Why is ritual so important? Ritual has been an important aspect of human’s lives since the beginning of time. Although, our need for specific rituals has changed, a daily at-home ritual has enormous benefits to the mind, body and soul. Ayurvedic philosophy believes that the choices we make on a daily basis affect our body’s ability to create or destroy disease. Incorporating a daily practice can create space to truly get to know our deepest selves. Through this, we become able to tap into our own inner resources to meet our needs physically, mentally and emotionally each day. We are never the same as we were yesterday, so it is important to tune in and notice the subtle changes within and around us. This simple act can create more harmony within ourselves, lower stress levels, build stronger coping mechanisms, a lighter mind, the ability to stay in the present moment and form a deeper connection with our unique existence.
The best time to perform a daily ritual is generally in the morning, as it grounds and centres you for the day and for what’s to come. When we take the time to tap into ourselves each morning and notice the subtle differences in our body and mind, we are truly getting to know ourselves in a whole-istic way so we can be more in tune with ourselves if something is off. A morning ritual can be anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how much time you have. Below I will list a 5- step process to creating your ritual and you can modify it, adding or subtracting what works best for you.
5 Steps to a Morning Ritual
1. A great way to cleanse and detoxify the body first thing in the morning is to drink a cup of hot lemon water. Lemon water can boost your immune system, aid in digestion, alkalize your body (lemons turn alkaline once inside your body), it helps clear the digestive tract of toxins that have built up overnight, and gives your overall body a kick start to a great day.
2. Meditate for at least 10 minutes. You can sit in a comfortable position on the floor and meditate in silence, or you can choose to use prayer beads while reciting a mantra, or you can also follow a breathwork guide (many can be found online). Just take this time to clear your mind and focus on your breath and stillness. This can be a surprisingly difficult task, but over time you will fall into it more easily and will see the benefits that are brought into your life from this simple, yet powerful act.
3. Take a few minutes to write down some daily affirmations and do some journaling, releasing any repetitive thoughts that are stuck in your head.
4. Take some time to stretch or practice yoga. Focus on your body and what it is telling you.
5. Dry brushing and body oiling are an invigorating and luxurious way to stimulate your circulation, exfoliate and hydrate your skin, vitalize the tissues of your body, improve sleep quality, and is an overall great way to give yourself some self love. It’s a very simple and quick routine to add into your morning ritual. Simply run a firm, bristled brush over your body, starting at the toes and working your way up to the head. Once you have completed the dry-brushing, you can apply a body oil of your choice, in a massaging motion again, from feet to head. You can use a simple oil such as coconut or sweet almond, although there are many beautiful products available, infused with various plants to add some extra oomph into the experience.
With each step, be sure to act from a place of love and nurturance. In our fast paced world, we often forget the importance of slowing down and turning inward. We often step out of ourselves too often, and can begin to lose ourselves. Taking some time each day to focus on our inner health and wellness can remind us of our value and purpose in life. It can make us more optimistic and compassionate, to ourselves as well as to the world around us. It can help us appreciate the subtleties of life, feel more gratitude, and more fulfilled. We each have gifts to offer this world as unique individuals, so consider taking on the challenge of caring for and loving yourself daily and see how far you can grow.