I teach afternoon and evening yoga classes. I usually joke with clients that I am the evening lady, the night lady, that I don’t do early morning, sunrise, get-the-day-started-right yoga.
Don’t get me wrong. I want to do early morning, sunrise, get-the-day-started-right yoga. I love yoga, so I feel like, of course, it would be awesome to start with a great stretch and few moments of zen. I just don’t think I am “that type” of yogi.
I dread getting out of bed. I hate when the alarm goes off. I put an eye mask on as sunlight starts invading the bedroom so that I can keep headaches and the day away. I grumble. I groan. I usually end up saying, “FINE!” as I finally do get out of bed as a sign that the day and its obligations have won out, yet again, but that I am not happy about it. It always seems too early, no matter what hour it is.
In my frame, my mindset, those who are early morning yogis don’t even need alarm clocks. The yoga magic wakes them up with a gentle kiss, and they open their eyes with a smile. They stretch their arms overhead and happily throw off the covers, excited for their yoga practice. Their feet land lightly on the ground as they grab their mat and keys and head for the door. If they didn’t need to drive to the studio they would probably skip the whole way there, breathing in the early morning and loving every moment.
Those two pictures don’t match. That’s why I’m the evening teacher.
Then, the early morning yogi needed a substitute. I was the only one available. I was about to become an early morning yogi for at least one day.
The night before I set my alarm and groaned. It will still be dark at that hour. Maybe I should sleep in my clothes to save myself upwards of four minutes in the morning; I could set the alarm for four minutes later. Four minutes matters. Will I have to make my own coffee in the morning? (I am very spoiled and have an amazing hubby who brings me a cup of coffee each morning. I know, be jealous.) My alarm will go off before his. It will be cold outside. I hope I don’t forget to brush my teeth and grab a snack on the way out the door. This is going to be rough……
The alarm went off, but I did almost miss it. I remembered to brush my teeth, but it was cold, and I ended up making my own coffee but only because I came downstairs as my husband was getting ready to start it. Off I went.
The 9 minute drive was hard. It was dark, and I wasn’t fully awake. The gym was closed and dark. I am the only one there.
Slowly, I began to turn lights on, including those soft twinkly lights of the yoga studio. The diffuser of lavender and eucalyptus begins to fill the space with the smell I have come to associate with yoga and my practice. I feel more relaxed. It is quiet, and I am able to sip my coffee and enjoy a few moments.
The class is great. There is a quiet yet vibrant energy in the room as we flow together, as everyone wakes their bodies with the joining of movement and breath. The day gets lighter and lighter outside, more and more light streams in the windows. It is peaceful and beautiful.
….I enjoy it.
I joke after class how much I enjoyed the class but that it’s too bad it is so early. We talk about early morning yoga, and I tell them how I wish I could be an early morning yogi but that I don’t enjoy the process of getting up at these hours.
They say they don’t either.
They say it is hard to convince themselves to get out bed.
They say they grumble and groan.
They say it is hard when it’s cold and dark outside.
Then they say, but it’s so great once you are here.
Then they say, it’s worth it.
Then they say, they have never regretted getting up.
I realize that maybe no one, or very few people, are the type of early morning yogi I had created in my mind, that maybe to be an early morning, sunrise, get-the-day-started-right yoga person you just have to set that alarm and show up, grumbles and all.