3 Body-Mind-Spirit rituals that keep me happy, healthy + grounded
When thinking about your health it’s easy to get wrapped up in the physical. We often take for granted all of the other components that contribute to our overall health- think BIG PICTURE!
Keeping your mind and spirit in as good of shape as your body is crucial for long-term results.
But like any other good thing in life, yoga takes persistence and deliberate practice. But when you get to that place where your body and your breath are no longer two separate things; when they’re tangled up in each other, that’s the yummy stuff.
That’s where your soul is fed.
.02 The next ritual has been a pretty recent addition. And it’s not all that different than the ritual above. I started going to a new yoga studio back in the early spring and was introduced to a deeper pranayama practice. For those of you who have never stepped foot in a studio, pranayama is a Sanskrit word for “controlling the life force energy," or "controlling the breath."
To take 5-10 minutes before my yoga practice, before bed, or even in the midst of a hectic day, to slow down and breathe has worked wonders for my anxiety. I tend to get caught up in my own head quite a bit and I'm sure I'm not alone here. It can be a struggle to sort through the tangled web of "to-do's" and "should-have's."
Instead of getting frustrated and trying to make any sense of it, I sit down, close my eyes and focus on my breath. There are hundreds of different breath techniques you can experiment with, but the easiest and most effective in times of distress, I've found to be a three part, eight count breath:
Breathe into your stomach, filling up your chest, and into your throat for four seconds. Breathe out, emptying first from your throat, then your chest, then your stomach for four seconds and repeat.This quickly becomes meditative. And the simple act of counting takes your mind's focus off of all the chaos and gets you into the present moment. Hello Mindfulness practice!
03. The last ritual I'll mention has been the addition of probiotics into my daily routine. Most of the time that comes in the form of kombucha, only because for me I've found it to be the easiest and quickest way to get some good gut-nourishing bacteria. However I definitely love some home-fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough bread and of course, real lacto-fermented yogurt.
I'm a super fermenting nerd and taught myself how to make all of these at home, but you don't have to get that committed if your life doesn't allow for that.
Start small- visit your local farmer's market and find some naturally fermented vegetables, kraut or kimchi.
You're probably thinking, "how many ways can I eat kimchi or kraut before getting sick of it though?!”
I had the same thought when I first started looking into them. The easiest (and possibly the healthiest) way to incorporate them is like a vitamin!
Eat a spoonful or two about 20 minutes before a meal.
This allows you to get daily exposure to those beneficial gut bacteria, without always having to plan a meal around them. And by eating them before a meal, you're prepping your digestive tract to do its most badass job at digestion and assimilation!
I'd love to know what your habits + rituals are! Please let me know in the comments below.