Day the first

4.55 AM  – The alarm sounds.

I struggle to open my eyes. It wasn’t the best night of sleep and I’d finally settled into a comfortable position. But I’m excited and I get out of bed. The baby doesn’t stir. I put on a clean white shirt, comfortable trousers. Yoga ideally starts with cleansing, so I use the toilet, wash my hands and face, brush my teeth. Down stairs I go.

I enter the dining room/my study/altar room and begin cleaning it up. I move the baby gym to the living room. I sweep. I clean a few little finger prints from the glass doors. I unroll the yoga mat. Gather my supplies. Clip some herbs from the pots on the back porch and cut off a rose bud from the rose bush.

I stand before the altar and recite a prayer I found, supposedly one recited before schooling commences. It’s a prayer I make for this project, in general:

Let the studies that we together undertake be effulgent;

Let there be no animosity amongst us;

Om Shanti shanti shanti (peace, peace, peace)

Then I light the votive candle, praying:

From ignorance, lead me to truth

From darkness, lead me to light

From death, lead me to immortality

Om Shanti shanti shanti

I light incense, offer a cup of water and on a red glass plate I place the herbs and rose. I chant something I’m not sure I’m pronouncing correctly – Om Kalikayai Namah. Then I begin doing yoga postures. I am stiff. I begin with sun salutations and proceed to warrior poses. My right hand has been sore lately so I’m conscious of the tenderness.

Just as I move to seated poses the baby cries. It’s 5.33. I go upstairs and nurse the baby. She horks mightily all over me. We both require a full change of clothes. I put the baby back to sleep and go back downstairs. I do a few more poses and then fold into sitting meditation.

I decide just to breathe. I’ve learned a few different meditation techniques over the years, never mastering any of them. I decide to go back to basics. Thoughts arise…. am I doing this right? Thoughts settle….. I breathe….. the baby wakes again.

I bow and head upstairs. Hey, I’ve figured out what we’re going to have for dinner.

About Niki Whiting
  • http://www.projectconversion.com Andrew Bowen

    Nice. I remember this sort of thing back in January. We realize that life still happens and slowly, feeding the baby and washing the dishes become our meditation; paying the bills and balancing school with marriage becomes our yoga.

    Thanks for sharing your first day.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/awitchsashram myownashram

      Life never stops. We can’t cut off our practice from life. That sort of compartmentalization just isn’t healthy. Being awake early in the morning allows me a container for the practice, and the practice is a sort of container itself (container as sacred vessel?).

      This morning felt absolutely mundane, and yet….. really lovely too.

  • http://iris365.wordpress.com Rebecka

    beautiful, Niki.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CairellePerilloux Cairelle Perilloux

    Love, love, love! Beautiful! I can just feel the peacefulness when I read this, even when the baby cries.

    I will be following along. :-)


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