Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A good way to start my day

In my post yesterday I admitted that when I'm very stressed I find that I am more attracted to a good hard run than I am to the yoga mat. But sometimes the quietness and discipline of yoga are what I need more. So last night, before I went to sleep, I lit a “motivation” candle which I had bought at a crazy little shop in Portland, and I made myself a promise before I went to sleep that I would do some yoga this morning. I even set my alarm for 6.30am to be sure I didn’t oversleep and run out of time. But instead this morning I woke up when my housemate knocked on my door with the phone. The call was from my lovely man, and it wasn’t good news. There is a possible problem with getting the technical clearance for his new job, the one that is supposed to bring him here to Herat. This week has been taking its toll and when I got off the phone I just wanted to cry. But there was my yoga mat, waiting for me where I had laid it out before going to sleep, and there was my little motivation candle waiting to be lit. So I went ahead and sat down. I started with alternate nostril breathing, which I find very cleansing, and which gets my breath in the right rhythm for the rest of the practice. After five minutes of the alternate breathing I was feeling really ready for sun salutations. By the end of ten minutes of increasingly energetic salutations I was feeling much more present in the day, and ready to face whatever was out there waiting for me. I’m not abandoning the wonderful rush of a good run. Tonight I'll be in my regular spot on the treadmill. I'm playing around with the incline this week, devising imaginary paths around Wellington's hills to avoid total boredom. But when I get home, sweaty and satisfied, I think I will put my mat out again for tomorrow morning. Today's photo is of the Oregon coast, taken on my recent visit, but it almost feels like it could be a photo from home. It brings me a lovely sense of well being.

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