Simple Pleasure #65: Daily Rituals
As you all may know it is my career choice to encourage people to be (and stay) healthy and fit and as you all know that that can be hard at times… even for me. I’ve been personal training for about 10 years now and have tried out many things that claim to be the “best workout” or “best health food” and so on but have never really settled on something that really just makes me want to do it every day. Some people love to run, some people just really love the gym (I love it too but I practically live there so it’s hard to stick around after work and workout), some people eat the same thing for breakfast everyday… My point is I was in need of something that I can do every day that kept my body and mind healthy. So naturally the more I thought about starting something the more sources of information started to show up around me: A book called “Aveda Rituals” had been sitting on my shelf for years and I never had read it, my boyfriend (although we are trying not to use the boyfriend/girlfriend term for reasons I may touch on in another post but for now I’ll use it… I guess) mentioned I look into Ayurveda. Blogs that I follow had posted about Ayurveda and it seemed most of my friends had also all began looking for some type of daily practice to enhance their wellbeing.
With all of that it was hard not to find something that made me want to get out of bed in the morning… and thus I started my morning rituals. It’s been 19 days now (make sure to notice the date of this post) and I’m loving it! Just in this short amount of time I am feeling so much better on so many levels. Being in the health industry I believe it’s really important for people to have something that they enjoy doing every day. It is different for everyone and I encourage you to find some inspiration in my following rituals to start some of your own. You will be amazed at how good you feel. So without further ado… my daily (mostly morning) rituals…
Ritual #1: Drink a glass of room temperature water.
Why: Upon waking the first thing I do when I sit up from bed is drink a glass of water. A number of resources claim that drinking water first thing in the morning helps clear out the system, flush toxins, bring up our metabolism rate, help reduce weight and re-hydrate the body. Plus it gets you in the habit of drinking water. It also helps the body to wake up. Drinking it cold is too much of a shock to the body so make sure to drink it at room temperature.
Ritual #2: Brush my teeth and wash my face.
Why: Overnight our mouths accumulate all sorts of bacteria, nice and not so nice, along with toxins. Morning breath is nature’s way of telling us that we’ve got to get the toxins out of our mouths… and fast. So brushing, flossing, rinsing and tongue scraping are all good things to do after rising… gives you a kissable mouth! It’s also important to wash and moisturize your face. It keeps your skin happy, improves skin tone and helps prevent early wrinkles. Make sure to use a moisturizer with sunscreen added.
Ritual #3: Movement.
Why: During this time (and depending on how much time I have) I do whatever my body feels it needs. It’s great because I have to “check in” with my body thus bringing more awareness to my body overall. I mostly have been doing some type of yoga flow, starting out slow and simple. If I have more time and energy I make it a little harder. My usually go-to is the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara)…
Ritual #4: Meditation.
Why: Our breath comes naturally to our bodies, it can also be altered and controlled with thought and concentration. Awareness of our breath can be a key factor in making life changes and in all sorts of healing. Focusing and relaxing our breath can help us ward off many kinds of diseases. Meditation helps decrease stress and links our bodies with our minds. It also helps us become aware of our thoughts… more awareness of our thoughts means we can start to choose the thoughts we want to have, and with that choice comes great
power in creating an amazing life.
*So after my meditation this is when things change from a day to day basis. Depending on what time I have to be at work the following rituals change order.
Ritual #5: Morning walk.
Why: This is easy for me. I have two furry, large dogs that love to go for walks so it’s easier to get motivated. I also usually do a 30 minute home workout (or at the gym at some point) of body weight exercises and the TRX. This helps to raise metabolism, burn some calories , and keep my heart healthy… and my body sexy! For you this could be different as far as what movement you do, could be running, swimming, biking, doesn’t matter as long as you move!
Ritual #6: Breakfast.
Why: Eating a healthy, nourishing breakfast gets our metabolism running at full speed. By filling up in the morning you end up filling up less later in the day. Breakfast feeds our bodies, especially if we are giving our bodies healthy, organic foods. We only have one body and it is the vessel that carries us through life. Having a healthy body enables us to experience life at a much richer level. You may have heard the phrase “your body is your temple”… it’s very important that we treat it like one. Love yourself.
Usually I take a shower somewhere in there or after all of that. I also try to take a yoga class everyday if my schedule allows. On the days I have to be at work early I skip the walking part and the rest usually takes me about an hour. In the past I have always dreaded getting out of bed at 5:00am, now I look forward to it. I love the feeling the above rituals give me. My awareness of my thoughts and surroundings is heightened, my body feels taken care of, I find myself choosing healthier options at meal times and, get this, I’m drinking less coffee!!! Wow right?! I know it’s pretty crazy but I just don’t want to put bad things in my body as much anymore. Anyhow… hopefully you found something that inspires you to start your own daily ritual, even if it’s just drinking a glass of water in the morning. Find what works for you and be compassionate with yourself. These rituals are meant to make us feel good, so don’t give yourself a hard time if you miss a day and if something doesn’t feel good or you don’t enjoy it – stop doing it.
I know this was a long post. Thank you for taking the time to read it. Much love to you all!!!
P.S. Check out my friend Zachariah’s 30 day Mindset Detox here. Another set of daily rituals that I have adopted as well. Really good stuff!