My pre-YTT weekday morning routine was pretty standard; wake up, shower, get dressed and then go to work. The first thing I would do when I got to my workplace was to make myself a nice cup of coffee to get me going through the day. On days with long meetings, a second cup would be much needed. (What can I say, I love my rajasic food)
Master Paalu introduced a morning sequence during our second week that he recommended us to follow. I remembered him saying that we should not just focus on the asanas but to be open to explore the other aspects, for example, prayanama, kriya to enjoy the full benefits of yoga. The morning sequence he introduced starts 45 minutes before sunrise, so that’s about 6.00am.
The idea of waking up an additional hour earlier than my usual timing was rather daunting. I mean, I believe I speak for majority when I say, if we can somehow slip in additional sleep time (guilty of snoozing right here), even if it’s just for a minute, we would, wouldn’t we? Most people believe that the more the numbers of hours of sleep, the more “productive/alert” you’ll be. However, it is actually the quality of sleep that matters, not so much on the quantity. It’s the initial step of resisting to snooze that alarm that’s the hardest but once you overcome that, things will flow as per plan. I digress.
The Magical Morning Sequence:
1. Kapalabhati (Skull-Shining Breath)
2. Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
3. Uddiyana Bandha (Upward Abdominal Lock)
4. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
5. Bhujangasana (Baby Cobra)
6. Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fish Pose)
So I’ve started adopting this morning routine and I must say that it has changed my life. For starters, I feel much more energised and do not crave that morning cuppa to fuel me no more. (caffeine detox, here I come!) I’ve also noticed that with regular practice, I am able to manage my emotions better and my ability to focus has improved. Sounds too good to be true? Try it and experience it for yourself!
Note: Kapalabhati should not be performed for those who are pregnant, menstruating, high blood pressure, heart disease or have abdominal pain. Although there are videos of how to perform it online, it is best to learn from a yoga practitioner in person.
Tammy Lim, YTT200 (Sep’17-Weekend)