You know those people that can get up every day at the same time, somehow squeeze in a run and a full breakfast before heading off to work and then have some down time to macramé or what have you before making dinner? Well I'm not one of those people.
But for some reason I'd like to be. The idea of a routine is attractive to me. I don't know if it's the efficiency of it or what, but I'd like to be able to have something consistent and stable. The problem I think is that I'd also like to still feel awake after 8 and have time for spontaneity too, I am still in the young and irresponsible age bracket right?
My resolutions and goals often revolve around some kind of attempt at a routine, which would explain why they're so short lived. When I was in school I tried to meditate every morning for 30 minutes. That all went smoothly until about a week in when I woke up late for class after a late night. And unless you've been doing something for long enough to make it automatic, it's hard to get back into a rhythm once you've messed it up.
In another attempt at this, maybe to make myself focus and calm for at least 15 minutes every day, I stared Yoga Journal's 21-Day Challenge. It's 21 days of different sequences to help you create a daily home practice. Each video has a recipe and daily challenge to go with it. I'm also reading the book Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates as I go along, and hopefully that will keep me going past the 21 videos. Today is day 9 and everything - the practice, the passage in the book, and the challenge tip - all seemed to fit so perfectly with this goal of mine to use this as a small step toward some kind of routine.
The practice was a gentle morning practice meant to energize you (Which, on a side note, is something else I like about this, it makes me do things I don't normally do often, like a gentle practice). It was introduced with respect to Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, which is something else I'm always trying to learn more about. The description offered that developing morning self-care rituals is one of the best things to do to ensure good health:
"In fact, the actions you take upon rising will set the tone for the rest of your day. Try adopting one or more of the following Ayurvedic exercises into your waking routine:
The challenge also suggested that once you got moving, it was much more difficult to skip out on your daily practice, which I've found to be very true. And finally, day 9 in Gates' book is about Abhyasa, practice. The author says it "refers not only to yogic practice but also to the attitude with which a practice is approached...It is the dedicated, unswerving application of what you believe in..It is an energy that builds in our lives as we use it. And it will be there for us in hard times if we cultivate it in good times." For that reason I hope to be able to keep finding time for either a daily morning or evening practice no matter what is happening, to take advantage of the in-between times to cultivate my practice and my awareness, and maybe someday I'll be able to fit a run in.
- Wake an hour before sunrise to benefit from the special vata energy that permeates the atmosphere.
- Upon waking, drink a tall glass of lukewarm water with fresh lemon, to gently rouse your digestion.
- Splash your face and eyes with cool water to disperse heat, or pitta energy, that builds at night.
- Use a tongue scraper to remove toxins and to awaken the digestive fire.
- Give yourself a gentle ear massage to awaken meridian points all along the ear."
Do you have any routines?