Asha Yoga

Introductory Special

This post is specifically for those participating in our 30 Day Yoga Challenge. It’s an (unedited) excerpt from my upcoming book:

 

The Little Book of Yoga
How to massively add to the quality of your life with a frequent and consistent Quality Yoga Practice

 

START NOW

Twice per year I lead a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training course for students who want to majorly deepen their practice and also teach yoga to others. I love every moment of these courses, as evidenced by the fact that I teach about 12 hours per day, 14 days in a row, and feel great the entire way through. Every day the group gets up at 6am, completes a list of self-care practices and meets at 7am for walking meditation.

 

I have an assistant who makes sure I have everything I need in order to stay focused on teaching. She makes sure I eat, stay hydrated and that I have all the materials I need. She handles little things participants need day-to-day and she also always leads the morning walk. Because I’m not a morning person. Or so I’ve claimed for the past 10 or so years.

 

As much as I’ve come to use this belief as an opportunity to stay up late, sleep in, and lounge long, I’ve also always had a secret longing to be the type of person who gets up at 5am to meditate and do my practice with the sunrise. This longing has been left unsatiated. Until fairly recently.

 

During a 200-hour training at a beautiful villa in Ojai California, my assistant had to leave early and my best friend, Chantill Lopez, came to replace her.

To say my best friend and I have a lot in common would be an absolute under-statement. We both used to be food servers (once upon a time ago when we met 18 years back), we met our husbands a month apart, got engaged a month apart, got married a month apart, moved to Hawaii, got pregnant…all a month apart. We both love to travel, to eat lavish and luxurious meals, we break-down—I mean break through (luckily on opposite days of the week)—about very similar things. We’ve studied the human body, mind and spirit almost as much as we’ve taken in oxygen. Chantill teaches and mentors yoga and Pilates teachers, I train and mentor yoga teachers (both for the past 15 years).

 

And neither of us are morning people.

 

So when Chantill showed up at the retreat center and told me, “I’m getting up at 5am to meditate and do yoga” I was confused. “But we’re meditating at nine. And doing yoga at 10. You don’t have to get up at 5am. And P.S. What did you do with my friend??”

 

She wasn’t swayed. This was her ONE Thing. The ONE Thing she was 100% committed to for the next 66 days.

 

“OK, well good luck with that!” I said. Honestly (Sorry, Chantill) I didn’t believe she could do it.

 

But she did. And, starting four days later, so did I.

My experience led to this book. Interestingly, I had no intention of changing my life in the way that I did. But there were some things I always wanted. And I got them.

 

Before we go any further…

 

 

LET’S ASSUME YOU WANT IT

 

Given that you’re reading this book, I’m going to make a few assumptions.

  1. You have a desire to live and be By which I essentially mean, to be happy and healthy.
  2. You’ve heard (or experienced) that yoga can help you do this, and you want more—more information, motivation and dedication.
  3. Not only do you want to experience the best that life has to offer but, more importantly, you want to learn how to tap into your full potential so that you can experience the best that you have to offer.

 

STOKE YOUR BURNING DESIRE

Yogi’s believe that we all have a deep and burning desire to know who we really are—our true nature—and that we must be consistently dedicated to doing the practices that will remind us, because this remembering is what frees us to live happy, healthy and whole lives.

 

But often this flame is smoldered by various beliefs like, “I don’t have time” “Things aren’t that bad” “I’m too tired” etc. And we settle for…well…much less.

 

Yoga philosophy teaches that we all have a higher mind and a lower mind. Most of us are accustomed to listening to the lower mind because it’s louder and it has more to say. But it’s also much less wise. I talk about the lower mind as a family of crazy monkeys that live inside our head. We all host our own monkey family and when we get caught believing what these monkeys have to say, it’s pretty hard to care about stoking our burning desire to know who we truly are.

 

In Happy This Year: The Secret to Getting Happy Once and For All Will Bowen says, “Monkey mind, the ego, the separated self, whatever you call it–this is the critical inner voice that incites negative internal chatter in your head, questioning your abilities and your worth. This voice can be vicious, telling you that you don’t deserve to be happy, that you are incapable of success, that you are unattractive, that you are inherently bad, and a variety of other hurtful and negative things. You cannot maximize your level of happiness when this cruel and critical voice is running unchecked in your head.”

