The gift of morning yoga practice
(from a self confessed night owl)

If you don’t become the ocean, you’ll be seasick everyday.” ~ Leonard Cohen

Two things I know about myself

1. I am not a ‘morning person’. In fact I positively detest early starts. Things have always felt easier for me in the evening. Late nights are my thing.

2. However, I generally start my day off pretty awesome when I get up early and practice yoga. My whole day unfolds from a place of initiative, awareness and a desire for wholeness. Eureka! I’m no longer struggling to fall asleep/get out of bed! I’m not grabbing a tub of ice cream to take the edge off. The edges feel smoother.

So when I was asked to take on early morning sessions at the local studio, I soon realised I had to find a way to reconcile those two things. I teach from experience so I needed to start practicing early.

I created a daily to-do list to keep my attention focused

(That’s the third thing I know about myself. I love lists) How’s it going so far? Surprisingly OK, actually.

In creating a set of intentions to refer back to, I created accountability for myself. I know these things make me feel good, and when I address them daily, they work and they keep my mojo intact for early morning teaching. Even when I fall flat on my face (which some people call “falling off the wagon,” but you land on your face every time, don’t you?) the recovery time is expedited by these lovely go-to’s.

Gratitude Quote

Here they are:

– I take time before leaving the house. I really don’t like being rushed. Ever. This applies to my teaching style too! So on a daily basis that means waking up with enough time to stretch, shower, prepare a proper breakfast, put on an outfit (rather than “any old thing,”) put on jewellery and perfume. Even on the days I teach at silly o’clock. It’s important to me and it means I greet the world ready, mojo in tact!

– Move daily. Being that this is a practice based in reality, there are going to be breakthroughs and breakdowns, without doubt. And every day there is space for choice and action, compassion and truth, patience and practice. Moving with awareness, be it asana or something else, helps me find those things.

– Be grateful. Each night I list three things, never more and never less, that I have been grateful for that day. It’s my mum’s advice (thanks Mum!) In the process of reminding myself of the good in each day I’m much more comfortable witnessing myself in the ups and downs, instead of getting sea sick all the time, or just flat-out exhausted.

– Stuff doesn’t always go to plan so just let it go. It is a gift to practice non-attachment, if only for the seamless quality it lends to our ever-changing world.  It’s certainly easier said then done, but I find myself smiling a lot more when I allow life to flow rather than hoarding the good stuff and complaining about the bad.

That’s it!

So, I propose you give it ago. Practice simply because it’s a beautiful way to start the day. In my experience it’s been the greatest gift I’ve given myself in a very long time.

Be good to yourself, you’re wonderful.

P.S. I hope I remember all this great advice. If you remember, then perhaps you can remind me. After all, everybody needs a push in the right direction sometimes.

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