Everyday Rituals for a magical life
Sleep is tough on the face. Rinsing your face upon waking is an easy way to prepare the skin for the day’s challenges, including stress and pollution. Start your morning with splashing your face seven times with cool, preferably non-chlorinated water. Seven is an auspicious number in Ayurveda and the number seven represents the body’s chakras or energy centers.
The face is the most exposed area of the body, so morning rehydration is crucial. All day the face is bombarded with stresses. The more hydration, the better. You might notice that your mouth also dries out overnight. While rinsing your face, take a sip of cool water, swish it slowly, and spit it out when it gets lukewarm. Repeat this two to three times.
One of my non-profit projects is called the Inner Peace Prison Project where I work with female prisoners in Indonesia. It is a very deep and heart touching work which brings me in contact with you woman who are going to spend the next 5 to 10 or 15 years in prison. One of the prisons in the project is on the tropical island of Bali. So, after I do my work in the prison, I spend some time in Ubud, which is known as the yoga capital of the world. In Ubud, I was introduced to Jamu, which is a Balinese herbal drink. Every morning I start my day with Jamu. There are several ways to create this drink and I will share a simple recipe with you. I believe daily rituals are more likely to stick when they are simple.
Here is how you make Jamu:
In one large cup, mix:
- Hot, boiling water
- 1 teaspoon organic Turmeric powder
- Juice from one squeezed lemon/lime (if it is big lemon, use half, it is a small lime, you might need 2)
- Add 1 dessert spoonful of honey when the water has cooled down a bit.
This magical drink will wake you up and h.elp your body to function optimally.
Your body is your temple, treat it as a divine miracle. -Nina
Be Here Now is the title of a book from 1971 on spirituality, yoga, and meditation by the Western-born yogi and spiritual teacher Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert). I think Ram Dass had no idea how disconnected we would be five decades after he wrote his book.
An average western person checks their phone more than 120 times each day. Our phones have become like walls that keep us separated from our life. Try turning your phone off for an hour each day. Spend time in silence. It is only when we can turn off the outer distractions that we can listen to our intuition; our small inner voice that whispers to you and shares what to do and what is good for you.
Silence has always something new to tell you. Be quiet, get out of your way. Listen. -Nina
Sankalpa is a Sanskrit word. Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages in the world and the primary language of yoga. It means your heartfelt desire.
SAN – an idea that is formed in the HEART.
KALPA – the rule I will follow before other rules.
The ancient teachings of the Upanishads state, “You are your deepest desire.”
We don’t hold Sankalpa as a future possibility, but instead, plant the seed in the present moment. Start each morning with a Sankalpa for the day. Listen to your heartfelt desire and let it be your focus.
Let the heart lead your way. -Nina
Yoga helps us connect with our body and our feelings. If you don’t have time to join a class, find one or two yoga poses that you can use to start your day. Each morning, I do Sun Salutations. It’s a wonderful way to wake up your body. Find your pose and do it every day.
Yoga increases your energy. Along with making you more efficient with your time by helping you stay relaxed and focused, a morning yoga practice energizes you by increasing your oxygen intake and stimulating blood flow into your entire body.
You cannot always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.” -Nina
Connect with nature every day. If you live in a big city and are too far away from the park, keep some plants in your home that you take care of. Every time you touch or see the nature outside or inside your home, you’ll get reminded that you are a part of nature and nature is a part of you. Take at least one walk a week to immerse yourself in nature. Nature heals you and makes you whole.
Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.