I am not a morning person. My whole life I’ve wanted to be a morning person. It sounds so lovely to get up and greet the dawn with clarity and vigor. I’ve tried, believe me. But forty two years into it, I can say – with certainty – that I am not a morning person. I’m not a cranky morning person, mind you. I’m just a tired morning person. There is no clarity and no vigor.
Such as it is, I make it a point to turn in early for a good night’s sleep on Thursdays. Just so I can get up early enough every Friday to walk the dog, steep a cup of tea, find my yoga pants, and scramble out the door for an 8 am class at Humble Be. I know, I know – those of you who are lucky enough to be morning people are scoffing at this. It’s hardly the break of dawn. But those, like myself, whose witching hour starts at 9 pm, will understand. It goes against our nature. It’s hard.
Still, this Friday morning yoga class is the highlight of my week. The experience is so completely nourishing that by the end of class, I’ve nearly forgotten I’m not a morning person. Really I get this same groovy vibe with all of the classes I take at Humble Be, it’s just the Friday morning class stands out. Because it’s really something to walk out the studio’s big wooden door after class and greet the rest of Friday with clarity and vigor. This is as close as I will come to achieving morning person status.
Until relatively recently, I considered myself a yoga dabbler. I’ve tried a variety of classes in a variety of places and have even cobbled together and on-and-off-again home practice. I essentially started doing yoga as a way to move my body and stay flexible. But my Humble Be experience has turned my yoga world upside down. I’ve gone from dabbler to devotee. I’m not just practicing yoga to move my body anymore. I’m doing it to move my mind and my breath too.
I’m a regular at several Humble Be yoga classes and I’ve come to truly appreciate how seamless and well thought out their classes are. Humble Be instructors consistently offer me a richness that my home practice lacks. A windy afternoon, for example, might inspire Kellie to talk about the push and the pull of daily life and the importance of being able to draw it all in. She’ll then devote the next 75 minutes to poses that focus on using the body’s core to help balance opposing forces that work against the body. It seems so subtle at the time, but two weeks later when I’m being yanked all willy-nilly in ten different directions, I’ll gratefully recall how I can use my body and mind to reign it all in.
Likewise, I’m constantly reminded in classes how I can use my breath to calm myself down when I’m worked up, anxious, or frustrated. Just a few weeks ago, on my first bad weather drive of the season, I had four hours to play with a breathing technique I learned from Scott. And it worked! The deliberate pause at the top and bottom of each breath got me home. Humble Be classes encourage me to slow down and cultivate mindfulness. And it goes without saying that a regular practice has left me stronger, more flexible, and better balanced. Talk about a package deal.
Yoga can mean a lot of different things to people, but for me, Humble Be yoga helps define how I travel through each day. I may think I’m just popping into the studio for a quick class to stretch out, but inevitably, some little bit of teaching sticks with me well after my mat is rolled up. And my life is all the richer for it. Blessed be Humble Be.