 

The voice Bowen describes here is what ancient yogis call the lower mind. But the lower mind doesn’t just say hurtful things. It’s also determined to be right and powerful, it cares what people think of us, it worries about what might happen, it re-hashes what already happened and so much more. It’s theories and believes and motives are inconsistent, immature, and un-wise. And it’s part of our make-up and isn’t going anywhere. Which is why I don’t teach people that the ego—or lower mind—is bad. Rather, I want us all to understand that our crazy monkey has crazy tendencies and we should not take its words or its desires as truth.

 

I recently read a statistic claiming that the average American is 20 lbs overweight, $10,000 in debt, slightly depressed, dislikes his or her job, and has less than one close friend. Even if only a fraction of this statistic is true, Americans need some serious waking up.

 

If we learn to listen deeply, we become able to hear the burning desire of our higher selves rather than our lower minds.

 

When a baby’s born, we often refer to them as a “miracle of life”. But then somewhere along the way we loose sight of the miracle that we are living—the miracle of our own lives and of life in general.

 

As our burning desire is smoldered by the crazy monkeys in our lower mind, we forget to wonder at the miracle of our everyday lives. We trade the lasting happiness and wholeness that higher mind’s perspective offers for the extremely temporary relief of tuning out in front of the TV, drinking alcohol excessively, pressing the snooze button, or whatever our “check-out of choice” happens to be.

 

Instead of doing what we know helps us to experience the best that life has to offer and the best that we have to offer, we argue, complain, postpone, make ourselves victims, and blah, blah, blah.

 

The solution?

 

CREATE A HABIT

By creating a habit that propels you into living your full potential, you don’t have to try nearly as hard to experience the best that life has to offer and the best that you have to offer because being the best version of yourself and seeing the best of life is the natural result.

 

I know, I know. You’ve probably tried to create a lot of these “good habits” before. Fortunately, you’ve also probably been much more successful than you give yourself credit for. Do you manage to habitually brush your teeth every single day without having to drag yourself to the bathroom sink? Do you habitually dress yourself before leaving the house, every single time without fail?

 

Before you downgrade brushing your teeth and getting dressed as examples that “don’t really count”, ask yourself why they don’t count. Because they’re easy? Because everyone does those things? Because they don’t take very long?

 

Well, they weren’t always easy. If you’ve had kids, you know that a three year old doesn’t just wake up and brush their teeth everyday and a five year old doesn’t always want to get dressed before leaving the house for school.

 

But it’s easy now because you automatically followed a specific process that makes it easy now. And this process can be (and has been by many people) applied to the creation of any new habit.

 

Creating a new habit can be done in just 5 steps.

 

  1. Find ONE Thing that propels you—like yoga!
  2. Know your WHY.
  3. Admit total responsibility.
  4. Take action.
  5. Be prepared.

I’m going to walk you through each of these five steps in detail, so that you’ll be ready and motivated to create a daily habit of a Quality Yoga Practice starting right now. Yes, right now. This is a Little Book of Yoga so that you can quickly learn everything you need to know to create an even higher quality of life very quickly.

 

 

How to Create a Yoga Habit

(That will massively add to the quality of your entire life)

 

 

STEP 1: The ONE Thing

 

In his book, The ONE Thing, best selling author Gary Keller teaches people to consistently ask the question,

 

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

 

Then of course your job is to show up—to put your energy and attention on that ONE Thing first and foremost above everything else.

 

Keller’s book is about personal and professional productivity and goal reaching. And while it’s a great book for that purpose, my reason for mentioning it now is that…

 

With everything I’ve learned, everything I’ve experienced, and everything I’ve witnessed over the past 18 years of practicing and teaching yoga, I wholeheartedly believe that YOGA is absolutely ONE Thing you can do every day, such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary.

 

I’ve asked a lot of people to tell me why they show up for yoga again and again. I always hear some variation of the same things:

 

To feel good about myself.

Because it inspires me to make a positive difference in the world.

To remember what’s important.

Because it makes me a more patient mom.

Because it gives me the energy to do the things I love to do.

Because it’s cheaper than divorce (Yes seriously, I hear that one often enough to put it on this list!)

Because my body feels so much better afterward.

It makes tough times much easier.

It gives me energy.

To wind down after a long day.

To heal.

Because it makes my life more meaningful.

 

As we practice yoga regularly, the benefits gradually become so pervasive, so natural and genuine, so much a part of us that our whole life is not just easier, but more enjoyable. And what becomes unnecessary? So many arguments, so much stress, guilt, shame, complaining, blaming and checking out of life. Because when what’s going on inside of us gets better, everything gets better.

