It’s always a struggle the week immediately following a time change to acclimate physically and mentally to the shift, even if we do seem to get an extra hour of sleep this time of year.  It’s a little like jet lag that the majority of the country experiences at the same time.  It confuses our internal clocks and disrupts sleep & how we feel no matter which direction the clock is moving.  I think it’s safe to say that many people go through a transition period of continuing to wake earlier than when your alarm clock is now set, thus losing out on that quality sleep during the early morning hours.  This is my biggest issue this week, and every time I wake just before or at 4, I try to decide whether to just get up at that time or go back to sleep for 30ish minutes.  The latter has been winning out.

Mentally, how long do you compare the new time to what it would have been in the old time?  Ugh, that can totally make your brain more tired than it needs to be.  And if you have young kids, the emotional toll it takes on you because of their weird transition can be dreadful.  But it seems that all these adjustments really only tend to last about a week.  Nonetheless, they are no fun for anyone.  I think you may agree with me though that “falling back” is much easier than “springing forward.”

So the reason I bring this up is because strangely enough, the week leading up to the time change, I was really struggling with pulling myself out of bed between 4:30 & 4:45 AM, so the change was a welcome breath of fresh air as it has certainly made the 4:00 hour much more tolerable since my body was thinking it was actually sometime during the 5:00 hour.  Unlike some, when it comes to waking up early to practice or go to GSP, I don’t have the choice to hit snooze, reset my alarm clock, or skip out on it because I’ve got other obligations to tend to.  Believe me, somedays I wish I could, because I know…it’s HARD to get out of bed when it’s cold and dark and the rest of the world is sleeping.  I was NEVER a morning person until I began practicing Adamantine®.  I frequently tried to be but usually failed after a couple weeks. (BTW, I know because I had roommates in college who wanted to strangle me every morning because I was a chronic “snoozer.”  Since high school, I was known to wait until the last possible moment to get up in time to make it to first hour.)

So what changed?

Well, for one, you all have greatly influenced my want & need to get out of bed so that I can greet each of you and teach you in this crazy, unconventional way {in the western world} of practicing yoga called Guided Self-Practice.  And for that, I am truly grateful and humbled.  Thank you.

But even on the mornings I don’t have class early, I still get up to practice before (hopefully) the kids climb out of bed.  Yes, this is kind of neurotic, but when I remind myself why I need my yoga practice it all makes sense.  You see, I made the conscious decision about 4 ½ years ago that yoga was going to be my form of medication for my mental health.  I’m not by any means saying that it can cure whatever chemical imbalances other people may have and that it should be used in place of medication.  I just experimented with my own body and decided to see if it could take the place of anti-anxiety medication.  And for the time being, it works for me.  Keeping a consistent practice schedule is just one way to clear the mental clutter that we all have and promote a more balanced nervous system that functions at its peak throughout the day.  It generally allows me to handle stress better. Not always, but most of the time.  Everyone’s reason for practicing is different, but when you remind yourself of your “why” it helps.

And finally, and probably the easiest thing I do when my body thinks it wants to choose sleep over practicing, is ask myself (still half asleep in the wee morning hours), “Am I going to regret getting out of bed and practicing?”.  99.9% of the time the answer is “no.”  But I will regret staying in bed and trying to squeeze my practice in someplace else in my day.  Just answering this simple question gets me out of bed. Give it a try…it might just motivate you to leave your pillow behind for the day.

So if this week (or last like it was for me) has been rough on you, you’re not alone.  Nearly everyone faces times in their life when it’s difficult to get out of bed in the early morning hours, but finding a reason or reminder cue to help you just get over the hump of actually putting your feet on the floor and getting out of bed can make it all a little easier.  It’s when you get stuck putting your best interest off for a later time that you fall into habits that are most difficult to break.

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