To answer the above questions – yes, actually at the moment it isn’t dark well not that dark and possibly yes. If you look at an ashtanga practice from an outsider’s point of view, it can seem a bit barmy. A 6 day a week practice, getting up at least an hour before most people contemplate setting their alarm and practicing ashtanga when your body just wants the duvet. So there has to be a point to it doesn’t there?
I would like to say that I leap out of bed the second my alarm beeps at 5.30am, little tweeting sparrows circle around my head as I glide down the stairs onto my mat and proceed to flow through primary series with grace, ease, mental focus and definitely no daydreaming. Well maybe the tweeting sparrow things would be weird and to be honest potentially messy, but you get my meaning.
This does not happen, no tweeting, a little groaning, lots of day dreaming and grace is an attribute that I will never possess.
An essential for my practice to have any chance of happening was given to me by my good friend Sarah – get the coffee ready the night before. Good coffee. Therefore before I go to bed, i ensure the coffee beans are ground and the machine is set. No caffeine no Prana after all. It is the lure of this lovely black syrupy goodness that enables me to stagger down the stairs, one eye open squinting through the other in search of the machine and then the mat.
I don’t get through the whole of primary and am really pleased if i make it to Navasana with a few backbends. But what even the smallest practice gives me is remarkable. So remarkable in fact that my non yogic husband encourages my morning madness. Post practice I am a calm, chilled organised, non shouty member of the household ready to get everybody ready and out the house by 8.
My body may sometimes feel like it is made of lead and any food I have eaten the evening before is instantly regretted by Mari C. I may stop to daydream a tad through surya B on occasion but the practice although obviously physical is overwhelming in its ability to create mental space.
I have to leave a pad on the chair by my mat as generally by trikonasana creative ideas start popping into my head that I need to quickly jot down. Its as if they have been given the space to arise. All the other more rowdy thoughts have taken a nap and so they poke their heads up in order to get noticed. Okay not the mindfulness expected of an ashtanga practice but hey it works.
So if you want to try a morning practice but just lack the willpower and motivation, firstly get a great mate called Sarah to inspire you but also load the coffee machine up! Actually just get out of bed and try it. After a few days the mental clarity that follows will be worth the harsh buzz of the alarm……. (insert relevant disclaimer)
ps if you think that I am some marvellous yogi that has been practicing 6 days a week for years, rest assured it is a relatively new phenomena.