The morning dawns slowly, darkly, and tiredly. The alarm rings several times before I finally find enough energy to shift and moan, peeking up over my covers. My blindness ensures that without glasses, everything is incredibly blurry—and this is heightened by the dimness within my bedroom. I know from memory where the bed is in relation to the bathroom—and that’s about it. My body knows it’ll be cold when I take the covers off my snuggled body . . . my body knows it . . . and so I struggle feebly within the mind, asking myself if getting up this early is really worth it.
Maybe it is, and maybe it isn’t. But today, I do it anyway.
The second I pull the covers off, my body instinctively cowers on the mattress. My husband stirs beside me, and then gets still. It’s early even for him. Yawning widely, teeth bared, I stumble to my feet. My dog stirs at the head of the bed, where he’d been sleeping next to my face. His head comes up and his ears perk, staring at me with interest.
“Go back to sleep,” I mumble, and wander into the bathroom.
Brushing my teeth feels nice. I don’t even bother to change before walking to my mat beside the bed—this morning’s yoga practice won’t be strenuous enough to sweat. I’m gauging how tired I am to what my brain says I should be doing—I might skip a few things. But I also know that once I go through a few Sun Salutations, my body will wake up enough to feel the need to keep my practice whole.
Child’s pose feels so good. Pressing my forehead into my mat sends my brain instantly to yoga-mode, sending space between thoughts and groans. My body prepares. And I breathe fully for the first time today.
That precious, pure, deep air permeates my system, instantly energizing my body. I smile. Ready.
Downward Facing Dog.
As I begin to flow, my body complains. It’s tired, I’m tired, and this whole morning practice thing isn’t something it’s used to. My breath tells my body to hush; there’s no point in complaining. Right now, there’s only doing. So I twist, leap, reach, dive, press, stretch, and tighten: all while listening patiently to my body.
My brain feels fresh, this early in the morning. Fresh enough to be a blank canvas I’m just beginning to paint emotions on. Many of the poses feel uncomfortable in my body this early; I note that. Pigeon pose is twice as frustrating; and Chair pose? Let’s be honest—after the first, I might have skipped it for the rest of my practice. But Half Moon is juicy and free; I sink into forward bends with a strange ease; and savasana is heavenly. Heavenly. It’s early enough that my brain hasn’t had time to feel chaotic, so savasana is mind-opening. I have so much space to breathe into!
Morning yoga is an experiment today. I’m a self-proclaimed night owl, and work so well within my yoga in the evenings. Mornings are hard. But just as I begin to open my eyes, wiggle my toes, and push myself to a seat, I can see the sunrise through my window. Yellow-orange and glowing. I hear one of the last few birds brave enough to be this far north sing a short tune.