A couple of months ago, I decided to try a class at a local yoga studio, called Early Bird Yoga. I have attended early morning yoga classes before given that it is the main time of day that I workout. I figured it was just another yoga class with some sun sals, a bit of flow, and a final savasana. It was a little different. Very calming, less intense, and a nice gradual build of intensity in the hour. And while there wasn’t much of a sweat (which is my generic gauge for a good workout), I felt amazing (which is not a word I use lightly). I felt energized, calm, peaceful, focused, aware. It was great and it lasted for most of the day. I have attended this class a few times since and almost identical results each time.
I am a morning person. I don’t mind getting up early. However, I have found that I don’t love being thrust into my day, no matter what time it is. So I typically wake up between 5:30 and 6:30. I crawl out of bed, throw some gym clothes on, maybe brew some coffee, grab a banana, and get a workout in. I try to get my head focused on my drive to the gym. I workout, probably pretty sluggishly for the first 15 minutes, then head home, have breakfast and get ready for work. If I skip the gym, it’s the same routine with an hour more sleep. While I always give myself several hours before my first client, I do not always give myself time to wake-up mindfully. It is still fairly Up and Go.
Just like breakfast is the most important meal of the day, how we wake up is equally important. We are setting our preparation, our intention for the day. In my Early Bird Yoga class, we consciously awakened our body and mind while in sync with nature. We gently stretched, bringing life into the parts of the body that become stiff over night. We breathe deeply, providing oxygen to the brain. We listen to ourselves, one thought at a time. And we do this as the sun is rising.
Money, time, willfulness, laziness, and the frequency that the class is offered keep me from being able to take this class every morning. However, I am starting to make a gradual shift in my daily workouts. I am focusing on making them mindful. I am taking time to stretch at the beginning and the end, breathing deeply. And, while they are not equivalent to Early Bird Yoga (possibly because the sweat:intensity meter are higher) they do set a better intention for my day than pressing snooze.
How do you start your day?