Thursday, November 17, 2011

Morning Bliss

I started my day bright and early with a 90 minutes practice of Ashtanga yoga. It was still very dark out, my body felt unnormally stiff and my joints achy, but after moving my body and breathing deeply my joints became gradually lubricated and by the third Surya Namaskara B, sweat was dripping from my forehead and I had forgotten all about how appealing my bed seemed when the alarmclock rang earlier on.
Ah, the beauty of a morning practice!
Although my practice is concistent, and I do my yoga 6 out of 7 days a week, I rarely do it in the mornings. I normally prefer late afternoons and evenings. But there is truely something to be said about getting down on your mat in the early hours of the day, when the only light you see are the flickerings of the candles in front of you. There is a special energy this time of day, and although the body is more stiff in the mornings our minds tend to be calmer and more receptive to go into a deeper meditative state.

My practice this morning was deep, sharp and fullfilling, and with my sences being stronger, my body smoother and my mind harmonious; it made the best foundation for the rest of the day.
So this is my yogic challenge to myself, and to you dear yogis. I will get up earlier than usual each morning until Christmas, roll out my mat, light my candles and start my day with this dynamic form of meditation. As you might know, I am not an Ashtanga practitioner; I practice and teach vinyasa flow (a dynamic form of yoga, where, like in Ashtanga, breath and movement are linked together but there is no specific sequence one follows each time). However; Ashtanga has a strong appeal to me; so I will for the next 6 weeks start my day with the Primary Series of Ashtanga. I want to commit to it until Christmas, so that I can go deeper and further, and to get a better understanding of what it's all about I believe that concistency over an extended period of time is the key.

I also challenge you to take on a morning routine of your own, each morning until the holidays. Not necessarily a 90 minutes Ashtanga practice; how about rolling out your mat, doing some rounds of Sun Salutations before you sit down for a seated meditation or some pranayama (breathing excercises) for 5 or 10 minutes. And see what happens as you start your day by breathing, moving, meditating. It sets such a good tone for the rest of your day!

Early winter mornings are tougher than bright summer mornings, but luckily there are things to do that make them smoother; Light candles, a lot of them. Drink a cup of hot water with some lemon, ginger and honey or your favourite tea before you start your practice. Make sure you're warm; so cover your body with warm clothes, and remove layes as you get warmer and start moving. If you're very cold and your joints are achy, a hot shower can feel good. Remember to practice on an empty stomack. My sences are stronger after yoga, and food always tastes better when I've practice. So after you've rolled up your mat, make something nutritionous and tasty for yourself, sit down in reverie and enjoy every bit before moving on out into your day. And maybe you'll find that there is yoga in everything. That yoga is not simply just a verb; something that you do but also a state of being.

Happy Blissful Mornings everybody <3

And if you're in class please don't hesitate to ask; I'll gladly make a morning sequence for you!

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