 

That’s how a Quality Yoga Practice adds to the quality of your life. That’s why millions of people consistently choose to make yoga a top priority. And why I agree that a Quality Yoga Practice is a very worthwhile ONE Thing to choose.

 

Just remember, once you choose it, you’ve got to show up. And showing up takes motivation and dedication. Which brings us to the next step.

 

STEP 2: Know Your Why

 

In the last month of his life, a student attended class at my studio with the help of his in-home nurse. He was dying of cancer and wanted to remember what he was grateful for about his life. That’s why he practiced—because it reminded him that he was blessed. That was his WHY. So he made it happen. Even though he couldn’t drive or walk or even move much once he was situated and propped up on his mat, he showed up.

 

Everyone has their own WHY—their ultimate reason for showing up. Your WHY for brushing your teeth likely has something to do with not wanting to have bad breath or not wanting to deal with cavities. Your WHY for getting dressed before you leave the house is simply because you’ve decided that this is a non-negotiable part of life. It’s just what you do if you’re not a crazy person.

 

When you know your why for doing yoga, you’ll be more motivated and more dedicated.

 

Know Your Why NOW

 

Before moving on, grab a pen and take a moment to free-write your answers to any or ALL of these questions…

 

  1. What would your most cherished relationships be like if you were the best version of yourself in those relationships?

 

Once you’ve got a lot of words on your page, look back at what you wrote and see if you can locate your biggest WHY. Underline it, then circle it, then rewrite it on another piece of paper and tape it to your forehead. (Ok you don’t have to do that last part.)

 

But get very clear: This is your motivation for showing up. This is what you need to remember when you feel like veg’ing out or getting a drink or pressing snooze instead.

 

Ancient Wisdom

 

In Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is known for his burning desire to connect to God, and for his intense dedication to the practices that he believes will allow him to experience this connection.

 

Hindu gods, such as Shiva, are fictional characters in a rich tapestry of stories designed to describe the human and spiritual experience—both our challenges and our abilities. (Fun fact: Hindu mythology goes back to a time before Hinduism was even a religion.) The development of each character is intended to be a symbol or representation of the various qualities we all have as human and spiritual beings.

 

The creation of Shiva represents our burning desire to connect to the highest version of ourselves and our ability to be dedicated to the practices that we believe will allow us to experience that connection.

 

Ancient yogi’s believed we all have the burning desire to connect to the highest version of ourselves, and that we all have the ability to dedicate ourselves to the practices we believe will lead to that experience.

 

You can make, create, or carve time. You can choose to do the thing that gives you what you want—or makes you who you want to be. This choice is 100% completely yours. Always.

 

If any part of you wants to argue with that (and even if not) read on to the next step.

 

STEP 3: Admit Total Responsibility

 

The degree to which you accept responsibility for everything in your life is precisely the degree of personal power you have to change or create anything in your life.

 

In my 200-hour Advanced Study and Yoga Teacher Training Course, I teach a lot about the concept of “staying in your own business”. Since this is a Little Book of Yoga, I’m only going to share the general idea with you now. When I talk about “staying in your own business” it’s not in the traditional sense. I don’t quite mean, “Don’t pry into other people’s lives” or “Don’t tell people what to do.”

 

I mean, focus on what’s within your power. If something is NOT within your power, move on from complaining about, resisting or bothering with it. Because every ounce of complaining, resisting, criticizing or worrying about something that’s not within your power is USELESS. As one of my most influential teachers often says, “But only 100% of the time.” (That’s Byron Katie.)

 

What you say, what you do, how you act, the choice you make and where you go is ALL within your power. What other people say or do, how they act, where they go, and the choices they make are NOT within your power. Also, whatever happened in the past (even if said or done by you) is NOT within your power NOW, so these things are no longer your business either.

 

So…admit total responsibility. Realize that everything you say, everything you do, every choice you make and everywhere you go IS within your power.

 

It’s important to understand that responsibility is not the same as blame. While blame determines who’s at fault for something, responsibility determines who has the power to change or improve things. It doesn’t matter who’s at fault anyway. (More wisdom from Byron Katie: “Would you rather be RIGHT or FREE?”) What matters is that when you stay in your own business, you have the power to make your life exactly the way you want it to be, starting now.

 

Not tomorrow, or next week, or next month. You’ve got to make a decision today that you are READY to make the absolute MOST of your life.

 

 

Are you ready to take total responsibility and make that commitment? (Just say yes.)

