This morning I snuck out of the house before it was light. The dark street was misty and my clicking heels pierced the quiet as I ventured off onto my furtive mission. My heart fluttered with the freedom – today I wasn’t weighed down with fighting children or rushing to get to school on time. Today I was doing something I love for myself.
All over the world yoga is practiced early in the morning: 6am is the time Ashtangis in the Mysore tradition start their first round of sun salutations. However I’ve never been a big fan of jumping back from chaturanga (press-up position). Triyoga say that an early morning practice ‘creates a unique atmosphere that is very conducive to yoga and meditation, which in turn sets you up to meet your day with clarity and composure’.
I could do with a bit of clarity and composure as I stepped off the bus into the foggy entrance of the tube station in a strange mismatch of work clothes and yoga gear – my Sweaty Betty all-in-one paired with red heels; a towel sat folded in my bag alongside my laptop. But no one was looking particularly polished, even the business types with wheelie suitcases catching an early flight looked pale and puffy. I was shocked to get a seat – something that would never happen on my usual commute two hours later.
The tube light was harsh in my sleepy eyes but I didn’t yearn for bed, I wanted to be on my mat stretching the stress out of my body. I reassured myself that savasana (relaxation) at the end of practice would compensate for my lack of sleep and re-energise me for eight hours in the office followed by the collection and putting to bed of tired children.
Starting the day with yoga is transformative. My body which had felt bloated with weekend indulgence (my husband is a fabulous cook) soon felt lithe and flexible. I was better equipped to fight the daily posture battle which comes from sitting in front of a computer all day. I didn’t feel like mindlessly scoffing chocolate biscuits during the afternoon. I ate consciously, chewing each mouthful and wasn’t tempted to comfort eat. I felt calmer and more balanced as I glided through the crowded underground system on my way
home from work. My body was present, my heart was happy and my mind observed rather than absorbed the aggressive rush of commuters.
I’d like to practice yoga every morning but there was an ache in my heart as I gave the resident Triyoga retriever a cuddle (he’s blonde like my two gorgeous daughters). However wonderful I felt after the class, I’d missed the hugs from my girls that morning. So for now this is an irregular treat. Tomorrow I’ll be rolling out my mat amidst cries of ‘mummy’ and take my first downward dog soundtracked by the screeches of early morning recorder practice.
by Jack of Kent.