When we think about ceremony or ritual, what comes to mind might be elaborate religious or spiritual rituals and ceremonies. But in fact, ritual it doesn’t have to be religious and it doesn’t have to be elaborate.
You might use ritual to establish a certain mood or signal a break from the rhythm of your usual routine. If you’ve ever gone to a live yoga or meditation class, you might notice how the sense of quiet and calm begins in the hall outside the meditation/yoga space. The smell of incense and the leaving of belongings and shoes outside the door acts a signal to allow your worries and ‘regular’ life to wait outside the door.
Obviously when we’re at home, there’s none of the symbolism of stepping through the door or the waft of incense, but with a little thought we can recreate that mood to a degree.
Taking time to observe a small ritual signals to us that this is a break from the everyday. Maybe it brings about a change in mood, or headspace. Considering how you can bring a sense of ceremony to the practice can make it all feel a little more special, and imbues it with even more meaning.
Here are some ideas. You don't have to do them all ! Maybe pick a small number that really speak to you, and which allow you to create the mood and the headspace that you need right now.
Clear the space. It doesn’t have to be a big space but get rid of some clutter and make it yours. I like to put down a yoga mat and claim that space as my own. You might place a blanket underneath where you’re sitting if meditating. Decide where it is that you’re going to do your practice and then throw the kids toys, nappies, the dogs toys, out of the way. It also doesn’t need to be super tidy. Just enough clutter free space for you to feel light and unburdened.
Use scent to set the mood. Light some incense, a scented candle, an oil burner, or just a whiff of a favourite essential oil. Smell is an amazing way to bring you into a certain mood.
Make an altar space. This is a space with some visual cues that make you smile. You might place some flowers in a vase on a shelf in your eyeline or on the floor in front of you. Light a candle and place it there, add some precious items beside it- stones from the beach (or crystals if that’s your thing), a picture you love. Feel free to get creative here!
Get cosy - grab a blanket to make you feel cosy warm inside and out. I love this for meditating of for the final relaxation in a yoga session. Nothing beats a cosy blanket!
Change your clothes into something comfy and conducive to your practice.
Take a moment before you begin your practice to consider what your intention is – that is what has brought you to your practice today. What’s your ‘why’ for being here? Write it down if you like.
Do you have any rituals you use to get into the zone for a home yoga class or meditation practice?
I encourage mums who join my mother circle to give some thought to the ritual they would like to have around this. If you're interested in joining, check out the details here