as well as heart attacks themselves. (Jagroop IA, Kakafika AI, Mikhailidis DP., et al.”Platelets and vascular risk: an option for treatment.” Curr Pharm Des. 2007).

Arjuna can be taken in its raw bark form, or as a supplement in a tablet capsule, extract, infusion, or powder form.

You can order it from shantiyoga.com.au

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1 cup yoghurt

4 cups water (ratio is 1 to 4)

1 tsp cumin of seeds (crushed  in pestle and mortar)

1 tsp of fennel seeds (crushed  in pestle and mortar)

¼ cup fresh coriander



Place yoghurt and water in bowl, mix with egg beater or the like.

Add cumin/fennel seeds.

Add  a coriander


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Yoghurt at night

Yoghurt at night

Ayurveda explains yoghurt as having the mixed properties of sour and sweet. It increase Kapha dosha in the body, the effects of which, namely mucous generation, is also attributed to the effects of Kapha.

During the night, when there is natural predominance of Kapha in the body, yoghurt consumption at night will further increase Kapha leading to many complications. This is quite similar to exposing yourself to hot sun in the afternoon, which is not recommended, because, the afternoon is naturally a Pitta predominant period and sun exposure also increases Pitta.

The Qualities of Yoghurt

Yoghurt is sour in taste, hot in potency, heavy to digest (takes a longer period to undergo digestion).  It increases fat, strength, kapha, pitta, digestive power.

The Dos and Dont’s

Whenever there is swelling or inflammation, consuming yoghurt will worsen the inflammation. Note, however,  that these properties are attributed to sour yoghurt.

Sour yoghurt should not be consumed by making it hot (ushna).

Yoghurt should not be consumed at night (nishi),

It should also not be consumed during spring and summer seasons.

However, sour yoghurt mixed in a soup with green gram, honey, ghee, sugar and amla is helpful in relieving dysurea (difficulty in urination) and indigestion.


Aim to avoid consuming yoghurt at night, because night is basically a Kapha predominant period, thus consuming yoghurt at night is best avoided according to Ayurveda. Yoghurt also increases Pitta. Hence, taking it at night might cause indigestion problem.

If you are accustomed to consuming yoghurt at night, (old habits die-hard!) mix a small pinch of pepper powder to the yoghurt and consume. Do not add too much, as it may cause burning sensations.

You may also try adding fenugreek powder if you can tolerate a slight tinge of bitterness. This superb combination will relieve all kinds of stomach pain generated due to indigestion.

The Benefits of Buttermilk

Buttermilk is best substitute for yoghurt at night.

Buttermilk clears the channel and checks mucus secretion.

Rules for using yoghurt as mentioned in Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 7

  • One should not take yoghurt at night;
  • If one desires to take yoghurt at night, it can be taken along with ghee, sugar, green gram soup, honey or amalaka (amla: Indian gooseberry).
  • It should not be consumed hot.
  • If one does not follow these rules s/he is likely to suffer from diseases such as fever, bleeding disorders (raktapitta), erysipelas (visarpa), skin diseases (kushta), anemia (pandu), dizziness (bhrama) and jaundice (kamala).[61-62]
  • If you are consuming yoghurt in the morning, then eating it without sugar is better.
  • If you are consuming yoghurt at night, it is not recommended as per Ayurveda. But having it with little sugar is better, if you cannot resist it.

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Nirvana Kitchari

Nirvana Kitchari

Nirvana kitchari


Basmati rice 1 cup
Mung dhal,split yellow 2 cups
Vegetables as per your constitution
Water 7 cups (approx.)
Salt a generous pinch
Ghee 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds 3 tsp
Cumin seeds 2 tsp
Ground turmeric 2 tsp
Ground coriander 2 tsp
Ground fennel 2 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) 1 pinch

Options for Vata or Kapha conditions: add a pinch of ground ginger, for Pitta: leave out the mustard seeds. For ama conditions: leave out ghee


  • Wash the rice until the water is clear. Wash the dhal until the water is clear. Prepare any vegetables such as zucchini, asparagus, sweet potato, or carrots, that suit your constitution. Cut them into reasonably small pieces.
  • Sauté the seeds in the ghee or oil until they pop, then add the other spices.
  • Add the mung dal and salt. Sauté for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add boiling water, bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes or until the dal is about three quarters cooked.
  • Add rice and vegetables. Stir to combine, adding extra water if required. Bring back to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is fully cooked.
  • Aim to have minimal water remaining, leaving the lid on the pot to allow any excess water to be slowly absorbed.

To ensure proper elimination, if taken exclusively for several days, increase fibre rich vegetables and the quantity of ghee or use brown rice (for the rice bran) or add seeds with water.

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Eggplant bharta

Eggplant bharta


  • Eggplant 4 to 5 medium size
  • Onions 150 gms
  • Ginger strips 15 gms
  • Tomatoes 150 gms, finely chopped
  • Coriander 1 bunch, finely chopped
  • Sunflower oil 100 gms
  • Grind spices together
  • Green chilli 1Peppercorns 10
  • Garlic cloves 2 Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Red chilli pwd to taste


Grease eggplant and roast them on a medium fire. Remove skin and mash the pulp. Heat oil in a pan and fry onions until transparent. Add ground spices and ginger strips. Now add mashed eggplant and stir until slightly brown. Add chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and chilli to taste and place in a medium oven for 15 minutes. Sprinkle coriander as a garnish.Portion: 8.
Temp: 300ºF.
Time: 25 mins.