 

STEP 4: Take Action

 

First, when you dive into yoga, I highly recommend doing so at a yoga studio—at least a high percentage of the time. This story is for those of you who really want to dive in, but yoga is new for you and you’re intimidated by going to a yoga studio:

 

When my daughter was six years old she was preparing for her first piano lesson. She shuffled toward me with her head down. “Mommy, I’m kind of embarrassed to go to piano lessons,” She said, “because I don’t know anything about playing the piano.”

 

I had seen this so many times before. Not with my daughter, this was actually the first formal extra-curricular activity she was attending. But I’ve seen this for years… with yoga students.

 

I got down on my knees. I told her that a lot of people come to take my yoga class and they feel just the same way she does. They feel embarrassed because they don’t know what certain words mean and how to do certain poses. She continued to stare at her feet.

 

Then I asked if she wanted to know a secret. Of course she said yes – she’s six. I told her that as a teacher I NEVER expect new students to come into class knowing things already. I told her that I knew it was my job to teach them about yoga, just like her piano teacher knows it’s his job to teach her all about playing the piano.

 

It seems obvious that one wouldn’t be expected to already know how to play piano when they walk in for their first piano lesson, yet for some reason so many people are incredibly nervous and even embarrassed about coming into their first yoga class and not knowing what to do.

 

The secret every new yoga student should know is that everyone else in the room was new at some point too, including the teacher, who knows they are there to teach you. And if the teacher doesn’t know this…well, then you know more than them!

 

So don’t stress about what you know or don’t know when you head to your first (or even 100th) yoga class. Remember, you are probably there in part to decrease the stress in your life! The most important thing you can do is show up. A lot of things will be the same each time you come, and you’ll learn over time – like we all did.

 

The point is: Do it. Go to a yoga class. Practicing with the inspiration of a community and the guidance of a teacher will make the time you do invest more effective.

 

Unless you’re too busy. Oh wait…

 

One of my favorite quotes about being too busy is by Thich Naht Hanh. He says, “You should meditate every day for 20 minutes. Unless you’re too busy. Then you should meditate for an hour!” That’s because meditation (as well as a Quality Yoga Practice) will lead to life feeling less busy.

 

So if you think you don’t have time to do ONE Thing that will make the rest of your day better, ask yourself if you have time to be stressed out.

 

If you think you’d rather do something else with your time, ask yourself if that other thing is going to make everything else in your life more pleasant (the way a Quality Yoga Practice will).

 

If you think making, creating or carving time for yourself and your yoga practice is too hard, ask yourself if it’s easier to feel overwhelmed, disconnected and dissatisfied.

 

Because the truth is, you DO have time. And you’ll never have more time than you do right now.

 

Time just goes faster with each passing day. So forget about waiting till you have more time. Remember that what really makes your life better is YOU—your state of mind, your attitude, your ability to see clearly, to slow down mentally, to be present, breathe, appreciate and love. A frequent and consistent Quality Yoga Practice makes you the best version of yourself and then makes your life spectacular.

 

Isn’t that worth MAKING TIME for?

 

Making Time

 

I own a yoga studio that offers 40 yoga classes per week—so I clearly support practicing at any time of day that works for you. For most of the 18 years I’ve been doing yoga I’ve practiced anywhere from late mornings to late evenings. But as I said earlier, the straight up truth is that I felt “too busy” to do yoga a lot over the past 10 years since having a child, owning a home, expanding my business, and essentially being a grown up.

 

Luckily, since yoga is such an integral part of my life, I always find time to get back on the mat. But I’ve discovered there’s a difference between finding time and MAKING TIME.

 

Finding time feels like squeezing something into a busy schedule or hoping that an opening occurs so we can do the thing we hope to do. MAKING TIME means creating a schedule that includes the thing you want to do as a priority and making all other activities work around this priority. There’s no wishing, hoping, waiting or looking for an opening.

 

When we admit total responsibility, we can all MAKE TIME.

 

Get Up Early (er)

 

The absolute easiest way to MAKE TIME is to get up earlier. Which I know is possible for you, even if you don’t. Chantill did it with a one and a half year old and a nine year old, while running her own company and helping me to expand mine! I did it while believing that I couldn’t—which is really hard. In fact, I highly recommend that first and foremost, you admit you can do it. Because it’s true, you totally can. And it will be much easier if you admit it now.

