My mornings have had many beginnings since we brought our rescue pup Okami home from the hospital. For the first several days of his convalescence, he and I get up at the auspicious hour of 2am and then again at 5:30am to walk to the creek across from our house so he could cool his paws in the water and drink.
People have told me he seems to be a mythical kind of creature, and I imagine he must be godlike to want to get up so early. Yogis speak of these hours as the perfect time for chanting, but I had not felt much like singing in the dark until these mornings with Okami.
I like to chant at the creek and walk through the water with him. I chant the sanskrit sutra for quieting the spinning of the mind on repeat:
yogas citta vrtti nirodhe.
I have not been too tired to get out of bed when I sense his face near mine at the edge of the bed. It is so peaceful being near the water and watching my pup, so alive and happy to be immersed in this magical element. If only there were fewer mosquitoes, I would stay there with him all day.
Where the fatigue has begun to take its toll are the later morning hours. My head pounds as I try to get up and out of bed. I have been taking an Ayurvedic yoga course with a focus on creating new behavior patterns, one of which is creating a regular morning routine.
My routine begins with taking care of body stuff (no need for details there) and sitting in my music-yoga room, chanting for a few minutes, and doing some ankle and shoulder exercises before checking my email and drinking my morning coffee.
After chanting at 2am, I can tell you that it can be a struggle to drag myself into the room to do it again.
The feeling I have after makes it worthwhile. Much of the time, I do not feel relaxed or desirous of sitting still for very long, but I do feel proud of myself, like I have already accomplished something meaningful with my day.
I have been trying different routines to see what feels best. Walking outside, taking a deep breathe in, and exhaling even more deeply. Walking with my pup a short distance to move our bodies.
Far and away, I feel best outside and when I focus on my breath. It might be taking a few deep breathes, chanting, or singing. The practice is what seems to lift my spirits the most.
This morning, I took out my baritone ukulele and sang a blues song. Then, I figured out the chords to another song.
After, I did some warm up yoga poses and a couple of sun salutations to move my physical body a bit. Each movement, however small, is a gesture of love for my own self. Not a narcissistic or arrogant gesture, but simply an expression of desire to care for my mind, body, heart, and soul. I should take care of all these elements of self, as they are the only ones I have.
Today is a new day, and I am hopeful for the good tidings it may bring. Whatever the tidings may be, I know that I will dance with them as gracefully as I can and that I won’t have to dance alone.