Yoga At Sunrise

I started doing yoga at sunrise, and from “night-owl” to early-riser I am feeling my own transformation. It happens in your body first.

I practice something called Ashtanga Yoga in a style called MySore, which is individualized practice. You go at your own pace, and you have a 1:1 relationship with your teacher. It’s important to find a teacher you trust completely & feel connected with. I got lucky and found a relationship that helps me feel whole, accepted, and energized.

I enjoy the morning sanctuary my teacher Alex creates. We repeat the same set of exercises daily and add on once I’m ready to learn more, once he sees I have mastered familiarity with the previous sets of poses (asanas). Sometimes I still mess up and jump ahead, or forget a pose or two. Alex will notice and correct me. He even knows when I have missed a breath, since we breath with sound through our throat (this means we breathe in and out through our nose and into the chest).

Through yoga, I learned that your lungs pump your heart — and that pumps everything else in your body. Western science generally focuses on your heart being the main organ that keeps everything else alive, and I never stopped to think about how my lungs is what pumps my heart! Since then, on my bike, I generally sing to myself: my lungs pump my heart, my heart pumps my body!

And then I soar!

I’m sharing my morning yoga practice here because I think it’s been interesting to find an exercise rhythm even in the depths of winter. It keeps my body strong and my mind clear. When you do the same set of poses everyday, you notice a lot more about yourself — some days the same 5 breaths take a lifetime, and some days you don’t even notice you’ve completed your entire flow. When you struggle on the mat, you are able to recenter yourself back into this moment, this pose, and that feels pretty good — you are in control, you decide.

Sometimes when I do the “tree pose”, I fall over. I lose balance, and that’s okay. I think it’s all about forming a relationship with yourself over the years, and in your lifetime. It’s like snowboarding, snowboarding is my highest meditation — and when I am on the mountain, I am growing this very special relationship with “snowboarding-me” that I believe will be intimate for many years to come.

When you fall, you remember, this is like any other relationship and adventure in life — we fall because we are human, we fall because we are gazing at an off-centering point, we fall because we have taken less care for the moment, we fall because of a rock in our path, we fall because we want to avoid hitting someone else, and we fall because we are trying something new — and we want to stay unafraid and courageous.

And because with every new breath our lungs tells our heart:

“This moment is new, let’s make a fresh adventure.”

My first led class ever! Sharing the mat/carpet experience with family makes daily practice even more special; their spirit is always with me.

From left: mom, dad, aunt jeanie (dad’s little sister).