Confession: I’ve never been a morning sort of person.
If you’d told me that I would be waking up with the sunrise a few months ago, I’d look at you incredulously.
Since I started my ytt journey and incorporated pranayama practices and some chest-opening poses into my daily life, I found that I started to wake earlier in spite of my resentment for early mornings for as long as I can remember.
Perhaps it is my body’s subtle way of breaking the patterns of my sanchitta — I slowly find that early mornings are actually quite a wonderful and sacred time of the day. At the crack of dawn, the world is still and quiet. The momentary stillness allows for a sliver of precious time to slow down and look inward, focusing on thoughts or feelings you may have or setting the intent for a productive yet healthful day ahead.
The fact that you created time to bring attention inwards to yourself before dealing with the demands of the outside world can make you feel more grounded and inspired to take on the day.
The morning is a powerful time for setting goals and intentions, bringing awareness to what you want can give rise a sense of clarity within. Without them, we are swept up in the urgencies of other people’s intentions and life in general — and the last thing we want is to look back in life with regret.
As Master Ram explained in class, defining what intentions you want to set with measurable outcomes and specific time frames can help both your body and mind work in tandem to then help you achieve it. Perhaps due to its specificity, your subconscious comprehends and picks it up as well, helping it to materialise.
The morning is also an influential time to practice gratitude and take a moment to just feel with your senses — a wave of gratitude for all that you have. It could be simple things like the soft sheets you’ve woken up from, the cup of warm coffee you’re drinking, a smile from a loved one. Priming yourself with conscious gratitude can help you feel like you have the ability to tackle any challenges thrown your way and turn problems into possibilities.
Waking with the sunrise, practicing gratitude, doing a few sets of kapalabhati breathing and a few yoga poses are a few powerful, grounding morning rituals that I have come to work into my routine whenever I can. It’s helped me become more appreciative of everything and much less affected by daily challenges or annoyances.