Routine to Ritual

A few weeks ago when my husband and I started talking about and beginning to organize plans for the holidays, I was reminded that my birthday was coming up and — as tends to be the case — it brought about some reflection and self-assessment. By and large this year has brought about a lot of growth and other good things for my person, but one area decidedly needed help: I certainly had let my health habits slip a bit the last few months. Like most, this area ebbs and flows for me — I get on a great track and then kind of fall off of it and then I tackle it again. I made the decision that my birthday gift to myself this year would be to get that aspect of me back to a place where I felt good about it.

Of course the biggest obstacle to this undertaking was time. We joke that I’m not really a morning person or a night person, but more of a middle of the day person so when I told my husband that I planned to get in a routine in which I wake early every day to do some yoga and strengthening exercises before the kids woke up he was supportive, but understandably skeptical. What’s unfolded, however, has been surprisingly… great. It started with a short program of stretching and strengthening, followed by my not really knowing what to do with myself during the extra time in the morning for which I was now  w i d e   awake. I mostly drank coffee and blinked a lot while I stared blankly. Over the past couple weeks, however, it’s evolved from a routine in which I kind of floundered into a ritual that I really enjoy and wake up excited to start.

Today, for example, I woke up and did my yoga & strengthening routine. Since starting I’ve expanded the time frame and variety as well as learned to mix up the order in which I do things every week or two to keep it fresh. With that done, I get my coffee which I set the night before to begin brewing around the time I wake up and I get dressed. Today I had a bunch of laundry to fold, so I snuck that chore in quickly, too. And then, it was time to spin.

Since I’m working on that double-marl with my Cloudlover fiber., I began by organizing and laying out some fiber.

IMG_1437And then I turned on my ‘Fireplace for Your Home’ on Netflix. I realize this is pretty nerdy, but we don’t have a fireplace or a space heater that looks like a fireplace or anything like that so on these cold mornings that fireplace on the tv is the best I can do. For me, it sets a nice relaxing tone. And then I spin…

IMG_1436I usually get to spend about 30minutes to an hour before breakfast with my wheel. Since I get to watch the light change as the sun comes up I’ve started to think of this time as my ‘Sunrise Spin’ — even the name makes me happy. It’s been a real boon to my spinning progress as well as putting me in a very calm and productive mind-set before the school day begins.

There are some days when it my little ritual doesn’t happen – like on the weekends when I take a slower approach to the day or I instead opt to spend the time knitting or sipping coffee & chatting with Mr Knitting Sarah when he has a late start or a day off. By and large though, this time has proven to be a very unexpected delight that I look forward to, that I’m excited to get out of bed for, and that I gladly find a way to squeeze it into my day. Born of a simple desire to just get my body in better shape in time for my birthday, in a very natural and beautiful way it’s become a time to take care of my whole self.  I can’t think of a better early birthday gift!

6 thoughts on “Routine to Ritual”

  1. This is a lovely idea. I used to be in the habit of doing yoga in the mornings but I let it drop. It’s something I should really add back in, and I love the idea of following up with some peaceful spinning.

    1. I’ve done it in the past, too, and then ended up getting away from it. I’m a little limited in what I can do when because of my schedule with my kids, but so far this is working out great. Plus, I think having the fun thing to do after the exercise is really helping to keep me on track. 🙂

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