I love 4 a.m. yoga. I am not a major yogi, and I have enjoyed doing yoga at more normal times of day, but my latest pastime is 4 a.m. yoga.
To clarify, I am not getting up, out of my warm, comfy bed, at 4 a.m. to do yoga. For those of you who know me, you know how I detest mornings. I will never be one to get up early for yoga, or much of anything else. For one, my muscles are way too tight to do any yoga poses, and for two, in my grumpy state I might accidentally kill someone. So, for these and other reasons too pedantic to go into, I only do 4 a.m. yoga when I am working night shifts.
4 a.m. is sort of a witching hour, don’t you think? It’s that time when the night can go either way — get better or get worse, get crazier or get saner. By doing yoga, I can stave off the crazier for a little longer and I get to stretch and do something that is fun but that, honestly, I don’t usually make time for in a regular day. I mean, I could take a break at 4 p.m. any old day and do some yoga, but I’m usually busy doing something else, or I would rather go for a walk (and get ice cream or cheezies, but that’s got nothing to do with yoga).
Well, enough preamble. Let me get to the core of the issue: the real reason I enjoy yoga at 4 a.m. is because it is humbling. I am no yoga perfectionist, but when I do it at other times of the day, I can usually pretzelate myself pretty well and I pride myself on being able to do the poses fairly well. But at 4 a.m.? I am just grateful to be awake. I allow myself to be completely horrible at it. I am humbled by the demands it makes on me, and that I am actually pretty awful at it. My sense of balance is almost non-existent, which makes some of the standing poses hilarious. So, I am humbled and chagrined — I have to laugh at myself a little — by this strange 4 a.m. practice.
Now, I know this isn’t likely to catch on for yoga classes or whatever, but I do my yoga alone. I have never been to a yoga studio, and I’ve never taken any lessons. I’ve learned the poses I know from a couple of videos. Despite this sheltered yoga-life, even I have noticed there’s quite a bit of ego involved in this spiritual-practice-turned-exercise-routine. I mean, if you’re self-effacing, you don’t buy hundred-dollar pants to do yoga in. I just think it might be getting a little crazy, and my 4 a.m. yoga is a nice change to that. It’s humbling. Grounding. And it helps me get through the longest part of the night in a pleasant, positive way. Plus, I can wear fleece long johns, which are far more sane than hundred-dollar pants.
So, if you’re interested, join me in some 4 a.m. yoga! Just don’t actually join me — I don’t want you to see me wobbling around on one leg in ill-fitting fuzzy long johns. 🙂