mindful modo morning – a study in contrasts

One morning, on my way in to 6:15am Modo Yoga, I noticed some beautiful things about the day, the world, and my practice. I was half asleep still, and didn’t think much about it. I just went with it, and found myself tuning into the sensations that made up that remarkable morning hour. Here are a few of the things that I noticed. I wonder if you have noticed them too?

The steady rush of early morning traffic along Hastings Street, like a river of purposeful sound, interrupted by the sharp rhythmic chime of the crosswalk signal, parting the river for a fellow yogi to come across

The slap of my flip-flops on the damp sidewalk, a quick step up inside, then a scrape of wet soles on the doormat, before I slip them off to feel the familiar, smooth, clean floor of the studio lobby on my bare feet

My own solitary thought-stream, giving way to a friendly welcome from Joye at the desk – first human interaction of the day

The homey smell of tea and happy plants in the lobby, followed by the light scent of laundry and clean change rooms on the lower floor

The moment I step in from the cool of the hallway, I feel the warmth of the Earth Room on my face and body, filling my lungs with a first heated breath of the practice

The slight juggle of mat/towel/water bottle/door handle as I enter the Earth Room, followed by the lightness of laying it all down to set a spot for practice

Bubbly lobby conversation leaking into the room, each time the door opens, and the quiet of the room, settling like a blanket of peace

Those five minutes of savasana as I commence my practice, feeling the morning’s efforts so far, evaporating as I settle into stillness

That thought-stream again, connecting back to breath, and the sensation of support from the floor beneath me, dialing down from the busy-ness of getting here, to the intention of being here

The impulse to snooze, interrupted by the friendly “Good Morning,” that signals the beginning of class

All of the different states of muscles and bones, circulation and breath, as together we inhale, exhale, wiggle, stretch and rise for practice

Feeling rooted to the floor with a solid foundation in mountain pose, then expansive and light as a cloud in pranayama breathing

Moving into tree pose, and feeling exactly like a tree: strong and steady, flexible and adapting

Transitioning through the practice, experiencing effort, and remembering ease, playing with the balance between the two that makes every pose a little different from the last time I tried it

Coming back to breath, the constant element, noticing when it is steady like the tide, and when it’s jagged, like crashing waves

Savouring a sip of cool water just when I think that the room has never ever been as hot as this, then it isn’t any more

Experiencing the exertion of the standing sequence of poses building to a peak of effort, then flowing into the most welcome moment of rest mid-way through the practice

Noticing the rough texture of the towel, the stickiness of the mat, the smoothness of a block

Finding my way past the ripples in the thought-stream, away from distractions of the world outside, always back to breath

Noticing when it’s really quiet in the room, except for the sound of everyone breathing together

Moving through the floor sequence, feeling long and strong in locust, activated through the flow, both contained and spacious in pigeon

Loving the support of the mat in final savasana

Noticing no impulse to snooze at the close of practice, just a readiness to rise again and move out into the day

The cool rush of stepping out of the hot room at the end of practice, glowing, dripping, smiling

A friendly goodbye, then a step out from the cocoon of the studio into the busy rush the morning. The rain has stopped. The sky is bright. Everyone is going somewhere and doing something. I walk away carrying the happy contrasts of the previous hour, relaxed, energized, calmed and inspired, ready for another day.