“A Sunday Morning Reflection”
by Jacqualine Haller
Founder & Director of Jaya Yoga Toronto, voice/creator of Jaya Meditation and “The “AUM” Project.
It’s Sunday morning, and I have just completed day #20 of my “30 Day Meditation Challenge with my students. A few Sundays this month I decided to teach a class on Pranayama (breath work). We spend 45 minutes diving into different breathing techniques and explore our own personal limits when it comes to breath work. In Sanskrit, pranayama means breath control. Prana refers to your life-force energy, your Chi, that energy that moves you through life. The latter part of the word, “ayama” – means to draw out or extend. We practice controlling our breath to achieve mental clarity, restore health to the body and to help us get a better handle on our scattered thoughts and impulses. Please note, this is really a very short and somewhat lacking summary of how incredibly important pranayama is, for the purposes of this BLOG.
40 minutes of meditation, 45 minutes of breathing and I get the opportunity to mingle with some students that I don’t get to see very often. It has been an extremely rewarding morning so far, and it’s only 08:30am. I leave the studio in the hands of the next teacher, and I find myself sitting in a park that is roughly between the studio and my home, with a warm cup of coffee. I am enjoying basking in the Sunday morning sun, with the fresh air that has a slightly cool note to it. I think to myself, if God, the Universe or whatever you believe in is anywhere on a Sunday, it is surely in this park.
There are a couple ladies by the swing sets doing what looks like a morning movement routine. There’s a new mom sitting on the merry-go-round with her brand new infant. There are three athletes a little further off doing moves I’ve never seen before. Either way, it is a beautiful start to a Sunday. Everyone and everything seems to be in harmony.
It’s not often that my day organizes itself in a way where sitting in a park in the sunshine with a coffee, makes the most effective use of my time. Different than what most of us are used to, I’m sure. But I need to head back later to open for a workshop, so this makes the most sense, amazingly enough.
The state of mind you start your day with, and how you spend the first hour of any morning, sets the tone for the rest of your day. Waking up early to start the day in a grounding quiet way, followed by flooding the body with fresh oxygen, oxygenating your blood…. Well, I’m not sure I can think of a better way. Fresh air, focused rhythmic breathing, and arriving into this moment is really all it takes.
So wake up early, why not!
Go for a walk before anyone is up. Get to your local yoga studio and stretch it out. Or grab a coffee and sit in the park and watch the sun rise. Choose to start your day in a completely different way then what you’re used to, and see what happens. And if there’s no mind blowing revelation, don’t worry about it. That experience along with how you experience your day, will shift.
It will be well worth it.
Every part of our day is filled with noise. Noise from the street, noise from our family and from interaction. Noise from work and what we need to deliver on. Some noise is pleasant to hear too, of course. But there is something about leaving ourselves time to be quiet and still. It is this time of alone-ness that makes the human experience rich.
I get it. 5am is not everyone’s favorite time of the day. And, yet it is for many. As I walk to the studio each morning, people are out with their dogs, some are already sitting in coffee shops and some are out for fresh air and exercise. There is a magic this time of day, and there is something about taking in the quiet solitude of the city before the world wakes up and it becomes noisy again.
Change it up! There is so much of life waiting to be explored outside of routine.
Have a beautiful day, everyone!
Link into my Youtube account to hear me read this BLOG = Jacqualine Haller