Rituals and Routines become Sacred through Yoga

by Rene Hawthorne | July 16, 2017 5:28 pm

Marry the sacred with the mundane by letting your outer world blossom from a richer inner life. Yoga  teaches us to inject periods of silence to check in with your intuition and feel the emotion of the moment. Energy management and what you do each day to gain or use energy is an essential element of yoga.

Routines don’t necessarily motivate us throughout the day. They may keep us on track, but they’re often draining and mundane. To prevent burnout, some of those tasks need to be enjoyable. Ultimately, it comes down to creating rituals within our routines.

Routine:
Routines are like our checklists that add structure for our day. Inside routines, we don’t have to think about what comes next. We do the tasks frequently and they alleviate stress on the brain. We are quick with the task but it doesn’t necessarily recharge us. It’s basically mindless functioning.

Ritual:
Rituals are similar to routines since they are also a series of tasks that are completed in the same order. But a ritual’s intent is to provide energy along with structure. This is where yoga teaching is applied by bringing mindfulness to the routine. A ritual is a carefully selected process that has a positive side effect outside of the task being completed. Yoga teaches us to first begin by checking in with the 4 layers of your being: Body, Mind, Emotions and Spirit. From there you set your days intention and dedicate the merit.

Morning Ritual Sample:
Set the tone for the day by setting an intention;
Morning Meditation Practice;
Step into the day with presence, positivity and mindfulness.

10 Minute Seated Meditation Sample:
Hands palms down on thighs;
Back straight and aligned with the body;
Jaw relaxed with floating head on neck;
Relax and soften entire being;
Focus on breathing;
Repeat an affirmation or prayer or just be silent for the moment;
Palms in prayer when done, bow the head in gratitude.

From Routine to Ritual:
There is a balance to be found with routine and ritual. We’ll always have routines that we need to do. But there’s a lot of value in finding routines, (or at least parts of routines), that we can turn into rituals. The difference between a routine and a ritual is not necessarily the action, but the attitude behind the action. Rituals are viewed as more meaningful practices. Yoga can give the routine the symbolism to provide a real sense of purpose.

Routines
– Minimal engagement

– Tedious and meaningless

– Externally motivated

– Life as a duty

– Dull awareness

– Disconnected series of events

– Little sense of belonging

– Focus only on completion of tasks

 

Rituals

– Full engagement

– Symbolic and meaningful

– Internally motivated

– Life as a celebration

– Bright awareness

– Tells a story

– Sense of belonging

– Focus on performance of tasks

While we may often associate “rituals” with religion or spirituality, yoga teaches we can transform any “routine” into a “ritual” with the right attitude and perspective. For example, one very simple thing you can do is recite affirmations. This is just one way to turn something tedious into something more meaningful and purposeful.

Another thing you can do is use your daily chores as an opportunity to practice being more mindful and aware of your actions. So instead of feeling like every daily activity is something that just needs to get done, it becomes an activity you feel serves a positive function in your life, and it becomes something you may even enjoy doing and look forward to. Ultimately, the more meaning you can add to your daily activities, the more motivated you become to do them. Try to step back and see the bigger picture behind your daily activities, and how they improve your life as a whole. This will add more meaning and help you view your activities as more of a ritual.

Source URL: http://yogadigest.com/rituals-routines-become-sacred-yoga/