 

When you MAKE TIME by getting up earlier, nothing about how the day unfolds can interfere with your good intentions to practice. Plus, waking up early for a Quality Yoga Practice has the added benefit of setting the tone for your whole day. Very soon you’ll look forward to waking up because you’ll know your day is going to begin with something you love. Most people get up when they have to. But getting up because you want to…this changes your entire life (one awesome day at a time).

 

When we’re inundated just managing or maintaining our life “situations” we tend to skip what’s most important about creating a high quality life. But if our quality of life has almost everything to do with what’s going on inside of us—which it does—then a Quality Yoga Practice is certainly worth getting up earlier for.

 

By starting your day as the best version of yourself, you will no longer just be managing or maintaining, you’ll be thriving.

 

So get up before your kids, maybe even before the sun, don’t check anything on your phone or your computer, don’t start any project or clean anything. Because this time is not about managing or maintaining your life situation, it’s about adding to the quality of your entire life. Get straight on your mat—or head to the yoga studio. (Coffee first if desired!)

 

“But Wait?!?!! I LOVE MY AFTERNOON YOGA CLASSES!”

 

Awesome! If you love your noon, 4:30 or 6pm yoga sessions, fine. Keep going. If you add a 30 minute Quality Yoga Practice to your morning routine you’ll be setting the tone for a day that will likely allow you to choose your longer afternoon or evening yoga sessions more often.

 

I’m going to tell you exactly how to be successful waking up earlier and starting your day with a Quality Yoga Practice. Then, if you want to do more yoga in the afternoon or evening, do it!

 

How To Get Up Early

 

First decide between two options: are you going cold turkey or gradual? Then follow the next five steps to make waking up easier.

 

Cold Turkey: Whatever time you currently need to get up to begin your day, set your alarm right now for one hour earlier. This gives you time to: spring out of bed, brush your teeth, drink a glass of water, shower or get dressed, and either get on your yoga mat or head to the studio. (Well, if your plan is to attend an early morning studio class, then obviously you need to set your alarm based on the time and length of the class rather than just one hour earlier than usual!)

 

Gradual: Whatever time you currently need to get up to begin your day, set your alarm right now for 10 minutes earlier. –Which only gives you time to: spring out of bed, brush your teeth, drink a glass of water, get on your yoga mat and do a VERY abbreviated version of your Quality Yoga Practice. This version of your Quality Yoga Practice (which will be about 5 minutes long) doesn’t really count as complete. But it does start etching the groove that will eventually become your fully engrained new habit.

 

Every other day, set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier than two days before. Keep adding 10 minutes every other day. DO NOT, under any circumstances, press snooze. Seriously. You’ll be missing the whole point!

 

 

How To Make Waking Up Early Easier

 

Whichever you choose, cold turkey or gradual, follow these five steps inspired by Hal Elrod, best selling author of The Miracle Morning. They’re the exact five steps I followed every day to change from being not a morning person to someone who gets up at 5:30 am everyday because I want to—proving to me that, in conjunction with knowing your why and admitting total responsibility, these steps will make taking action much easier.

 

 

  1. Plan ahead
  2. Keep your alarm clock across the room (yes, seriously)
  3. Brush your teeth
  4. Drink a full class of water (bonus points for adding lemon)
  5. Get dressed or jump in the shower

 

Plan Ahead

Set yourself up for success, starting the night before.

 

If you enjoy coffee first thing in the morning, do as much prep as possible the night before. I use a French press and grind my beans daily so I grind my beans, put them in the press, and put the water pot on the stove, all the night before.

 

Put warmer clothing next to your bed. If part of the allure to staying in bed is that it’s too cold to get up…put your coziest socks and sweater and whatever else you might want right next to your bed.

 

Get your yoga mat ready. If you plan to practice at home, unroll your yoga mat the night before. If you’re going to the studio, put the mat right by the door.

 

Anything else? Think about it right now. Is there anything else you could do the night before that would make your morning ritual easier? Because the more your morning can be about doing your ONE Thing rather than preparing to do your ONE Thing, the more you’ll look forward to getting up. Eventually!

 

Your Alarm Clock

Yes seriously. Set your alarm and then put it across the room. When I was first given this advice I thought it was overkill. (Though it may not be for you!) But then I did some research and found that it’s not just about forcing yourself to get out of bed, it’s about forcing yourself to get out of bed and immediately engage your body in movement. Which starts the wake-up process and increases your motivation to stay out of bed.

 

Brush Your Teeth

Go directly from turning off your alarm clock to brushing your teeth. As you’re brushing your teeth, it might be helpful to repeat the mantra “In five minutes, I’ll be wide awake!” over and over in your head, because soon enough you will be wide awake doing something that feels great.

