Adriene Mishler, of Yoga with Adriene, is heading to the Long Center this Sunday to teach some early morning Yoga and the art of waking up on our City Terrace. (The class is great for ALL levels!) It’s all part of the Long Center’s All Summer LONG Summer Fit Series. Adriene reflects on the transformation morning yoga has had on her life.
I was never a morning person growing up. As a child I would lie in bed and sing every song known to man with my mother and when I exhausted those songs I would then create my own, mix matching fresh words to the tunes passed down. If I was not crooning with Mom I was begging Dad to read a story. My Dad even wrote me these amazing stories- in which as I write this I make a mental note to go back and find. Once we had devoured all stories in reach I would ask my Dad to make up stories, to tell another and another. The topic of said stories often surrounded one of my loves, a large stuffed dog-bear by the name of Dobie Doo. As I grew older I was often up late at rehearsals with my mom and with my friends. Countless late night hours with my Mom and friends at the Theatre or at Home, almost always creative- making things, shooting things, planning or drilling choreography and, okay – of course, some mischief. All this to say, at this point I think I can rather safely say that I have always been a night owl and not really a morning person. But recently there has been a shift. I have not magically become a morning person. (I wish!) But I have made a magical shift in my mindset and am discovering sometimes, that is all it takes.
Lately I have noticed when I open myself up to a new experience in the morning- like a new set of paints, or shoes, or a fresh notebook (insert your vice here) I begin to discover I do look good with a hint of morning person in me. In fact, it suits me quite well.
Now I believe that the highest form of Yoga is simply listening to yourself. And sometimes you without a doubt say, “REST sweet child, rest or that margarita will come back to haunt you something real fierce.” But the power of the mind or the manas as we call it in the ancient, beautiful (and strange) Sanskrit language – is really where the bacon is at. The mind is such a valuable, powerful and free tool for morning time. Our first thoughts in the morning should be considered as important as breakfast tacos Austin.
In my Yoga practice I see results in my body, my skin, my digestion, in my patience with others, in my love for myself. I see my energy is up more often and my desire to serve others right now is flowing over the cup. But all of this comes not from the yoga poses themselves but the awareness that is tapped, created, earned, garnered through the PROCESS. The challenges and struggles. The challenge of getting up and on the mat alone has changed my life. The challenge of getting up and on the mat is the practice.
I take the challenge. As a student of yoga, as a teacher but also as a damn cool Austinite who loves the creative nightlife, to get up early and have a process. To take some time in the morning to connect to my body and my thoughts. To practice being a morning person. Set your intentions in the morning- honoring the power of the mind. Even if you feel those late night libations or the stress of work. Even if your new sweet beautiful baby that is Gods gift to mankind has kept you up all night. Even if you did not sleep good. Take a moment to connect to a conscious thought for your day- seal it with a nice deep breath in and out. And then hop on your magic carpet and make that a reality.
The power of word and the power of thought people. That will get you on the mat. That will get you up.
Cue: “A Whole New World” from the Aladdin soundtrack
When we get up early and pretend to be a morning person we invite time for ourselves into our life in a new way. We create a practice of awareness at the top of our day. We can improve the quality of our lives this way and even the way we eat is affected by getting up earlier in the day. I find I am more inspired, more proactive, and more productive in addition to having time for me and the chance for a better nights rest, better sleep.
If you are already a morning person- do you mind if we join you? If you are a night own like me- lets pretend! Each day we are gifted with newness. How grand! Lets not take that for granted. If you are tired, if you are depressed if you are feeling heavy. Practice. Transformation is on the way.
Yoga with Adriene is July 14 at 8:00 am on the City Terrace. We recommend you bring your own yoga mat and water.