The Yoga of Good Housekeeping.

Via Renee Baribeau
on Jun 5, 2012
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Photo: Mysid

Chop wood, load the dishwasher?

When it comes to dishes, are you the type who will leave your food-encrusted dishes piled high in the sink overnight and wait for your morning coffee to brew before you start cleaning? Or perhaps you jump from the table after the last forkful of dessert like a whirling dervish of the ammonia bottle, a cleaning tornado scrubbing until every last counter shines?

Are you aware of how you tend to chores? If you look closely, I guarantee you will find a ritual in everything from chopping an onion to emptying the dishwasher. These everyday rituals relate directly to your ability to shift, change and grow.

Photo: The Crystal Lake @Phuket,Thailand

In my life, when I started the arduous journey of self healing, the first task on the to-do list was to learn a new ritual of making the bed every day. Simple as this may seem to some, it was not easy to master. Now, twenty years later, the task has become second nature, yet the goal is to be present to this routine, fluffing the pillows with joy and gratitude for another great night’s sleep.

Before I travel, I dust, vacuum, change the sheets and wash the floors for the ghosts who will inhabit my space. Sashi the cat appreciates a clean place to sleep and I feel scattered and incomplete if the house is left in disorder.

Somewhere inside I hold a belief that the quality of my travel is dependent upon how well I vacuum. The more I travel, the more I realize that this ritual is not so much about the away time but rather the meditation I use in preparation to go.

According to the indigenous shamans, time is not a linear arrow but travels in a circular movement in all directions, backwards and forwards. This leads me to believe that the conscious acts we engage in before a spiritual retreat are every bit as important as coming home to a clean home waiting with open arms.

What does it mean to implement a yoga practice into your chores? According to the yogis, it is crucial that we bring our loving attention to every act. In readying yourself for a yoga retreat or spiritual gathering, it’s important to recognize that the gifts you take home begin with your preparation well beforehand.

Before you go to yoga, in your pre-class preparations, ask yourself: “What is my intention for this practice?”

The answer could be as simple as self-commitment or as complicated as de-stressing from your job or the care of aging parents. Either way, it is essential that you consciously begin your practice by setting an intention.

Once you are there (at a retreat or at home on your mat), it is crucial to be there. Being at a yoga retreat and thinking about the dirty dishes stacked in the sink back home will not help you engage in love. Love is an energy that is entirely experienced in the present moment. Therefore, it is important to clean the proverbial dish before leaving home. The simple act of preparation and intention will begin to shift your day—and inevitably, your life.

~ Editor: Lori Lothian

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About Renee Baribeau

Renee Baribeau, “The Practical Shaman,”is a wind whistler, soul coach, Hay House author, inspirational speaker, and workshop leader. Renee is the author of Winds of Spirit, by the prestigious Hay House Publishing Co. Renee is known for her practical, down to earth approach to helping her clients find simple solutions to living an authentic life present. She believes insight gleaned from her rigorous transformational journey can help others find an easier softer quicker path to happiness. Learn more about The WindWork® at a Wind Whistling Ceremony here. Follow Renee on Facebook at The Practical Shaman for daily inspiration.


38 Responses to “The Yoga of Good Housekeeping.”

  1. Mamaste says:

    Just intro'd on FB to: Funny, Spirituality, Yoga and Health & Wellness.

  2. Dana Taylor says:

    The picture reminds me of my daughter’s kitchen!

  3. Carol Woodliff says:

    My mother was so anal (can I say that?) about her housekeeping. Things had to be just so and it was the way things looked over the relationships in her life. In response to that energy I tend to be a little bit more relaxed in my housekeeping. Not dirty but not uptight about it either. I think it all comes down to consciousness. What are you putting your attention on and why? Anything taken to an extreme can be detrimental. Choosing to be Conscious and let your environment support and mirror that consciousness–absolutely.

  4. Renee! I love to clean but now I really see a connection to my desire to prepare and organize with my tendency to want to be fully present. You are so right! If I know there is a mountain of dishes waiting for me I feel anxious and resentful. I am getting ready for an extended trip and you've inspired me to take my preparations seriously. Love it!

  5. Asia Voight says:

    Love this article Renee! I'm going to be much more conscious keeping my home and office in peaceful order.

  6. ThePracticalShaman says:

    Happy to make you laugh and meet you on FB

  7. ThePracticalShaman says:

    Mine as well on a catering day.

  8. ThePracticalShaman says:

    Thank you for sharing your attention here.

  9. ThePracticalShaman says:

    Glad to be an inspiration.

  10. ThePracticalShaman says:

    I feel the peace.

  11. Kimberly Burnham, PhD, The Nerve Whisperer says:

    Thanks for this post. It is an interesting perspective on rituals. I try to put the dishes in the dishwasher as soon as I take them into the kitchen. I like to have loose ends tidied up before going on to other projects. Thanks,

  12. Grace says:

    The yoga of everyday life . . . that's my kind of yoga. Thanks for sharing your words with us.

