"In love with life, my soul lives the subtlest of passions, lives like a gypsy, each day a different house, each night under the stars."
Since being back in Columbus I found myself slowly practicing later and later. When I say late, it may seem a bit odd that getting up at dawn was late for me. But, no matter, I noticed the difference in the energy versus getting up in the pre-dawn hours, and I have to say, my inner clock was gently telling me to get up earlier to practice.
Didn't take much adjusting on my part. Getting to bed the same time every evening was key. No problem.
There is nothing like the energy and silence felt during this time. I love it. I relish it. It's almost as if a subtle current is supporting me, like being held in the palm of someone's hand. The mind is quiet, the energy steady, sustaining, I start slow, and end spent, in a good way.
Two hours before dawn are known as bramhamuhurta, in Sanskrit, "the time divine." Or as Certified Ashtanga yoga teacher, Anthony Carlisi states, the "nectar hours," referring to the transition from darkness to the light just before the dawn. There seems to be a subtle sweetness at this time, and I laugh at myself at how shocking it is to say it. If asked if this would be an enjoyable time to be up 5 years ago, I would've gave a simple, hell no. But the more I practice, the more external stimuli drop away, and I come to appreciate the cycles of nature, and the energetic rhythms and pulsations of the earth. This unexpectedly crept into my consciousness and has pleasantly surprised me along the path.
With all that being said, when sharing with new practitioners, I always refer to what David Swenson says, "the best time to practice is, when you can practice." Very true. I find that often, in the beginning, we have a built in structure in place, and the simple showing up when we can, is an awesome place to start. Then, with willingness, and the opportunity to turn down the volume of the monkey mind, we can tune in. Tune in to our essential self. Stripped down. Bare. This can be scary at first, but ultimately it is something we must all face.
Being truly present at this time is better than anything. Why seek other forms of entertainment when sitting in a space of peacefulness? It doesn't get any better. It simply doesn't.