|Photo from http://earthyogi.blogspot.com/|
My favorite part of my routine is the one that remains unseen by all except me and FD. Almost every morning during my warm-up twists, my big black Labrador, Bleu, yawns and stretches his way out of bed to do yoga with me. He's quite the fan of downward and upward dogs, so he does a little routine of bows and planks as I begin my sun salutation. Then he lies down next to my mat and takes a little nap. But the moment I sit down for seated twists or hero's pose, he finds his way into my lap with a big hug and will lay there like a little puppy. A 92 pound puppy. He's so sweet and snuggly that I can slide him around so I can continue my practice. It's a private moment that I cherish. Seriously, if you know Bleu, it's hard to imagine him calm and snuggly. But ever since he was an 8-week old puppy, we've done yoga together; it's our morning bonding time.
Each morning I change up my routine depending on what I need for the day. Sometimes it's rigorous standing and balancing poses like Warrior series or Side Angle twists. Sometimes I spend an hour on inversions or backbends. Other days I choose more restorative poses like legs up the wall or forward folds. No matter what routine I do, the one pose that is always most difficult for me is Savasana, or Corpse pose. My impulse is to skip it but I realize it is the most important pose to hold in order to remind myself throughout the day to "slow down and take a moment." This morning I acknowledged the resistance and used it to help me relax. In a sense, the resistance became a reminder for why I need Corpse pose so much. Yoga has a strange way of teaching us things about life.
Over my standard breakfast of plain yogurt and tea (I save the calories for later in the day and snacks), only minutes after my yoga routine, I had to remind myself to hold onto the quiet of morning yoga as I whizzed through the countless emails, student essays, the menu for the day, and the events in my planner--all before spin class at 9. So quickly the day hits me, and so quickly I hit the ground sprinting from thing to thing.
As I chow down breakfast and open up my laptop, sometimes I forget I only awoke from corpse pose an hour or two ago. The house brightens as the sun stretches through the windows and my to-do list gets longer and longer. Recording these special kernels of time, like my morning yoga with Bleu or my sacred dinner with FD, helps me remember and keeps me focused on what's really important in life.