I just finished reading Mike Rohde’s entry on his weblog about The Vital Luxury of Rest and Solitude and it dawned on me as I read it that I too have been focusing on slowing down and relaxing more. I didn’t have a succinct knowledge of what I was doing, it was more of a compulsion really, but I too was going after the same goal. I was looking to make better use of my time, but I was looking to make a transition to a calmer way of doing it.
It all started when I decided I would begin waking up earlier. My normal internal clock makes me a bit of a night owl. My normal clock would have be going to bed around 3am and waking up between 10am and Noon. That’s not a realistic time frame for running your own business, so I’m not able to indulge my internal clock much. That being said, it’s rare when I go to bed before Midnight, or 1am. I tried simply waking up earlier, but that wasn’t working. I was still going to bed at the same time, so waking up earlier wasn’t going to happen. I tried going to bed earlier, but I was just getting another boost of energy at 10pm and going to bed just wasn’t working. So I did the only thing a not-so-sane person would do. I stayed up all night.
My thinking was that I would be so tired that I’d crash no later than 10pm, if I even made it that late. From that point on it would be much easier to wake up earlier. I stayed awake all night on Thursday night last week and come Friday evening, I was asleep by 8pm. 🙂 I had set my alarm for 5:30am and sure enough I woke up! Even through the weekend, I woke up no later than 6:30am and I’ve been able to keep my clock set to “Early” ever since. So now that I’m waking up earlier what exactly am I doing with my time? I’m doing yoga.
There is a Wednesday Night yoga class at the Y that I attend fairly regularly. The class is taught by Bliss Wood and it’s a fantastic class. Bliss is really good about mixing things up and keeping it interesting, yet at the same time she works your butt off big time. Whenever I’m doing with her class, I’m always tired and yet so very relaxed at the same time. I’m so mellow that I even talk different. My voice is lower and more mellow. Holly calls it my “yoga voice.” It’s a wonderful state to be in and it usually lasts for the rest of the evening.
With me waking up earlier, I thought that perhaps I could extend that “yoga state of mind” that I have after Bliss’ class, so I purchased a VHS set called “AM / PM Yoga For Beginners“. The series consists of two tapes, one for the morning and one for the evening. The idea is that you do yoga at the beginning and end of each day. I’ve only done the evening tape a few times, but I’ve been doing the AM Yoga tape almost every morning.
The AM Yoga tape is led by Rodney Yee and is broken down into three segments: conscious relaxation which awakens the mind (4 minutes), a yoga workout that energizes the body (14 minutes), and a guided meditation which centers your mind and body (2 minutes). The whole tape is a little over 20 minutes, so it doesn’t take a lot of time to do it The workout is very easy and is a great way to ease into trying yoga. The stretches are minimal and are not held for very long, however just because this is a beginners tape, don’t think you’re not going to get a workout. Although it’s more subtle than the regular yoga class I’m used to, I do notice a difference after doing it for a week.
The PM Yoga tape is led by Patrica Walden and also has three segments: centering poses to quiet the body and mind (4 minutes), a yoga workout that stretches and soothes the body (13 minutes), and guided relaxation designed to revitalize the mind (3 minutes). For me, the PM yoga tape is a little bit harder than the AM one. Although they are the same length, I get a little bit deeper stretch and actually built up a sweat.
Both tapes are beautifully shot. AM was filmed on Maui and the PM one was filmed in Death Valley. Both instructors lead quite well and the poses are easy to follow. Yee and Walden are leaders in the world of yoga, so they know what they are doing and easily translate their knowledge for the beginner. If you’re thinking of trying yoga, but would rather try it in the comfort of your home, instead of a public class, I highly recommend these tapes.
Now that I’m waking up earlier and doing yoga almost daily, I have to say that I like the results. I’m more relaxed, focused and centered throughout my day. My morning routine is time that I’ve set aside for me. I’m not spending it focused on clients, my Palm OS commitments, or projects I have around the house. It’s just quiet time focused on me. A little yoga, a little journaling, a little weblogging and I’m ready to take on the day. Namaste 🙂
My Rating: (4 out of 5 stars)
Amazon Link: AM/PM Yoga for Beginners