Being a new mum, there is both plenty of time and no time at all during the day.
I was at home caring for my son, experiencing a lack of time to do yoga. I really wanted to go deeper in my practice, one class per week was not enough, and so I needed to find time for it during the day.
The only time available was early in the morning, before my son woke up. Yikes, that is early.
After investing a lot of time and energy into the process, really struggling to come to terms with the solution (early morning practice) I was finally able to change the way I think and therefore making the change possible.
I know now that I will be able to stay with the new early morning routine.
Deep in my heart, I wanted to share this with you. Whether it is a meditation or yoga practice you want to get started with, maybe some of the points will help you get moving.
1. First, sit down with a pen and paper and think through timing options.
When is the ideal time to practice? In my case the evenings are no good, since before dinner is all about my kid, and after dinner, I have just had dinner, which is no good for yoga, and once the stomach has calmed, so have I, finding no motivation to get up from the couch and get on with practice.
To complicate things even further, the available space for asana practice in my apartment is right in the living room. I find it hard to tap into my inner calm when my husband is chilling in the couch watching TV next to my mat.
2. Write down what your inner resistance consists of.
Honestly examine why you feel resistance towards doing something differently. (Most people feel some kind of resistance before making a change). Write it down, point by point. By writing it down, you may just realise that it is all in your head and by facing it head on you can extinguish it.
Other things like “I need to continue sleeping because I haven’t gotten enough sleep” you can deal with—just keep reading.
3. Evaluate your sleeping pattern and needs.
Having a baby and creating a routine for his feeding and sleeping habits convinced me that children (and adults!) sleep in cycles and are happier and more rested if they are allowed to sleep complete cycles. This goes for us adult yogis too and getting to bed at the same time for a week or two, and set the alarm to different times, gives you the opportunity to find out how long you need to sleep, to sleep entire cycles, and wake up rested, thus making it easier to get up in the morning, even if it is at 5.30.
These days I know that sleeping seven hours works well for me (it only took 33 years to find that out) so I know that if I am in bed by 22:10 (manageable, right?) I fall asleep and will be ready to wake up well rested when the alarm goes off at 5:30, allowing 20 min to fall asleep and being late in bed. This is really not so hard, once you try it.
4. Set the intention the night before.
Don’t start an argument with yourself in the morning, when it is time to get up. Decide when you want to get up to practice, and then count back to see when you need to go to bed. If you manage to get in bed in time, there is really no choice but to get up and practice the morning after. The excuse “I didn’t sleep enough, I’ll start tomorrow” will not work.
And if it took you longer to fall asleep, still get up in the morning and get to bed earlier the next night instead.
5. Set the alarm and place the clock/phone in another room, so that when the alarm goes off you have to step out of bed to turn it off.
It helps if you are sleeping with a partner or have a child in the house, who you do not want to wake. If you snooze you loose.
6. Set up small with a shorter practice to start with (lower your expectations) and let it grow when you feel ready.
7. Know that it takes 40-60 repetitions to form a new habit.
Good luck! Let me know if it was helpful.
Author: Marie Cederholm
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Robert Valencia/Flickr