“A ritual is the enactment of a myth. And, by participating in the ritual, you are participating in the myth. And since myth is a projection of the depth wisdom of the psyche, by participating in a ritual, participating in the myth, you are being, as it were, put in accord with that wisdom, which is the wisdom that is inherent within you anyhow. Your consciousness is being re-minded of the wisdom of your own life. I think ritual is terribly important.”
― Joseph Campbell
Rituals have the power to transform our most mundane actions into symbolic expressions. Life can feel a bit repetitive at times and infusing your day with intention and meaning can be a huge pick-me-up. Add a little witchy spice to your life to spark joy in place of boredom and indifference. You don’t need to be part of an organized religion to participate in rituals. You can create your own with intentions and symbolism that are meaningful to you.
February 1 is the Chinese New Year and 2022 is the year of the Tiger. The tiger represents courage and ambition as well as generosity with a drive to help others. Tigers want to win but they’re also always seeking justice. All of these attributes can be symbolism to fuel your own intentions and rituals for the year ahead. A daily ritual can be a time when you ask for clarity and guidance on how to bring about a change, create something new, or just find more peace in your current situation.
In September of 2018 I committed to a 1000 days of a kundalini kriya called bound lotus and it was an incredible experience all around. The positive effects that came from this were subtle and they happened over time. I learned a lot about myself and it made me a big believer in the power of a committed, daily routine. Here are a few suggestions on how you can create one for yourself and some reasons on why you will be so glad you did.
Ritual is the passage way of the soul into the infinite.
– Algernon Blackwood
My bound lotus was a 45 minute daily ritual. There was a lot of power in this longer length practice. There were many days where I wanted to quit after 15 minutes but always kept going until the end. When you get over the hump of doubt, irritation, or boredom, there are magical gifts on the other side. However 45 minutes might feel daunting, especially if you are running a household or have a full time job. Decide on a reasonable amount of time that you can truly dedicate to this without it feeling like a burden.
My first foray into a daily ritual was a 3 minute meditation called Sat Kriya. I did it for 40 days and it really only took about 5 minutes a day. This was a great way for me to dip my toe in to the water of an everyday commitment. Set yourself up for success by setting a time limit on your ritual. If you have 5 minutes, great. If you have 20, awesome! Longer is not better. What you’re really going for is doing this every single day. That way it becomes a routine. Once you feel the power of your dedication, other things you hope to incorporate into your life will also shift to steady routine.
I also suggest you do this as early in the morning as possible. Not so early that it interferes with a good night’s sleep, but early enough that the world is still very quiet and perhaps even dark. This will add a mystical element to the whole thing and make it feel more witchy and fun.
The preparation for the ritual is the ritual
– Kate Green
Where in your home are you going to perform this ritual? This is important and should obviously be a very quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted by the other people in your house. Dedicate a space in or right outside your home for your ritual. It doesn’t need to be large, perhaps the size of the yoga mat or blanket that you’ll be sitting or lying down on.
I set up a tent in my backyard for the first year of my bound lotus. I am the only woman in my house with my husband and two boys. It was so lovely to create this outdoor space for myself. I decorated it with blankets, pillows, sheepskins, candles, and lanterns. Even on cooler San Diego mornings I loved going out to a little sanctuary that was all mine.
Perhaps you want your ritual to be a walk in your neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be static and in one spot. I jumped in the ocean during 2021 for 100 days in a row. This was most certainly a ritual for me and my two friends who I did it with. Let yourself be open and adventurous for this exciting new personal venture.
Create Your Ritual
“Any ritual is an opportunity for transformation. To do a ritual, you must be willing to be transformed in some way. The inner willingness is what makes the ritual come alive and have power. If you aren’t willing to be changed by the ritual, don’t do it.”
If this is all new to you and you don’t know where to start, I suggest some simple breathwork. This can be practiced in a supported seated position or lying down on the back. If you’re seated, place something under the hips for more comfort. If you’re lying down, place something under the knees to relax the lower back.
A great breath routine that is simple and powerful is to count the inhale and exhale. Start with a low number such as 3 or 4. Inhale for a count of 3, exhale for a count of 3. As you become accustomed to this, increase it to 4 or 5. Over time, try increasing this count to 8, 9 or even 10. You can do this for as little as 3 minutes per day and if you have time, move towards 20 minutes.
If you want more movement, I suggest an easy walk in your own neighborhood for at least 20 minutes every morning. Walks are incredibly healing for the mind, body and soul. They are most definitely a meditation in motion and will bring you great benefit. If you have a body of water that you can jump in, this is also an amazing daily ritual. The Pacific Ocean in San Diego gets cold in the winter and was invigorating to say the least. Physical intensity such as freezing cold water adds an element that will surprise you with its power. It’s also free!
Settle on a number of days in a row you want to jump this off with. I like the kundalini recommendation of 40 days. It’s not so long that it’s overwhelming but it’s long enough to feel a shift in your perception. If that feels overwhelming, choose anything that feels doable. Three days, seven days – choose and commit to the routine.
Add Some Flare
There is a comfort in rituals, and rituals provide a framework for stability when you are trying to find answers.
– Deborah Norville
Come up with ways to use physical items as symbols with meaning assigned by you. For bound lotus, I wrapped my head up in the same scarf every day. I used plant medicine to anoint myself with before I began. I began with Spike Nard and used it for about a year straight. When I smell it now, it’s like a portal back in time to my tent in my old backyard. That smell will forever conjure up a meditative trance because of all the days I spent immersed in bound lotus drenched in that scent.
Candles, something to burn, a specific blanket or pillow, flowers, etc are all great examples of things you can add to your ritual. Incorporate them in a specific order and try to follow this order everyday. These items can represent different ideas you are inspired by, a mindset you are hoping to embody, things you want to welcome in, things you want to let go. This is all just for you. Get magical, have fun and don’t hold back. And don’t be surprised by the transcendent state that arises when you encounter these symbols in your daily life, outside of your ritual.
Have Intentions But Be Willing to Let Them Go
I didn’t have specific intentions when I began my 1000 day commitment. I was incredibly curious about kundalini yoga and the ritual of a daily sadhana that you did no matter what. There were times I did it on airplanes and on road trips in the front seat of the car. I’ve done it with horrific hangovers and plenty of times with my kids climbing on me and bugging me to make them breakfast. No matter what, I always completed the entire routine.
You can do this purely just to try something new. You don’t have to be focused on any goals, let yourself be inspired by the world around you. The ritual you create can act as a doorway in to your innermost being. Be curious, be consistent and have fun with it. This experience is for you and you alone. It doesn’t have to be about becoming a better mom, wife, friend etc. It’s just a little self exploration that will enrich your life and spark more joy in your day.
Let yourBuddhi Guide Your Ritual
If you want more guidance, use our online classes. You could commit to waking up and doing the livestream vinyasa with Carolina and Jenny on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for an early morning jumpstart to your day.
We also have over 80 videos that are just 20 minutes long for a variety of levels. Commit to waking up and doing 20 minutes of yoga every day for a week. Here are some of our most popular:
Master Your Thoughts with Carolina
Heavenly Stretch Sesh with Amanda
Incorporate journaling, lighting candles and burning sage or another plant you like. There are always auspicious things happening around us such as Chinese New Year on February 1st. Look at the symbolism that is all around us and gather inspiration for your own special time that you dedicate to yourself each day. Never hesitate to email us with your questions. We are here to help and can recommend breathing exercises and specific classes for you. Harness the power of routine to help you stay committed to your personal goals such as working out or pursuing a passion project. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!