Last week, I wrote about the somewhat obvious but essential step of consciously rolling out one's yoga mat, in order to actually come to the front of it and begin one's practice.
This week, I realized that there's another, even more essential step that some people (chief amongst them, myself) might also struggle with before getting on the mat, and that is getting out of bed.
If you think I'm joking, you didn't see me miss my morning practice four days in a row this week. (I don't even mean at the studio; I'm talking about practicing on the floor at the foot of my bed). Why did I miss my morning practice? Because I literally couldn't muster the will to pull myself up off of my mattress and onto the mat.
When it first became clear to me (upon my alarm going off) that I would not, in fact, be getting out of bed at this time, I tried to justify this scenario from underneath my covers as a scientific experiment, in which I'd start my day with "extended savasana" ("corpse" pose) and see what happens.
While obviously not as vigorous as a traditional asana (posture) practice, it seemed reasonable to assume that this "horizontal meditation" might help calm the frayed nerves that had kept me up way too late the night before (and the night before that, and the night before that, etc.
I mean, aren't yoga teachers everywhere always saying, "Savasana is the most important posture of your whole practice"? I must've heard that a million times over the years. Well, why not just cut to the chase?
Of course, I'm not sure if it counts as savasana (or meditation, for that matter) when one actually falls back asleep while lying in one's bed.
In any case, I managed to maintain this particular "horizontal meditation practice" for four days straight. And I felt awful, afterwards.
That is, until (after waking up from no more than three hours of sleep, on the fifth morning), my mother forced me to come with her to a morning class at the studio.
[Note: My mother and I are actually in the teacher training program together. This is a whole different story, and worthy of its own post.]
I was not thrilled about the idea of leaving my bed.
Yet, as soon as I was back on the mat-- back to my practice-- I couldn't comprehend why I'd been avoiding it. Despite my fatigue, I felt renewed and grounded after the hour and fifteen minute practice.
Which made me wonder:
Where had I been during the past four days?
Wherever I'd been, I hadn't been present.
It was almost as if I'd been living in some strange, ephemeral dream-- like the kind that I'd had over the past four days, when I'd fall back asleep instead of getting out of bed.