I’ve started teaching an early morning class over the past month, and despite my initial (and ongoing) aversion to alarm clocks and the awkward fumbling along the wall to find the light switch in the darkness of the early hour, I’m surprised at how I look forward to each AM class.
According to the definition used by my friends, I would fall into the category of a “morning person.” I usually wake up before the alarm clock is set to go off, regardless of the time it’s set to do so…I don’t need a cup of coffee to get going, and I’m more often than not cheery and alert upon rising. Never having been a fan of breakfast (despite being fully aware of its benefits), I don’t need to eat to kick-start myself in the morning…I can just get up and go, no worries and rarely without a smile on my face. All of this does not, however, mean that I like doing it. In fact, there are few things in my life that I hold dearer than the fact that I rarely have to wake up before 9am. This reason for this may lie in my past career, where it was not unusual to have to be at work for 7am, which required waking up at 5:15am (something that has since been relegated to catching early morning flights). One of the many pleasures I have encountered since leaving that career behind is catching up on sleep. As far as I’m concerned, depriving one of sleep in the line of duty should be reserved solely for those saving lives…doctors, nurses, our brothers and sisters in the armed forces. As was my situation, selling clothes to people who are buying said merchandise as a form of therapy is unnecessary and will never be part of my reality again as long as I live. Having gotten that out in the open, and now having the opportunity to return from the tangent I found myself forging, nothing has surprised me more since starting the AM class than the overwhelming feeling of tranquility and connectedness that I find myself immersed in at 6:30 am outside waiting for the bus.
Standing outside watching the absence of light recede, hearing the om-like vibration of the silence that descended on the city overnight, feeling the ocean-like sound of my breath as it operates my body’s mechanisms, even making eye contact with my fellow early risers as we pass each other on our respective ways through the murky morning…there’s a certain perfection to being awake at that hour, regardless of all the other factors and how they play a role in creating an atmosphere. If I close my eyes and just focus on my breathing, I could easily convince myself that I’ve tapped into another level on consciousness, some primordial essence of being that has existed long before human beings and will outlast us by eons. It is commonly suggested that yoga be practiced during the wee hours of the morning as there are few distractions and more organic energy to tap into throughout the asana practice, and I now understand why. I have obviously gotten up earlier than usual to practice yoga throughout my years as a yogi, most consistently for my teacher training weekends, but I must have been so focused on getting there on time that I missed all the beauty and purity of those mornings.
Teaching the class also offers a meditative quality that rarely presents itself in my later classes. The tone, cadence and fluidity of my voice takes on a unique quality during those sessions that leaves me feeling as rested as I do after the most restorative of savasanas, and so I look towards these classes with anticipation each week, knowing that not only will my altered state benefit my students, but will leave me feeling like I managed to tap into an energy reserved for the select few, the fortunate ones, the ones who understand the validity and benefits to rising early.
I can’t say that I’ll be rousing myself from my slumber daily, or that I could easily go without as much sleep as I’ve grown used to over the past year, but my intention is to get myself up and receptive earlier, and more often, so that I can partake in that feeling of connectedness to the universe that has presented itself to me. I’ll keep you posted on my progress, and feel free to try it out yourselves…and let me know what your observations and findings are 🙂