The ritual of retreat
Every culture and every creature takes time to hibernate, retreat and go inside (either physically or metaphorically) during winter. You do not need to book a flight anywhere to enjoy the benefits of retreating. All you need to do is create a sacred space for your ritual of tending your inner fire.
Five elements of a daily ritual
1. Time. The thought "I don't have enough time" is SO OVER. The truth is, we don't have time to NOT do this self care thing. Carve out as much time as you can (whether it looks like 5 minutes or 5 hours is irrelevant) and dedicate this designated time to you. YOU are WORTH it.
2. Space. Create a physical place that you love for your daily retreat. It can be a simple as a single candle to an elaborate altar room for your practice. Keep your sacred space clean and free of clutter, screen and wifi emitting devices.
3. Intention. Set your intention to simply BE there. Whether you are practising yoga asana, writing, resting, singing, drawing, meditating, dancing, praying. It is your Sadhana, meaning what you can do. Whatever you can do on that day, show up for yourself with the intention to be present.
4. Nature. Include at least one natural element in your retreat ritual. If you are in nature, wonderful! If you are in the city, we can connect to life itself through sacred stones, plants, flowers, fruit, vessels of water –and living flames.
5. Disconnect to reconnect. Lord knows we can all benefit from a break from the screens. Let this be a daily digital detox. Put your mobile on Airport mode and turn off your wifi modem. Be free of distractions for this ritual time and connect to your deepest knowing and highest truth.
Dedicate a warm and quiet place to practice yoga, write, meditate and offer prayers and gratitude. Your personal retreat space should feel safe, private (so you are not interrupted during your practice) soothing and clean. Decorate the room or altar with warm colours, include a living flame, either with an oil burner or soy/bees wax candle, and inspirational quotes, photographs, images, stones or statues that resonate with your heart. Be sure to enjoy your sacred space each day for as long as you can, even if it is just 5 minutes, keep the area fresh and change it up if it feels stagnant in anyway.
Enjoy your retreat ritual!