Sattvic Living: Cultivating Daily Devotional and Self Care Rituals
Cultivating daily rituals is an important part of living a conscious life. It is something we discuss and practice in great depth during Sattva Yoga Teacher Trainings and Immersions. These rituals include devotional and self-care rituals. Daily meditation is a time where we open ourselves to receive grace as we are deepening in our spiritual connection, transcending and experiencing spaciousness and expansion of consciousness. During this sacred time we often times make contact with a deep state of gratitude that can only be experienced through the heart and cannot be explained or comprehended by the mind. When we carry this state of gratitude into our day, we experience life in its brilliance. Each morning at The Sattva Retreat we rise just before the sun peeks through the mountaintops and gather with AnandMehrotra, the founder of Sattva Yoga, at the river for our morning Sadhana. It is my favorite time of day. Hearing the sounds of running water, the bells of the donkeys as they pass by and various species of birds chirping while meditating brings forth an experience of true bliss and graciousness.
In addition to daily meditation and devotional rituals, self-care rituals are equally necessary as our bodies serve as vessels, a home for the soul, for the divine to work through us. Therefore, It is so important to nourish our bodies, fostering a healthy environment physically, which begins from within so that we are able to carry out our dharma to our highest potentiality.
Here in India Ayurveda is a way of living, it means life science and is an ancient healing system dating back 1,000’s of years. As the sister science of yoga, the goal of Ayurveda is to align the body with the natural rhythms of nature as much as possible. Because in reality, we are nature, nothing separates us from the tree, the ocean or the sky than matter itself. So aligning our bodies with nature¹s cycles is the key in creating balance and living our most abundant life… one full of vitality!
Ayurvedic principles suggest performing morning self-care rituals in support of bringing the mind and body into a state of harmony. I have been practicing these rituals for quite some time and oftentimes recommend them to individuals who are seeking a more balanced lifestyle. If you at times feel ungrounded or out of balance, try this simple routine for 40 days to experience deeper alignment and vitality. We are lucky here at The Sattva Retreat to have a full- service Ayurvedic spa, where I love getting treatments when I feel my body needs a “re-charge”. However, this routine is easy for you to do at home or when you are traveling..
Rise: with the sun or between the hours of 5 and 6 am. Wake up with nature. This is the most sattvic time of the day. Sattva means peace, stillness,
quiet. After 730am rajas kick in. Rajas are movement and energy,(think traffic begins, people are outside moving, sounds become loud) our minds
automatically align to that part of nature. By spending the first hours of our day in a peaceful state of consciousness we are open to receive, happier and more clear throughout the day. Wash your face, brush your teeth and scrape your tongue upon rising.
Meditate: Sit in the lotus position or on a chair in a quiet space and meditate for at least 30.minutes.This is a sacred time for your soul. After you meditate light some candles, do some chanting, listen to soft music…anything to set a devotional mood, or Bhava, for your day.
Movement: Do at least 10 minutes of Asana, Pranayama or Kriyas to activate the Prana(life energy) in the body. It also will ground you into your body before you begin moving through the day. Oftentimes when we wake up in the morning we are not 100% in our bodies because we are transitioning from a dream into a waking state.
Oil massage: Give yourself a massage with sesame oil, rubbing it on the body in the circular motions beginning at the neck and shoulders. After waiting for 5 minutes, enjoy a nourishing shower connecting to the element of water. The oil calms the nervous system as well as removes excess vata (energy, air element within us, which causes mind chatter). You will feel more clear in your consciousness and calm all day.
Drink Hot water with lemon: Do this before eating or drinking coffee,
this alkalizes the body as well as gets the digestive system moving along.
Food: Food is Prana, life energy, therefore we must be conscious of what we put in our mouths as it is our fuel. Alive, nourishing, colorful Sattvic foods from nature versus processed foods. If you ask your body what it needs it always will tell you. Just listen…Eat intuitively, balancing your meals with cooked vegetables and whole grains.
Throughout your day remember to take moments, or as I call them “sacred pauses” to connect with nature. Go outside breathe in some fresh air, filling the body with new prana. Nature always provides connection, serenity, and healing. It is a space where I oftentimes find that the “answers” I am seeking are revealed.
It is my hope that after reading this you are inspired to incorporate these rituals in support of your wellbeing, leading you to experience a more conscious, abundant way of living, bringing you into deeper alignment with your true nature…sat chit ananda!
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