About seven years ago, I remember Sarah telling me after an evening class (at Brighton Natural Health Centre) that I ‘needed to come to morning practice coz “that’s when all the magic happens’. My response…. “I can’t, I need to be at work by 9am, that’s not gonna work for me at all.”
Certainly nothing has changed about my work schedule. My job in children’s social services means I do have to start at 9am — but now I’m at practice pretty much every day.
Knowing my teacher’s special intuitive powers now as I do, I would say that was a well- timed comment ( inviting me at exactly the right moment ) but at the time, I didn’t think much of it. Soon enough, there I was in the morning on my mat!
The practice has taught me so much. It’s really is magic when you get it, and by that I don’t mean the asanas, I mean seeing the mirror it holds up for us all. My job means I work with all different types of families, some are truly inspirational but many more are wrapped up in longstanding dysfunctional dynamics, drama and occasionally in really awful situations. So for me, learning that no matter how much I want things to change, whether this is tightness in my body, or a change at work, accepting it is not going to happen overnight has been very powerful. Sometimes the only thing to do is to keep showing up and chipping away. Changing patterns that are so fixed takes a lot of time!
There are also the situations I want to run from. For me, it’s here that the practice is at its most amazing, and I see such a strong parallel to my work. Astanga teaches me how to stay present, when I can’t breathe and want to escape. How to find a way to be ‘comfortable with being really uncomfortable’. It’s only by being OK, in that place where it really isn’t OK, that you can work stuff out so that changes happen.
It’s also great to get out of bed for something I want to do each morning, instead of something I have to do. Morning practice gives me that. I’m in it for the long-haul now!