by Anne Berit Risan
I wasn’t sure at first whether I wanted to join this programme. What would the challenge be? I practice more or less every day, in one way or another. I have a very steady practice. The classes I take are usually 60 minutes or longer and here you are, suggesting I only do a 30 minute class every morning for 3 weeks?
What is the challenge?
I have learned that a challenge can come in many shapes, sizes and disguises – and this programme confirmed this. Even with a regular practice, which I couldn’t do without, I realised that a morning routine was not ‘my’ routine! So, therein lies one challenge. We were invited to do the classes already scheduled – no picking or choosing, feeling what would I need, like, prefer today – simply do as I am told. There we have challenge number two. Doing shorter classes, doing less altogether, not challenging myself physically… How will I improve, do better, be better … what would be the point? I guess we have challenge number three right there.
The list could probably be longer, but suffice to say, this programme did prove to be challenging…but in ways I hadn’t expected. The best thing, though, is that the concept of challenging myself now has a different vibe to it. It does not necessarily mean I have to do something unpleasant, strenuous and waaay beyond my comfort zone. It has changed my perception of what a challenge is. A bit, anyway.
The best thing, though, is that the concept of challenging myself now has a different vibe to it, it does not necessarily mean I have to do something unpleasant, strenuous and waaaay beyond my comfort zone. It has changed my perception of what a challenge is.
A break from the old routine
I very quickly got addicted to the morning practice routine! Even though classes were shorter, and in many ways physically easier than what I normally do, they have given so much to me, on all levels. It has been almost like taking a test, doing an exam of sorts. For years now I have been practising, and what have I learned, taken away from it? What effect does yoga have, how is it affecting me, what can it really do for me?
All of this became so much clearer over the last 3 weeks and this too was a big surprise for me.
I feel like my brain is working non-stop, I wish I could turn it off more, I wish I could have only one thought at a time, be more focused. Still, this is what I am like, for now, and maybe that is ok. I can still do my best, decide not ‘act out’ in response to stress of various kinds, be still in Savasana… Maybe I’m not so bad after all.
A clean slate
In the morning it seems for me that there are habits, thought patterns not in place yet. The message from the teacher, the wisdom of the body (and mind) has more room to sink in, or to surface. In the morning I start off with the slate as clean as it could possibly be and that makes learning, realising, sensing easier. It makes every attempt at anything carry more effect.
A morning practice has proven to be a stroke of genius, and most certainly so for someone who would like to get a little deeper into her own self, because after all, that is where the potential for magic is to be found: “Listen and regulate…back into your body, back to your breath, back to your essence…”
I did this, too. Meaning I sometimes picked a previous class, or something completely different. I sometimes did two classes, because that was the message from my physical self to my overrated brain, and it all worked out just beautifully. As for physically challenging myself to stay fit or get into better shape, I have the rest of the day for that!
If you haven’t already guessed it, this programme – or should I say philosophy? – was simply great. Thank you for challenging me, I have benefitted greatly from accepting the challenge.
We’d love to read your thoughts about the 21 Mornings of Yoga programme – what challenges you faced, whether you felt it benefitted you, what suggestions you have to make it better next time around…? Please let us know in the comments below.
The EkhartYoga team x
Try morning yoga!
EkhartYoga members, try these morning programmes you can follow: