Monday, August 8, 2011

First Things First: The Power of Early Morning Yoga

Today's entry is by Sadhu Prager-Macholl, who leads classes in Anusara Inspired Yoga on Tuesday mornings and Fridays at midday.

How we begin an endeavor has a huge bearing on the nature of its unfoldment. The phrase "got out on the wrong side of the bed" is testament to this, for it intimates that the quality with which we awaken and begin our day reverberates throughout it.

At the beginning of our day, before our daily hustle and bustle has begun, the screen of the mind by which we perceive the world is relatively clear, for we have yet to fully initiate the massive input of images and other sensory data that goes on over the course of a day. At work too many of us find that our degree of focus is greater in the morning and that mornings are preferable for business meetings and important decision making, since our clarity of mind is heightened at this time.

An early-morning yoga practice, then, is fertile ground in which to plant the seed of our intention for the day ahead; to infuse our awareness with the rich presence of our heart. We are then better equipped to imprint a remembrance of what is precious in our lives into our system and being, which then enables us to keep the challenges we move through in our day in perspective; to see them in the light of what really matters to, and moves, us.

Our bodies are stiffer in the mornings, which may seem a bizarre fact to highlight when addressing the benefit of practicing yoga at this time. But because of this we can more readily calibrate and map our movement, imbuing it with awareness and optimal patterning. Thus the steadying resistance of stiffness can be used to steadily imprint conscious motion, permitting deeper understanding of our actions.

While we will reap many of the rewards of practicing first thing even if we were to wake up at 12 noon and do our yoga, the early morning time is particularly potent in itself. The level of activity is far greater at 12 noon when most people's day is in full swing, especially in comparison to, say, 6 am when many people are still asleep. And hence at this early morning time there is a very evident quality of stillness, the world is after all only just beginning to awake, and in winter time is still cocooned in the soft embrace of darkness.

In cities that enjoy thriving activity throughout the day and often much of the night, harnessing the power of this quiet time is especially advantageous in instilling the foundation of peace into our day before its plenitude of comings and goings. We then stand in great stead for carrying the resonance of this peace throughout our day.

When at peace we are without the pulls of wanting things to be other than how they are. Instead, we are enriched with an appreciation of the moment; what is being offered to us right now.

How we set the foundations for our day determines how it unfolds and what we go away with at its end. So let's begin by cultivating our internal infrastructure of peace, to harvest a more harmonious involvement in our lives and the world.

Warm smiles and blessings,


Anonymous said...

Great post! Even though it is evening here in Massachusetts, I have taken a breath, exhaled and took a moment to start the rest of the day with a clear intention.

Keep these great posts coming!


Ryan Rasmussen said...

Thanks, Diane. We're thrilled to have folks like Sadhu with us and sharing their practices - and thrilled to have readers like you!

And stay tuned for another post this week - I think you'll really dig it!