Sleep & wake

I’m not a morning person. In general I’m not a waking up sort of person. Out of the things in life I love, sleeping is one of the top 5 things, along with the people around me, animals, yoga and food, not necessarily in that order.

Growing up having to wake up before 7 each morning to go to school was torture..and through my universities years I was no where to be found in my 8 am morning lectures (hey to be fair I lived an hour away). I didn’t, and to a large extend still don’t like waking up early in the morning.

When I was working in the office part-time last year I started to realise I didn’t have time to practice. Yes, I have time after work but to me, the energy and the moment was gone. And I went for days not feeling like fulfilling my practices.

So I started waking up early, like really early, to be able to take a slow practice before work each morning. I would wake up at 5:30 in the morning, start with my pranayama and my yin yoga, and go into a strong yang practice with a juicy savasana in the end. Some days I substitute my yin practice with meditation instead. And my life was SO much better.

Morning practices works amazing for me because:

  1. It’s absolutely quiet in the morning, there’s no distraction, no tasks and no people to interact with.
  2. Pranayama is suggested to be done early in the morning. After a long night sleep your stomach is empty and your body is still. It is much easier to feel your energy’s movement. According to the Chinese Meridian clock, our lung and large intestine as a pair are the strongest between 3 to 7 in the morning.
  3. My mind will be able to clear out before the long day of activity.
  4. I feel that I’ve done good for my body for the day and don’t need to worry about if I could make time/energy to practice in the rest of the day.
  5. I free myself into social activities after work instead of refusing and going to practice.

Now I don’t wake up at 5:30 anymore but I do keep my habit of waking up between 6:00 and 6:30 and commit to a slow mindfulness/meditation practice before I go anywhere in the morning. If I had class later in the day I’d do my practice in the morning, otherwise I would meditate, have a slow cup of tea, breakfast, and keep my calm mind to go to teach and leave my practice later in the day.

As much as I still don’t enjoy getting up early in the morning, this little ritual and little me time before I have to rush out the door is a massive improvement in my life. I feel a lot less stressed, it’s much easier for me to deal with, if I have a long day ahead. I have more stamina, and it forces me to have a good sleeping habit.

If you are dedicated to your physical wellbeing, construct your sleeping and waking habit, your body needs a consistent, quality night of sleep in order to regenerate, and your mind needs well paced activity schedule to function well. Get smart, sleep and wake early.


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