  13. ThePracticalShaman says:

    Thank Kimberly for tidying up the loose end and stopping by to comment.

  14. ThePracticalShaman says:

    Thanks Grace; next we will have to do one on Belly Dancing.

  15. Jacob Nordby says:

    I love this, Renee. Everyday rituals…the fabric of our lives. It's lovely to venture far afield and have spiritual adventures, but the rubber meets the road in earnest when we are faced with kids to feed, meals to cook, dishes to clean and the lot.

    Thank you for this article.

  16. Call me crazy, but I prefer to do my dishes by hand over my lunch hour. I work from home so, I find doing this allows me to break up my day sitting at the computer, with some quiet time. No radio, no television; just me and my thoughts and lots of suds. 🙂 Oh, and I always clean my house before I leave on a vacation because it's just so nice to come home to nothing else to do other than to reflect on my vacation.

    Great article!


  17. Leona says:


    GREAT blog! I too wash, clean etc etc before leaving on a trip. It's just this thing I do – oh and even if I'm still home and the kids are out of town w/ the grandparents – I find myself cleaning their rooms/sheets/clothes while they are gone. guess it's just nice to come home to a fresh house and no laundry till the next day

  18. Jan says:

    Oh Renee, I struggle with housework big time and admire people who keep their homes sparkling yet still have time for other things – I'd never write a poem or a song if I waited till the chores were done! However, I do them in a more mindful and non-resistant (even cheerful!) way these days, but must confess that, yes, I do sometimes leave the dishes until the morning…

  19. Denys says:

    This reminded me of when I went into labor in the middle of the night, and I made my bed before I would go to the hospital- what was I thinking? Still makes us laugh when we talk about it many years later.

  20. Dana Lundin says:

    Great post, Renee! It’s important to remember the omnipresence of potential in every moment and action. The mundane can be profound when does with consciousness, and I too love coming home after an adventure (or day at work) to a clean and ordered home.

  21. Robin Renee says:

    Yes! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I find creating a sense of order and cleanliness in my environment is so important. When things get too far out of place, I know it is time for me to focus on the introspective,pay attention to physical health, heal frayed emotions,while doing the external work of cleaning up the disorder I allowed to happen. I wrote a bit about this a while back:

    The Yoga of Order –

  22. ThePracticalShaman says:

    Jacob you are truly a light shining bright in the forest.

  23. ThePracticalShaman says:

    That is why I have to get up at least two hours before my earliest flight. I do them while waiting on the coffee water to boil.

  24. ThePracticalShaman says:

    Certainly is better to come home to serene clean sheets every time.

  25. ThePracticalShaman says:

    Got an impending date with your happy dishes.

  26. ThePracticalShaman says:

    That made me laugh, what a great addition to the chain.

  27. ThePracticalShaman says:

    My job as The Practical Shaman; to make the mundane magical. Glad you do the same.

  28. ThePracticalShaman says:

    I love how this is so universal.

  29. ThePracticalShaman says:

    Thanks Angela…Just reading this will help organize your mind before the next road trip.

  30. Diane Huling says:

    I’ve always loved having everything in order before I travel. Coming home to a clear space is an important part of re-entry and integration of what I bring back with me. But I never really thought about it being a true ritual of preparation for my journey. Thanks renee. Really sweet.

  31. Dharma Talks says:

    I Love this Renee, Our energy does travel in all directions at once, so why not focus and be productive 🙂

  32. Carley Branting says:

    I am still hopeful Palin runs for government in 2012, she is going to do first-rate!

  33. Terre York says:

    Loved the concept of cleaning for the house spirits, and of course the consciousness of focus on leaving for a journey. Good job Renee.
    Thanks for sharing

  34. TJ Angus says:

    Excellent. “The love you put into it, is the love you get out of it.” I always check my energy before I begin projects or assist people … I aspire to approach and touch all things with a positive lasting energy of love and kindness.

    Thank you Renee for your eloquence and inspiration!

  35. Amy says:

    Yes. Our "spirituality" is not meant to be separate from our Life…rather, It IS our Life Lived. Thank You for this reminder.

  36. Teresa says:

    Great article,Renee. Conscience living is essential in our “routine”. Also, I think having a sense of order is the calm before the storm of travel. Thank you for the post.

  37. Denis says:

    Lovely article Renee! I'm not exactly clean-up whirlwind type, but finding a clean house in the morning or on return from a trip makes my feel like being welcomed back by myself, for a new day. I was not so much aware of the rituals in everything, but I can see them now. Actually they are fun…but only as long as they don't keep us stuck somewhere. I think what you say is also that we'll avoid that last trap by being fully present in whatever we do. Cheers to the joy of life!

  38. […] Coming home can feel like slipping into clean fresh sheets on the coziest of beds after a well worked day. Does your home feel like that? C’mon, be honest, does it? If not then why not? […]