Broken record alert but STRETCHING SOOTHES MY SOUL Y’ALL , in hard times I have been struggling to be guided in meditation, my short term memory has been shot and I'm holding my own hand through the feelings I have about bodily functions, briefly falling out with movement,not wanting to celebrate at all what these vessels of ours are capable of containing and growing. But alas! I always find my way home through a stretch, seeking comfort in tradition and simplicity.
I use the sun salutations as a blueprint, a check in point, even just the practice of one round of any variation on a morning is a solid self care practice. With repetitive ritual-like practices we can really find ourselves and spot day to day differences in body, mind and mood. Some days I come to the sequence bouncy and energetic, it evolving into a full blown flow with warriors and balance play. Other times it turns into a tapping session or just a shake out. And there are days when the effort of lifting my arms up over my head can provide me with the insight that I’ll need to tread carefully through the day ahead. It’s a way of reading my own energy before I get-set-go. With that in mind I can weave my way in and around situations feeling well informed and just that bit more present. It is a way of shielding myself from what’s not for me and preparing myself to handle the hurdles. Going into a day without this, to me, is going in, under prepared.
The sun salutations are especially apt and beautiful on a morning because of the ancient intention and point of them, the sequence is an ode to the sun, that illuminates and gives life to all beings, they are gratitude in motion.
Maybe for you the salutations are not it, maybe instead it’s mantra chanting or holding a tree pose, it can be so many different things and it can of course shape shift over time.. Whatever it is, there is immeasurable value in simple rituals, touch stones to meet yourself back at every day. Maybe these are the connotations that birthed the famous #yogaeverydamnday hashtag, I sure hope so.
My sister does this thing where every morning she looks in the mirror, then points and laughs. It literally cracks me up to think about, I've only remembered to do it a few times and for some reason it actually feels fantastic, such a ridiculous and light hearted way to set the tone for the day. She also taught me to take life seriously, but not yourself too much, and her little ritual really captures that spirit.
What ritual could you see yourself sticking to? Set yourself a little goal to consistently practice something each morning for a week and notice how it impacts your mood and sense of self. Remember it doesn’t have to be anything grand or spectacular, just true to you.