Since I’ve been practising yoga, I’ve experienced my fair share of pain and frustration. I’ve found that learning new postures, and even continuing with some old ones, often comes with a few new aches into the bargain. There were even times, when my body felt a bit defeated by it all, that I started to doubt the practice. But I’ve realised over the years that it isn’t really the postures that I’ve found most challenging, it’s the whole discipline of yoga. And that, for me, is where the real lesson lies.
Getting up at 5am, or earlier in some cases, six days a week doesn’t sound very appealing. And for me, in the beginning, it really wasn’t. I had a busy work life to deal with and, along with a moderate social life, yoga just sort of had to fit in where it could. So while I was passionate about yoga in the first few years, I found that for some reason a daily practice was somehow just out of my reach.
Looking back, it’s easy to see that I wasn’t sacrificing much, if anything, for the yoga. And to have a daily practice, some things just had to change. I reduced the amount of socialising I did in the evenings, started having earlier nights, rested more on days off… But I didn’t really consciously make an effort to do any of these. The more I practised yoga, the more these changes seemed natural and just evolved.
I’ve had a fairly consistent daily practice for over six years now. Being able to get on the mat day after day and confront some fairly tricky physical challenges somehow equips me to deal with other parts of my life. While travelling and studying yoga, I’m working hard on some freelance projects. The focus I get from my morning practice sets me up for this and the rest of my day. It’s amazing the amount of energy and discipline you get once you’ve spent the early hours tackling some intense back-bend. Really.
So 5am? Absolutely. I love my early mornings and maybe night-time was a little overrated anyway.