Tuesday, January 10, 2012
When I open my eyes to the dark stillness of the pre-dawn hours, there is a peace that fills me, different from any other time of day. The world seems calm, nurtured from a restful night, cool from the loving light of the moon and open to the infinite possibility that dawns with each new day.
I embrace this same energy.
Candles are lit.
Nag champa fills the air.
I bow, in reverence, to the image of my masters, the deities that inspire me, the Universe and the guru within.
Rolling out my mat, I connect slow, steady breath to soft, gentle movement. Bit by bit the stiffness that may linger from my night's sleep melts away. Toes curl. Feet point and flex. Ankles rotate. Hamstrings lengthen. Hips open. Spine twists, bends and grows taller. Shoulders roll. Neck circles. Crown of the head lights up, radiating vibrantly, reaching toward the heavens. Morning practice.
Now to breathe. Pranayama, breath control, to open and balance not only my respiratory channels but my energetic ones as well. Skull Shining Breath. Alternate Nostril Breathing. Slow, deep, three-part yogic breath. I am full.
Om. Om. Om.
Meditation. Sukasana or Ardha Padmasana to sit comfortably with a straight spine, chakras aligned. Japa Mala begins, using my prayer beads to count along with the silent, glorious repetition of my mantra. This is when I often notice the tingling sensation around my heart chakra, a swirl of buzzing energy around this sacred space, letting me know that I am open, receptive, alive and connected to the Universe. It is love.
Om. Om. Om.
The Gayatri Mantra. Perhaps the Sivananda Daily Chants. Various mantras and bhajans that stir my soul on this given day. Perhaps I need to experience a release and cry. Perhaps I need to spread some of the joy I feel inside through the vibration of my voice. Always I feel compelled to reflect from a space of gratitude. So after reading a message for the day and when the closing prayers are through, once again I prostrate and I give thanks. Every single time.
By now the sun is in the sky. Dawn has come and gone. The new day is here, and I, as a child of God, as a reflection of the grace of the Universe, as Self and self, am ready to begin again.