LET TIME STAND STILL
Indulge your passions...
Indulge your passions!
Get up one hour earlier to do those things you never have time for....
This task sounded like a gift, like time frozen. To be awake without certain responsibilities, time restrictions or a to do list, free to roam guiltless among my own passions read as the ideal experiment. Of course it would come with a sacrifice - less sleep! Unlike ‘Drop Dead Fred’ I require more than five minutes sleep and so with each minute that my alarm rings earlier my ability to perform as a normal human being is obstructed.
I felt myself floundering before I had even begun. Each night I attempted to set my alarm for 4.30 the bags under my eyes and inability to concentrate urged me to reconsider. I decided that if I could just get up slightly earlier and make an attempt at the task that would be enough for now.
And so Yoga mat at the ready I found myself in warrior pose at 5am the next morning. I have been practicing yoga for the guts of 3 years. I have always had high energy levels,an interest for many sports, and believe that exercise is the minds most important ally. However it wasn't until I attended my first ‘Bikram’ class that I became fully aware of how physically weak, inflexible and unfocused I was . From that moment onwards I was hooked by the powers of yoga practice.
Every time I hear Yogis say that 20 minutes of yoga is equivalent to two hours sleep the skeptic in me raises its eyebrow. And so I got up half an hour earlier than usual, positioned myself into ‘Viparita Karini’ Pose (Back laid flat along floor with legs up the wall) and dreamed that this may be true. After catching up on some lost sleep I found myself with extra energy and vainglorious that I had managed to peel myself out of bed. Time really had been generous and I even managed to write a few emails and enjoy a leisurely coffee before singing myself all the way to work and arriving ten minutes early. Branding the mornings events as a success I declared that this was to be my new morning ritual. The following day can be recorded much the same but I was more experimental on the mat, tuning into areas that I felt I needed to strengthen, awaken and to ease gently into the day.
And that was it! On the third day of my vow to “new beginnings” I slept in! Psychologists suggest that it can take anything from 21 days to 66 days to form a new habit and even then people experience many hindering factors along the way. For this reason I am not going to beat myself up for failing after a measly two days. I will simply try again, and again, until eventually morning yoga becomes a daily way of life and not just a current fad.
A friend once recommended I listen to podcasts focusing on wellbeing by writer Gretchen Rueben. Out of many things I learned from my car journeys with Rueben was that I am an Obliger - a term created by Gretchen with helps to explain certain tenancies, habits and personality traits. As an Obliger I easily meet outer expectations but resist inner expectations. This is crippling to getting anything done where only I am held accountable for and so I was aware that I would find this task difficult as no one was awaiting my arrival on the mat or depending on me, but myself!. This may sound feebleminded but armed with the knowledge and consciousness of my obstacles I will try again tomorrow, stealing time for no one but myself.