 

Drink A Full Glass Of Water

As soon as you’re finished brushing your teeth, hydrate yourself. You’ve gone many hours at this point without water and when you’re dehydrated, you feel tired. By drinking a glass of water, you’ll feel more awake and continue to increase your motivation to stay out of bed.

 

Adding the juice of half a lemon to lukewarm water is cleansing, healing, energizing and will give your immune system a boost. (Which is why you get extra points for taking this step!)

 

Get Dressed or Shower

Either put yoga clothes on or jump in the shower. I generally like to get straight to the mat, but you might prefer an immediate shower to help wake you up. Do whichever you prefer, so long as it doesn’t steer you off course.

 

 

Create Your Action Plan Now

 

Before moving on, grab a pen and paper and copy these words in your own writing (of course, feel free to modify them to fit you best):

 

I am 100% committed to getting up every single day at 5:30am and immediately beginning my Quality Yoga Practice.

 

I am committed to this because I know that the quality of my entire life depends on what’s going on inside of me and I know that a Quality Yoga Practice is ONE Thing I can do to create an inner environment that makes everything else in my life easier or unnecessary. Specifically, a Quality Yoga Practice means that_________________. (what’s your WHY?)

 

 

Every night:

I will unroll my yoga mat and place it in the space I’ll be practicing (or put it by the door if you’ll be going to the studio). I will set my alarm clock, place it across the room and read this commitment.

 

 

Every morning:

I will energetically jump out of bed, turn my alarm off without pressing snooze, immediately brush my teeth, drink a large glass of water, make coffee or tea (if desired), get dressed or shower (what’s your plan?) and then head to the studio or get on my mat and begin my Quality Yoga Practice.

 

I acknowledge that it’s completely within my power to MAKE TIME to do the things that will improve my overall experience of life.

 

LET’S RECAP

 

STEP 1: You know a Complete Yoga Practice is ONE Thing you can do that will make everything else in your life easier and make a lot of the low-level “managing or maintaining situations” unnecessary.

 

STEP 2: You know your WHY for practicing. And knowing this WHY inspires and motivates you to be consistent even when consistency seems hard.

 

STEP 3: You know that what you say, what you do, how you act, which choice you make and where you go is all within your power. You know that choosing to MAKE TIME for your ONE Thing every day is completely within your power.

 

STEP 4: You have a well laid out plan for TAKING ACTION. You’ve written it out and put it by your bed.

 

Now let’s talk about the final step: Be prepared.

 

STEP 5: Be Prepared

 

The first day I woke up at 5am with Chantill wasn’t so bad. I was kind of excited—like when you get up early to go to the airport because you’re going on vacation.

 

The second day was harder.

 

And the third day was unbearable. As it should be! Wait…what?!

 

Yes. Be prepared.

It gets easy, but phase one (usually days 1-10) of creating a new daily habit is frequently described as the unbearable phase.

 

I woke up grumpier than I’d been in a long time. I decided over and over and over again between 5am and 5:05am that this wasn’t for me, it was stupid, it wasn’t important, I didn’t care, it wasn’t worth it, I wasn’t a morning person, I was too tired, I needed more sleep, I’d get back on track tomorrow, It was too cold, I’d get up at 6, I was quitting…etc.

 

But each day I got up.

 

Why? Because of that longing I’ve always had. Because I was tired of believing I couldn’t do it while pretending I didn’t want to be the kind of person who could and DID.

 

Because I’ve always admired people who get up early and do their practice before the sun rises and it feels so freakin’ good to BE the person you admire.

 

It might not be hard for you. But it might be. So be prepared. Remind yourself again and again that not only can you do it, but you also WANT to do it. You wouldn’t have tried if you didn’t want it.

 

The night before what would have been my 30th day in row of getting up at 5am I fell asleep without setting my alarm. It was Friday night and my daughter was having a sleep over and my husband usually sleeps till 8 on Saturdays.

 

I woke up in the middle of the night and thought, I’m not gonna get up and set the alarm so oh well, I’ll just sleep in. But I was wide-awake. So I got up to check the time and it was 5:15am.

 

I didn’t have to be up.

 

But I wanted to be.

 

The house was peaceful, I felt rested and awake, and I was looking forward to my practice. So I smiled, unrolled my mat, and then went to brush my teeth.

 

This was the start of phase three, which is sometimes known as the unstoppable phase. Phase three is when it definitely gets easy. Mostly.

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