Do you take time to cleanse during the tides of life and reignite ― your whole self-awareness?
Would you believe that an academic article begins with the sentence: “Ritual returns us to the center of who we are”?!
While the researchers concentrated their study on an older population, the takeaways from their research are relevant for any age group:
Rituals can help people re-motivate, re-energize, and regain their purpose; while structuring the delicate dance of life in motion.
Participating in group rituals builds a sense of community, a shared identity, a feeling that “I belong; I am not alone.”
Meaningful rituals are bridges — smoothing our way over difficult transitions and joyously marking important life events or milestones.
Creating spaces for rituals and reflective pauses gives us opportunities to restore our soul’s retrieval and continue our personal, sacred dialogue.
Shamanic practices: A Way to Focus Ritual
One way to create such spaces is through shamanic practices ― Time to put aside all those images of witch doctors dancing around the fire. Shamanism is now a researched area, with the data showing the value of these celebrated shamanic practices.
What is shamanism?
Briefly, shamanism can be described as a ritual led by a human spirit guide who uses altered consciousness states (i.e., trance-like states of whole-being) to conduct healing.
How does shamanism help restoration?
For one, shamanic rituals help our restoration through their narrative powers. In other words, they help us make sense of things through story-telling. An international group of researchers found that shamanic sessions, including the interpretation of visions, helps ground people in the “consciousness of an interdependence/interconnection in all human and spiritual relationships.”
Why are shamanistic rituals effective?
Some studies suggest that shamanistic rituals increase our body’s immune functions ― to heal and restore homeostasis. These studies inform that shamanism behaves like a bridge between the patient’s inner world and the “external world where the problem originates.” With its rich toolkit, shamanism modifies consciousness to promote healing. Research indicates that it is the holistic nature of shamanistic rituals that aid in the healing process; some include different states of consciousness similar to Jungian dreamwork’s contemporary analysis.
Yoga: Integrating the physical, the spirit, and the divine
Making time for restorative rituals means recognizing the importance of body-soul-spiritual integration. Routinely attending your yoga classes while also developing a personal practice within your reserved timeframes; is a form of cultivating a restorative ritual — a pathway to connect with the Self and the greater consciousness. Your yogic practice works in the practitioner’s transformation process, into a Shaman within the Self — a “jungle physician.”
In other words, yoga teaches us to guide ourselves, much as shamans, guide those who come to them. Yoga is a process, a practice, and a journey that leads the practitioner to deeper awareness levels; within the Self. Through mindful contemplation of breath, body, movement, and thought, we form meaningful interconnections between the intricate details of our life within as well as without; our interwoven community.
Much has been made of the physical aspects of yoga. Indeed, these are not without value. However, yoga’s real gift is as an internal practice, a process that leads you on an inward journey that uncovers its secrets to those who humbly dare to follow their heart. In time, the student and teacher become One — practitioner and guide, “patient,” and inner healer.
Other ideas for simple rituals
Mantras and chants
The repetition of mantras and chants is a ritual that can be done any time and anywhere. Mantras and chants heal via sound/vibration; this is not a fanciful idea — Reliable studies show that sound/vibration can increase people’s wellbeing.
Om saha nav avatu | saha nau bhunaktu | saha viryam karavavahai | tejasvi navadhitam astu ma vidvishavahai || Om shanti shanti shanti ||
May we together be protected,
May we together be nourished.
May we work together with vigor,
May our study be illuminating.
May we be free from discord.
Om Peace, Peace, Peace!
Pranayama: Yogic breathing
A repetitive focus on one’s breathing can become a transformative and highly restorative ritual practice. Pranayama (yogic breathing) heals by cleansing our bodies, stimulating the nervous system, and also aids relaxation of the mind and body. There are many techniques
Embracing Your Health & Wellbeing — Time After Time.