I surprised some of the students when I said I didn’t practice in the morning. I have always been a night person. On top of that, I teach evening classes and sometimes don’t even get home until nearly 10pm. I couldn’t get up at 5.30 to practice.
Well, things started to change this summer. Like many people, I’m sensitive to light and prefer to sleep in the complete darkness. So in the summer I often struggle to stay asleep after dawn. Also this age thing. They say you sleep less as you get older. I’m not sure if 52 classifies as ‘getting older’, but I rarely sleep over 6.5 hours these days.
So, yes. I’m taking advantage of my lessened need to sleep. I have tentatively started morning practice since this summer. It’s November now and I am happy to announce that I still practice every morning.
The obvious benefit is that I actually practice. Before I always had to find time to fit yoga in the day, after teaching morning classes and before the kids came home. Inevitably yoga didn’t happen on some days. It is a sort of strange thing to say, but now yoga is ‘done and out of the way’ first thing, and I can get on with my day.
The surprise discovery is that headstand and handstand are easier. The body feels lighter and flows up to the sky. Is it because the body is less grounded in the morning? Maybe? On the other hand, the shoulder stand is harder due to the restriction in the neck and the shoulders. Well, in fact, everything else is harder and stiffer!
For me the biggest benefit is the mood. I don’t know about the other people, but my mood is the lowest the first thing in the morning. Maybe that is why I am a night person. When I get up, I usually sit on the bed and think about the day ahead. The long list of things to do. I think about the many many hours before I can snuggle back to bed again.
Then now I think, ‘No, I only have to do one thing right now. I just need to stand on the mat (which is spread next to the bed) and do one Sun Salutation A. That’s all I have to do.’
And the rest will flow.
I get such a comfort from this thought. Nothing is overwhelming because you only ever have to do one thing at any one time.
So this is me and my morning practice so far. The mornings are getting darker and colder. If I can continue until after Christmas, I thing we are OK for good.
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