I opened my eyes. I turned on music. I hit the mat. And I moved my body.
Okay. A few boring details came between the start and finish lines there. But the gist is that coffee and scrolling and work were delayed in the habit shift of beginning my day first on the yoga mat, as I moved to music and warmed up my machine.
Part of the purpose of this Year is to not add any to-dos to a list, yes; this study of abstinence is meant to counter the well-intended self-help programs that put more stressors on our plates than they remove.
But while removing my morning routine and replacing it with something new and genuine, I made sure to do so without imposing new rules or guidelines. I didn’t have any plans or expectations when I put my bare feet on my faded purple mat and set Carrie Newcomer on shuffle. I didn’t automatically put myself into a series of Sun Salutations like I’ve forced myself into before. No qi gong or Pilates naturally came into my space.
Instead, I let my body tell me what it wanted, moment by moment. It told me when to start, to move, to pause, and to stop.
I started with my tight feet, the tiny bones cracking and crunching as I rose and sank on them. Then the muscles in my back and shoulders and sides rippled along my ribcage and spine as we waved and curled and twisted. My hips creaked as I spread wide and bowed low. My whole body sighed thank you as the soft music and morning orange light and Mitra joining now and then for a stretch or scratch had me out of my head and in the yesssss that is the opening of tight spaces.
After a series on the floor, I rolled myself skyward and thought, I’ll be done unless this one particular song comes on next. Of course, that very song shuffled in and I found more dark spaces that needed light and lightening for a few more minutes. With the final fading notes, I reached up to the sky and then bowed to the nothing and everything that brought me to this moment of this very day.
I rolled up the mat and tucked it (and blankets and bolsters) back under the bed. I fed the animals and made my coffee. I sat and started my work.
And now, a few hours later, still early in the day and checking off my to-dos, I marvel at how long the day will be, but how calm I feel in that. The time this morning gave me a release and refocus before I knew that I needed to re anything. It brought a quiet and calm I now take along with me.
A far cry from my get-up-and-go, I’m curious as to how this shift in morning habit might reshape how I feel the rest of today.
Shape shifting. That feels good.