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Ayurvedic Detox

Ayurvedic Detox

If you feel overloaded with unexplainable fatigue, headaches, or other symptoms, your body may be begging you to detox.

Think about it. If you are living in today’s modern world, you are exposed to pollution and countless toxins on a daily basis. While the body’s natural filters work to expel these invaders, the body can become clogged with toxins as a result of environmental factors as well as lifestyle habits that negatively impact upon our health (such as a poor diet, limited physical activity, etc).

Harmful toxins are in the air we breathe, our household items, cosmetics and other products we use, and even some of the foods we eat.

When this build-up of toxins occurs, the functioning of our body is compromised, especially the functioning of our liver, a critical element for the body’s ability to fight disease and perform optimally. When the liver can’t function properly, a decline in overall health soon follows, from a sluggish metabolism to low energy levels.

However, there are some natural ways that can assist you to rid yourself of these toxic substances and help you get your body back on track. Of course, most of it will start with what you put into your body. Certain foods act as natural detoxifiers. They help your body discard built-up toxins.

You can get the ball rolling. Flush out toxins safely, gently and effectively and start feeling better with a ten-day detox program. Natural, ayurvedic, herbal remedies have been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years to assist the body’s natural detoxification, thereby cleansing the organs. There are now various published clinical studies demonstrating the ability of a range of herbs to support the cleansing process. Detox compliments a healthy lifestyle, helping you to reach your goals, from quitting smoking to losing weight and strengthening your immune system. Helpful hints to help get started on a healthy program of healthy habits combined can make all the difference to achieving complete wellbeing.

To start fresh and new, we begin by flushing out toxins naturally from your gallbladder and liver, followed by the bowel and kidneys, and then the heart and lungs, brain and skin, thus supporting your body’s ability to perform its functions properly, including maintaining a strong metabolism and healthy energy levels.

Overall health, from supporting the body’s natural detoxification process to promoting a strong metabolism, healthy energy levels and more, is greatly benefited by following a balanced lifestyle, including eating a healthy diet, exercising and practising yoga regularly and getting adequate rest with daily meditation and nidra (deep relaxation and self healing).

For starters, at retreat, you will drink plenty of Nirvana natural spring water to help flush out and hydrate your system, as well as promote a water balance in your body. You will eating fruit and vegetables and the daily recommendation of fibre will also aid in your detoxification and help you naturally rejuvenate and regulate your system. You will enjoy yoga nidra every afternoon to make sure that you get enough sleep – this means both an adequate quality and length of sleep. Sleep is one of the most important factors for maintaining a strong body and energetic lifestyle.

A healthy mind leads to a healthy body. Prolonged stress, anxiety and depression can also compromise the body’s health. It is important to release and reduce stress and address any underlying mental health issues. You will also experience daily morning meditation.

Natural detoxification is kind to the system and easy, through the use of diet and natural substances to help the body remain regular and assist in the body’s ability to rid itself of waste products. The routine flushing out of the stomach and digestive system supports toxin elimination by the liver.

As deep seated toxins are dislodged from deeply embedded places, gentle and moderate physical exercise will help to relax you and will also encourage healthy sleep, not to mention, an increased improvement to both your blood and lymph circulation, resulting in higher energy levels and better overall health.

Cleanse and rejuvenate naturally, without side effects. Attend Spring detox, the healthy, natural way to support elimination function, maintain the health of your liver and experience total wellbeing, by cleansing and refreshing all your body systems

– Promotes detoxification and total body cleansing
– Improved bowel movements and inappropriate wind
– Improves energy levels and stamina
– Supports healthy weight loss and dietary fat breakdown
– Promotes clear, radiant and healthy skin
– Supports healthy liver functioning and systemic cleansing
– Supports overall immune system health

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Ayurvedic Training 2017

Ayurvedic Training 2017

New intake for Diploma of Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultation starts Monday 10 July 2017. (Accredited Course Code HLT 52615, CRICOS code 089840B) at the Health Institute Australia, is a 600-hour Government Accredited, Austudy and CRICOS Approved Course. This course is designed for health seekers and is the foundational study course for Ayurvedic practitioners. Tutorials and attendance will be on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

New intake for Advanced Diploma in Ayurveda with Dr. Shilpi Boseroy BAMS starts Monday 10 July 2017. (Accredited Course Code HLT 62615, CRICOS code 089841A) from the Health Institute Australia is an 1200-hour Government Accredited, Austudy and CRICOS Approved Course. This course is the study course for becoming an Ayurvedic practitioner. Tutorials will be on Thursday mornings 10am-1pm. Fridays 10am – 5 pm.

Learn the art of Ayurvedic Vegetarian Cooking at the Health Institute Australia, Southport campus.
Tuesdays 4-5pm. Fee $60 AAPA members 10% discount. (07) 5531 0511

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