The idea of ‘wellness’ is great in theory (who doesn’t want to feel calmer and healthier?) but when it comes to making a real change, we often falter. Whether you’re a wannabe wellness warrior, or just a bit cynical about the whole thing, sisters Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips’ no-nonsense, non-preachy advice is for you. Firmly rooted in the reality of our chaotic, messy, imperfect lives, their first book, Self Care For The Real World, was a bestseller based on two decades working in the wellness sphere — Nadia as a renowned yoga teacher, Katia as a health-food pioneer.
Meet The Sisters Celebrating Life's Important Daily Rituals
Now, they’ve recently published a follow-up, Rituals for Every Day, a ‘recipe book’ of simple rituals to help you hit pause when the treadmill of everyday life just won’t stop. There’s even a section entitled ‘When the shit hits the fan’. “Rituals help you to make some space in your life; to pause, to pay attention, to set intentions,” says Nadia. “With everyone being so busy, it’s hard to slow down, and we can lose meaning in our life,” adds Katia. “Rituals help us bring that meaning back, that connection to life.”
A few minutes of silence while the coffee-pot brews; dancing to a song on the radio when you wake; just making your bed in the morning; what makes these manageable, bitesize rituals count is doing them with purpose. Rather than a habit you do on autopilot, it’s an opportunity to reflect, pay attention or just appreciate the beauty in life.
“I like morning rituals, it allows me to go into my day in a way that’s not rushed or stressed,’ says Nadia. “If I don’t, I notice it for the rest of the day, I feel a bit discombobulated.” But you don’t have to follow the book as a strict set of instructions; the sisters encourage adapting the rituals to suit your life (“like a recipe, you can add a little of your own flavour”).
There are specific rituals for spring, such as Shake The House, to help you get rid of the old and make space for the new — emotionally and physically. Or a DIY salt scrub so you can feel renewed after winter. There are ways to mark life’s significant events, too: moving house, bereavement, pregnancy. “The other rituals I really like are the ones you can give to someone else,” says Nadia. “Like the Vision Holder: when you know someone’s going through a difficult patch, you can sit and light a candle for them, or put some good vibes into a piece of jewellery, and give it to them.”
Both sisters are self-confessed works-in-progress; accepting your flaws is an important theme of their work. There’s certainly no suggestion that they’re perfect. So, do they ever argue? “Our working relationship is good—but we’ve worked on it,” says Katia. “We’ve had a life coach and learnt how to communicate with each other, so the other doesn’t feel attacked. It’s nice to have a work partner; if Nadia’s feeling down I can pick her up, and vice versa.”
If there’s one thing the sisters want people to know it’s that you don’t have to make dramatic changes to improve your life. “When you start small, you’re more likely to succeed and feel that sense of achievement - that will help you grow good rituals,” says Katia. “Small actions create big changes.”
Rituals for Every Day by Nadia Narain and Katia Narain Phillips is available now.