I’m usually a super early riser and I like getting up at 4:00 to 4:30am. I realize that it is crazy early, but to me it is a very special time of day. It is like extra time or the day become 26 hours and yet despite my wife’s rolling of her eyes or the “you need to be quieter as you get up in the middle of the night” remark sometime in the mid morning, it still just feels good. But as of late since I got back to Canada, I’m struggling to get out of bed before 7am.
I’ve not been in a winter this bad in years. There is a lot of darkness, cold and in general just shitty, stay inside weather. Granted at 7am, it is still dark out (yaaa Canada!), but I can’t help a feeling of being behind when I do get up at 7:02 (still pushed it 2 extra minutes). The bed is so dam comfy, the blankets are heavy and warm and the air in the apartment is chilly. ”Why the hell would I want to get up?” is often the first full sentence that runs through my brain.
So it is much easier not to get up and skip practice. But like all things worth doing, it is important to push through that resistance and urge to fall back into the easy. That one act of closing my eyes and dozing is in that moment, the easy choice but it will make the rest of my life more difficult.
If I can make that “difficult” decision (#firstworldproblems I know) of pulling back the covers and get up, then so many other things in my day will be easier.
If I do practice, then:
- I keep my commitment to the tradition and lineage ofAshtanga
- I sync my mind and body together via the breath and have that feeling of wellbeing all day. This then makes my interactions with people, challenges, and thoughts, not only more pleasant, but much more honest.
- I’ve done it and no matter what else I do all day, is not as hard and what is hard is put into a much more manageable perspective.
- I’ve already spent 90-120 minutes alone with my thoughts and have a good handle on the quality of my mind (i.e. what’s on it for example) before I interact with anybody. This dramatically raises the quality of my conversations, my ability to listen, and send meaningful emails and messages
- I keep chipping away at yoga. Yoga takes time and the more I do it, the deeper I go not only physically, but mentally and emotionally.
So yes, giving up in the cold, dark early hours is the easier path in that moment. But given all the moments in the day, learning how to not give into my primal urge to stay warm and sleep more, creates a much easier and enjoyable day. And yes, the quote by David Swenson always rings out in my head every time I feel myself wanting to drift back into a sleepy haze “I’ve never regretted getting up to practice, but I have regretted not”. Works. Every. Time