Here Comes The Sun
from Kunjapuri Devi Temple
Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
(taken by me on iPhone 6)
For me, my morning routine is how I set myself up for a good day. And several studies have correlated waking up early with success.
The Vedas have a beautiful way of describing the time around sunrise, describing the many subtle layers that make up our sunrise.
Brahma Muhurta (or Brahma Mahurt) is the hour of Brahmin, the totality – when the black sky starts to lighten and become faintly grey, and moves into blue light. The in-between transitional time when it’s no longer night and not yet day, right on the leading edge of dawn. Brahma Mahurt is revered in many spiritual practices as the best time to practise yoga and meditation. It is approximately 90 minutes before the sun rises over the horizon.
Then Navaswan comes along – a gentle soft breeze that moves continuously around the earth as it turns, and the sun sits in its glory and pushing ahead of the sun is a wave caused by the approaching warm air. Brahma Mahurt precedes Navaswan.
Then comes Surya, the sun. Madame Majestic herself.
What’s happening is the earth is continuously rotating, and when the warm earth that precedes the warmth of the day meets the cool air where the night has just been, a wave is created, continuously travelling across the face of the earth.
Yogis rise to meet the subtle layers of the approaching dawn. There is a yoga salutation to welcome the coming of day, Surya Namaskara (also known as sun salutations), and its significance is far greater than being a series of yoga asanas. It is a demonstration to the day that will be.
Surya Namaskara allows us to use our bodies as an instrument of higher awareness so that we may receive wisdom and knowledge. The ancient yogis believe that each of us replicates the world at large, embodying “rivers, seas, mountains, fields…stars and planets…the sun and moon.” The outer sun, Surya, is in reality, a token of our “inner sun”, which corresponds to our subtle or spiritual heart. Here is our seat of consciousness and higher self.
I start my day at 4:45am. And its not always easy. Some days, it takes sheer grit and determination. I get up because I love greeting Surya (check my Instagram account and you will find countless sunrise photos). I find it incredibly nourishing to be awake when the sun rises, so I rise before the sun. Once I am up, I scrape my tongue, do around 15 to 20 minutes of yoga, go for a 60 minutes walk (or pilates or yoga flow class), followed by a few minutes of pranayama, and then I meditate for 20 minutes.
These are the things I start my day with. Then the rest of the day, takes care of itself. It is my grounding for being calm, balanced, inspired and energised.
What do you do that nourishes you each day? What is the one thing you could introduce to your day that would make a difference? Now is the time, to introduce just one thing. It could be waking up 20 minutes earlier in the morning so you have more time and not have to rush to get the train. Maybe its meditation? 20 minutes, twice a day (or even once a day) to recharge and reconnect to your higher self.
Whatever you decide to introduce, approach it with intention and compassion. Make space for it each day but if you miss one, its ok. It’s not about perfection, it is about giving yourself space and time to do something that will nourish you every day.