Designing your own holistic ritual is about establishing what it is that bringing into your life will make the most difference to you, establishing what time you can allow to it, how you can ensure this time is uninterrupted, and honouring the commitment to yourself to do this daily. It’s also about cultivating a state of mind where if life does get in the way, you can accept that things may not have gone to plan this day, this week, or even this month, but that you can guilt-free reintroduce your practice as soon as the time is right.
I would like to acknowledge that as a childless woman who works for herself, whilst I do work extremely hard, I also have the luxury of being able to prioritise my self-care in a way that may not be available for you. With a bit of support from others, or even just carving out time after the kids go to bed in place of where you may have watched television or scrolled social media instead, there are often ways of creating a bit of time where it feels like you may not have had any. Marie Forleo’s book is great for a bit of help in doing so.
I thought I’d start by talking you through some of the practices I like to commit to daily and letting you know how they might help you:
Yoga– I love to use Jivamukti Yoga Digital’s online platform which I stream onto a big screen at home. I choose the 22 minute class called “Kickstart Your Day” and it really wakes up my body, and makes me feel so balanced and centred. In case you’re unfamiliar with Jivamukti Yoga, it is a form of yoga that believes in moving towards enlightenment through compassion for all beings. Jivamukti places huge importance on the tenant “Ahimsa” or non-harming and uses its yoga teachings as a platform for animal advocacy which speaks directly to my heart!
Meditation– As a former Kundalini yoga teacher I love doing a particular Kundalini meditation which implements both mantra and mudra, designed to protect my energy for the day. In the space of meditation I also take the time to tune in to my inner child, internally express gratitude for all the wonderful gifts I have in life (things as simple as the sun outside or the fresh air are great places to start) and send love energetically outward to others.
Pranayama– Prior to commencing meditation I do a few minutes of alternate nostril breathing which is extremely grounding and centering. Pranayama (breathing practices) are incredible for resetting your nervous system.
Yoga Nidra– Yogic sleep is beautiful for everybody, but particularly for those who may not be comfortable with doing standard meditation. It is a beautiful practice at any time of the day and will really help you if you haven’t had the best night’s sleep. Yoga Nidra is also wonderful for people with chronic fatigue and even PTSD; a lot of research is being doing by iRest, which is essentially a spirituality-free form of Yoga Nidra.
A few recommendations for resources for Yoga Nidra include the following Youtube videos of varying lengths, depending on how much time you have:
I hear that Insight Timer app is also really good.
Other practices I love and do regularly which could easily make up a routine include going for walks in natures, reading, sound healing (also available on Jivamukti Yoga’s digital platform), infra red saunas (if you have space at home you’d be surprised how inexpensive they are- I use mine twice daily and love it!), hypnotherapy (I have a great contact for Hypno if you’re looking for one), affirmations, and dance (dancing and singing are probably two of the things that bring me the most joy in this world- and best of all they’re free!).
I find one of the best ways to honour this sacred time and get the most from it is to ensure your phone is off whilst you engage in these activities. In fact, I go as far as to try and keep my phone off until I have finished my self-care for the morning- only then do I allow my mind to be flooded by the inevitable barrage of information sent to me.
One last note- your holistic routine can be flexible and you can adapt in depending on the seasons, what’s going on in your life and what you feel you need more of. Take some time to sit, be still and tune into yourself, ask yourself what you need. Do you need more nervous system regulation? More joy? More gratitude? More energy? Move movement? More rest? More silence? You deserve all of the above and more, how can you bring more of this into your life?