In the ancient Indian medical science of Āyurveda, the basis of all positive and sustainable action is rooted in dharma, a Sanskrit term that refers to the natural way of things. This ‘natural way’ applies to all facets of our lives, including diet, lifestyle, and medicine. Literally meaning to ‘follow the day’, dinacaryā is a series of ancient practices based on the principle of dharma, designed to optimize different aspects of health, including metabolism, digestion, and memory. Considered the ‘missing link’ absent in many different systems of medicine, both ancient and modern, the practice of dinacaryā in Āyurveda forms the basic structure of a happy and balanced life, and hence is also known as ‘the regimen of the wise’.
Everyone is born without an instruction manual – indeed, a $100 consumer item such as an mp3 player comes with more information on how to operate it than your own body. In our ignorance, many of us rely on a battery of experts to do the thinking for us, and in many ways this is a good thing. Expert opinion is always helpful, except of course if that opinion is merely theoretical, or abstract, and cannot be related to everyday living. It could be argued, from the high burden of metabolic disease such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease in Westernized societies, that the “expert opinion” of medical doctors and dietitians hasn’t served us all that well. It is is likewise the case when we consider the high level of mental illness in developed societies, such as anxiety and depression, despite a vaunted array of mental health professionals and questionable diagnostic protocols such as the DSM-5. From an outsiders perspective, it appears that people in Westernized societies, despite their abundance of knowledge and resources, have a very hard time being both healthy and happy. This program, inspired by the teachings of Āyurveda, aims to address this issue.
What is Dinacaryā?
The daily regimen in Āyurveda is described in the very earliest of its teachings, including the Suśruta samhitā and Caraka saṃhitā, which originally date back to before 1000 BCE. Dinacaryā (din-a-char-yaa) is extolled through the history of Āyurveda, as the single most important practice in the prevention of disease and maintenance of health. Modeled on natural rhythms and cycles that connect to us to the earth, the practice of dinacaryā allows us to consciously remove obstructive and unskillful elements in our lives, to create a more peaceful, balanced and harmonious approach to living. In a nutshell, dinacaryā serves to make you, your clients, or your patients, happier, healthier people.
The practice of dinacaryā contains many facets, and in this program you will develop a working knowledge of them all. Traditionally, the practice of dinacaryā is comprised of three primary components:
- dinacaryā: the daily regimen
- niśācaryā: the nightly regimen
- ṛtucaryā: the seasonal regimen
Taught by veteran practitioner and teacher, Todd Caldecott, this 25 hour program covers all these components, as well as a firm grounding in the theory and practice of Āyurveda. More than just information, however, this program will give you the skills to apply the principles and practices of Āyurveda in your daily life, providing you with a flexible methodology and skill set that you can successfully apply in different situations.
I have always been greatly impressed with his breadth of knowledge. Todd has helped me both personally and in professional consultation with my patients.
– Dr. Russell Kennedy, Medical Doctor and Yoga Teacher
Dinacaryā: A Return to Wholeness
Western medicine describes health as the absence of disease, but without defining healthful practices, nothing about this statement is true. With a few exceptions, such as congenital disease or severe trauma, health is a proactive choice, not something we are promised. Today, many people visit health professionals seeking answers to problems fundamentally rooted in their lifestyle. Instead of addressing the core issues, health “experts” provide an array of externalized solutions, such as a statins for cardiovascular issues, benzodiazepines for anxiety, and SSRIs for depression. While dispensed with good intent, these approaches are nothing more than a reflection of the collective ignorance of these supposed experts, who themselves lead busy and stressful lives, often suffering from the same health problems they claim to treat. This is not a healthy system.
According to Āyurveda, the purpose of life is to be happy. It is our final destiny to experience this happiness, but it escapes most of us for most of our lives, because we lack the skills to create it. Moreover, we lack the skills because we fail to comprehend the true nature of happiness. In Western society, happiness is associated with wealth, as well it should be; but not when this wealth is prized simply as a material object. Āyurveda defines happiness as a state of being in balance and harmony with the natural rhythms of the earth (dharma), wherein we understand ourselves to be a part of nature, and respect the source of nourishment from which abundance (‘artha’, i.e. “wealth”) arises naturally.
Dr. Todd is a genuine Āyurvedic teacher and experienced practitioner, and I personally appreciate his dedication and interest in the field of Āyurveda.
– Vaidya Madhu Bajra Bajracharya, Hereditary Physician, Kathmandu, Nepal
Topics covered in the program include:
- introduction to Āyurveda, including tridoṣa siddhānta (knowledge of the doṣa[s])
- establishing normal circadian cycles
- oral hygiene, including jihvānirlekhana (cleaning of the tongue), gaṇḍūṣa (oil-pulling), and kavalagraha (mouth rinsing)
- nasal and respiratory care, including breathing exercises, nasya (errhines), neti (nasal rinses), and dhūma (therapeutic smoking)
- body care, including abhyaṅga (self-massage) and snāna (body cleansing)
- proper application of haṭha yoga and vyāyāma (exercise)
- how to meditate, different forms for different needs
- the regimen of eating
- knowledge of substance (dravyaguṇa)
- knowledge of beverages and foods (dravadravya and annasvarūpa vijñanīya)
- the components of a wholesome diet (hita āhāra)
- conduct (sadvṛtta) and intellectual error (prajñaparādha)
- the nightly regimen, including sexual activity and sleep
- the application of ṛtucaryā, or the seasonal regimen, for winter (hemañta), spring (vasanta), summer (grīṣma), and autumn (varṣa), including ṛtusaṃdhi (transitional periods)
This program is available as a live webcast for distance learning students:
Date: Saturdays (biweekly), starting Oct 31 2020 and ending Feb 20 2021 (no class Dec 26)
Time: 12pm-3:00pm Pacific time
Certificate program cost: $275, includes:
- 24 hours of detailed lecture
- 180 page course manual, online PDF (hard copy available for purchase, separately)
- online discussion group
- access to recorded lectures
- free one hour lifestyle consultation with Todd Caldecott ($250 value)
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About your teacher
Todd Caldecott is a clinical herbalist and practitioner of Ayurveda, author of the book Food As Medicine, and a registered professional member of both the American Herbalists Guild (AHG) and the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA). A former film/TV actor, Todd graduated from Coastal Mountain College (Vancouver) in 1996, and immediately continued his clinical training in India at the Aarsha Yoga Vidya Peetam (Coimbatore). He has been in clinical practice ever since, practicing as far afield as Trinidad and Tobago, and has expanded into many areas, including teaching, writing, research, and product development. Todd Caldecott is co-editor of Ayurveda in Nepal, an ethnographic compendium of traditional medical practices employed by the Bajracharya physicians of the Kathmandu valley. In 2014, Todd Caldecott named the Visiting Mitchell Scholar at Bastyr University. Todd maintains a clinical practice in Powell River BC, and is director of the Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine, providing both distant learning and mentorship opportunities in Ayurveda, nutrition, and herbal medicine.
About the DSBM
The Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine was founded by Todd Caldecott in 2012, after years of clinical and teaching experience, to provide a students with the kind of practical education required to become proficient practitioners. Click on the links below to learn more about the Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine, and what we offer:
If you have any questions about our programs, please contact us through our contact page. Thank you for your interest!