142: The early bird

(Peering through the trees at today’s sunrise.)

Day one of my 10-day yoga challenge.  I woke up just before 6:00am and have to admit that it wasn’t easy to leave the warm bed.  As much as I love early mornings, I find it more difficult to rise and shine on cold, winter days.  It’s so much easier to snuggle down under the covers and go back to sleep.

(Today’s sunrise and trees in pinks and blues.)

Knowing I would have to come here and write about how I didn’t get up, I resisted the urge to go back to sleep, made my way out to the kitchen, and fixed a cup of hot lemon water.  Just the smell of the citrus fruit was enough to wake me up.

(Wavy sunrise and trees through the frost on the window.)

The abstract looking sunrise photos were taken after I finished my yoga practice.  I shot through the frost on the kitchen window, zooming in through the trees to various parts of the sky to capture the different colors.

Yoga Journal has been putting out a series of DVD’s, Complete Guide to Home Yoga Practice.  I have received the first three DVD’s over the past four months or so.  It works much like a club where the DVD arrives in the mail, you have 30 days to decide whether or not to keep it, then you either pay for it or return it (they include a return envelope).

I have only used one of them (the first) once or twice.  The first is titled Foundation Poses for Strength and Stamina and covers Sun Salutation (a flowing sequence that includes forward bends and gentle back bends that help to warm you up) and a few standing poses, the foundation on which you can build a home practice.  The DVD has a 40-minute instructional segment in which you can learn and practice the moves, a 35-minute flow sequence, and a few bonus options (an interview with the instructor, Natasha Rizopoulos, and a few other things such as turning on the medical commentary or turning off the music).

(Sunrise and trees through a frosty window.)

I opted for the instructional portion of the DVD.  A review seemed like a good place to start to reestablish my practice.  I like the way the instructor takes her time, explaining the poses as well as using the other two people in the video to show modified and advanced versions.  She explains clearly and concisely where your various body parts should be in, how the hips should be aligned, where you should be looking, etc.  I also find it helpful when Natasha does show-and-tells about the gentle corrections she makes on the others doing the sequences with her.

(The early chickadee at the breakfast buffet.)

I struggled a little this morning.  I think that has more to do with being out of shape than any real resistance to the practice.  Once I warmed up and loosened up, things went much smoother, including my thoughts and breath.  I left the mat feeling much more relaxed than when I got there.

(Opening to the day.)

I sat in meditation for about 15 minutes after I finished my yoga practice.  I will work my way up to a longer meditation session as time goes on.  It was a great way to start the day.  I don’t know why I don’t do this every day.

Outdoor adventures

Here’s an interesting tidbit:  Black bears and bobcats roam Ohio.  I knew about the black bears.  I don’t recall hearing about the bobcats prior to this (but my recall isn’t what it used to be).  Apparently the county I live in is tied for top ranking in black bear sightings (13 each for the top two counties).

(Icy flow II.  The running water is actually encased in the ice now, but it doesn’t show well in any of the photos I took.)

It’s warmer today than it has been for the past few days.  When I stepped outside the sun was shining and there were big patches of blue sky.  By the time I finished my walk, there was one thin line of blue to the east.  The rest of the sky was a variety of shades of gray.

(At the end of my walk.)

I walked down to the creek and through the woods.  I haven’t been through the woods in a while and had some trouble finding the path.  I finally decided to follow the animal tracks which worked well enough and eventually led me to the path.

(Visiting the creek.)

The creek still has a clear channel of running water.  Had the cold snap continued another day or two, it might have frozen over.  There are lots of animal tracks near the creek.  I would like to have walked a little closer but I’m not sure what’s under the snow (the last time I could see what was under it, there was a foot or two of water from the flooding due to snow melt and heavy rain).

(Yesterday’s sunset.)

The walk to the creek, through the woods, around the pond, and back to the house used to be a leisurely walk.  The snow makes it a good cardio workout now.

Today’s CD

Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

You can listen to one of the songs from the album here.