Waking Up: A Chance to Begin Anew
How do you feel when you’re first waking up? Are you excited for a new day? Do you feel like you’re starting anew? Or do you dread getting out of bed? Or maybe it depends which day of the week it is? Take a moment right now and close your eyes and think about the last time you felt excitement for life as you were waking up.
Waking up happens every morning. It’s a unique moment in our day, transitioning from sleep to waking life. In that moment we have a potent opportunity to shift our perspective and set the tone for our day.
My Ayurveda teacher, Dr. Vasant Lad, suggests that as we wake up we can rub our hands together to make them warm (if they’re not already) and then softly rub our face, neck and torso for a gently invigorating start to our day.
I met a man once, in India, who said that, every morning as he’s waking up, he looks at the palms of his hands and thanks God for another day.
As a yoga teacher, I use the idea of waking up to help my students access a “starting anew” feeling. At the beginning of class – after we do our centring/breathing practice – I suggest the students begin to move slowly and curiously, like they’re just waking up. I say the same after Savasana. My very first yoga teacher used to say, “Like you’re just waking up from a deep sleep…” as we came out of Savasana. I found that this allowed me to connect with that “starting anew” feeling that can help us shed the residue of whatever has happened earlier in the day.
Waking up is also a phrase used to denote an awakening of consciousness. We “wake up” to a new perspective, a new way of seeing things. In this sense, we can “wake up” in any moment, just by becoming mindful of what is going on inside and around us. The more I practice mindfulness and meditation, the more frequently I get this sense of waking up and starting anew. And it is this experience that makes me feel most alive and excited for every day; excited to see what is possible.
How will you transform your day in that moment when you’re first waking up?
Doing a job I love has been one of the main aims of my life. I’m equal parts philosopher, artist and teacher. But above all, I’m a student; a student of life. I’ve been an academic, an actor, a singer and songwriter; a health advocate, social justice activist, ayurvedic practitioner, yoga teacher, curriculum developer and a writer. Outside of sharing my yoga passion with you, I am currently enrolled in Massage Therapy training in beautiful Victoria, Canada.