Every day I try to wake up around the same time, do the same thing and when I have woken up enough, I meditate at the same time. I have developed this routine by choice and regardless of what time I go to sleep. I do this because it gives me things I have never had before. It gives me control over my day, like making the bed every day regardless of what happens you know that you have completed at least one task. It gives me freedom, the freedom of choosing how I want to start my day, and I do it early enough that hardly anything or anyone can disrupt it. It gives me time! Probably one of the most important things that everyone says they don’t have enough of. So what makes this daily routine? My Meditation is the most important thing of my day and I schedule everything around it just like most of us do with work!
Everyone who knows me knows that every Sunday I am at yoga, a class I started like 4 years ago. It is usually the only thing I plan and has been that way for a while. I love my Sundays and when I realized that I could have that feeling every day, I made a change. I began to incorporate this routine into my daily life. I started with the physical practice just like my Sundays but I was pushing it too hard. Some days I was tired and the occasional hangover played a significant role in being able to accomplish a daily yoga routine. I fell away from that for a while and then just went back to doing it at different times different days and then it was so sporadic I never felt like I had enough time to do my practice. This probably sounds familiar to most of us. Keep in mind I have one of the most flexible schedules, ever, and I still couldn’t find enough time!
As crazy as this all was I decided to make a change, the free-living wake-up, do whatever, lifestyle seemed fun but it wasn’t practical. It didn’t provide me with why I was choosing this lifestyle in the first place, it didn’t change, I don’t have enough time for my yoga practice mentality. Even though people were envious of the life it wasn’t much different than theirs.
This is when I decided that I could do both a physical and meditative practice on the same day or even at the same time, incorporated together. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to practice for 60 min or 90 min each time you decide to practice yoga. Practicing yoga or meditation can be as short as you need it to be. Just doing one posture with conscious BREATH is still yoga. Just 2 min of sitting silently and in stillness while focusing on the mind is still meditation. Really making this a statement in my thoughts changed my routine. I decided to incorporate a daily meditation practice into my life because regardless of how my body was feeling I knew I could just sit anytime.
So I began the routine, wake up around 5 am, make coffee, sit outside in the morning darkness looking at some news articles or listening to nature wake up, watching the sun slowly illuminate the world around me. And around 7 am I would have finished coffee, do the dishes, sometimes I showered, and pretty much everything around the house was done, quietly and peacefully. That's when I would begin about 15 min of stretching, asana, and then instead of going into savasana, (lying on your back, or resting posture) I would move to a seat usually on an object to prop me up or against the wall for meditation. I developed a cycle, breath, say my mantra, begin to focus on one point and then let the breath and mantra fade away. When I realized that I was wondering in my noisy thoughts I would begin the cycle again, and again, and again. Before I knew it, the time that I was sitting increased and I didn’t even realize it. So like all things I had to set an alarm or timer to keep me on schedule with other responsibilities. It's a good idea to have an alarm because sometimes you might fall into a similar sleep state depending on how comfortable you make yourself, but I always tried to end at 730.
Before I knew it the craving for the physical movements wasn’t as great as my desire to meditate and now all that is left is a mediation on a daily routine. What was 15 min of both now became 30 min of mediation and there are days I have to force myself out of that space and back into the world. But those 30 mins don’t feel like 30 mins anymore, it feels a lot longer, almost endless in time. This reflected the rest of my day completely, I feel as if there is almost too much time now and can’t wait till 9 pm rolls around so I can go to bed.
A few other things that just naturally changed without any force was, I stopped watching tv and now my nights end just as my mornings began. I stare at my phone less, I don’t have social beverages as much because they are not as important to me as my morning routine and so I just don’t do it that much anymore. Many other benefits have come and it’s always changing, which to me is a beautiful thing. And most importantly I have more time to do the things that I need to do and love to do!
So I urge you to begin a routine, wake up when the world is still asleep, accomplish daily tasks early rather than at night, you will be able to relax more if you don't have those things distracting your mind constantly. And most importantly you will feel as if you have more time because the reality is that time always moves at the same pace of your mind.