Exercise Simple Ritual & Warm-Up for Setting Your Intention and Starting Your Day

simple ritual

Enter your sacred space with a mat, cushion, or chair to sit upon. Light a candle (or a few) to start your ritual. Sit quietly in your space, and bring your hands together at your heart center. Close the eyes and say out loud (or silently) the sound of Om. This helps to center and calm the mind.

Set the following intention by saying this invocation out loud:

Bliss that I AM, please help me to open my heart in order to be more kind and compassionate to all.

Think of one person in your life who would benefit from receiving more kindness and compassion from you. Dedicate today’s practice to their benefit.

Remain in quiet contemplation for a few moments as you focus on the breath. When you’re ready, do the following simple warm-up to start your day. It takes about 6 minutes and is refreshing for the mind and body.

Lunge Stretch Warm-Up (All levels, 6 minutes)

  • Rest in Child’s Pose (Balasana) for 5 – 10 breaths.
  • Tuck toes, extend legs to Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) for 5 – 10 breaths.
  • Peddle out the legs if you like, enjoying the mild inversion and the stretch. Move shoulders forward over wrists, into Plank Pose (Palahakasana). Keep body straight, core engaged, and hold 2 – 5 breaths.
  • Drop knees to the floor, place chest on the floor between hands, and rest the chin on the floor for Knees-Chest-Chin Pose (Ashtanga Namaskarasana). Slide forward into Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana), as you straighten legs and lift the chest off the floor using only the muscles of the back. Keep the neck long and refrain from pressing into the hands to avoid putting pressure on the low back. Breathe deeply to open the chest, remain here for 5 breaths.
  • Press back into a Downward Facing Dog, then walk the feet forward between the hands to come to Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana). Grab opposite elbows and let the upper spine relax as you engage your legs. Remain for 5 – 10 breaths.
  • Release arms, slowly roll up to stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Stack the joints and stand tall.

Close the eyes, bring the hands to prayer at the heart. Reconnect with the intention you’ve set for the day by seeing the one you’ve offered your practice to in your mind’s eye. Repeat the invocation:

Bliss that I AM, please help me to open my heart in order to be more kind and compassionate to all.

Close your ritual practice with the sound of Om, and snuff the candles.

This entire practice takes no more than 10 minutes and sets you up for an elevated state of mind and an open-hearted day. The key to developing a steady sadhana is to keep it simple, relevant, and applicable to your life. The next chapter explores the key elements of a complete personal ritual practice, and I’ll offer you some more practices that you can insert into what is swiftly becoming your regular, daily, inspirational routine!


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