Day 13: Charge and Discharge

Morning and evening yoga are two distinct animals, two completely different practices.

In the morning the body is stiff from sleep, (not to mention a bit hungry), and vulnerable to anything harsh, sudden or dissonant.  A jarring sequence that might be overlooked or forgiven in the evening, is reviled and despised at 6 AM in the morning.

In the morning, the body needs to be treated with TLC and  handled with care, or it just won’t start.

Just like my ’60 Ford Fairlaine  when I was 16.  That car was a total junker hand-me-down car from my mother, who had just gotten herself a Ford Maverick.

“Agnes,”as I called this cranky bitch of a car, took me where I wanted to go, IF I could get her started.  But starting her was like trying to convince a kid that lima beans taste good.

I had to go out at least 20 minutes before my scheduled departure time and begin the starting-up procedure.  This involved priming the gas, cranking the engine (but not overly-so), and listening for that little “catch” that indicated that ignition was imminent.  If I fed it just the right amount of gas, at exactly the right moment: vroom!  Start up!

If however, I tried to rush the process, I’d wind up flooding her, arriving late for school and earning a  detention.

Morning yoga is exactly like Agnes. My students need to be “started up” in the morning, but not in any way that will flood them.  Their crankcases are cold, and they’re hard to turn over.  But about halfway through the hour, I usually can get most of them to ignite, to vrooom!

In the afternoon, it’s a whole different game.  They either come limping in completely out of gas, or they burst in discharging sparks from their clothes and steam from their ears, and I almost have to take a towel and wrap it around my hands before I attempt to touch them and see what they need.

The morning yogarians need to be charged up by the practice (very slowly), whereas the evening people need to be carefully discharged.

It’s pretty damned cool to be a Yoga mechanic this month, I must say.  I love sending a big fleet of charged up people out into their day. It’s almost as exciting as hosing down souped up engines in the afternoon.

5 thoughts on “Day 13: Charge and Discharge

  1. Kathleen:

    Yeah, we often beat ourselves up over such matters, don’t we? Story of my life with yoga.

    However, the TLC treatment can go a long way. Better to be compassionate than judgmental.

    We feel sloppy in the morning and the yawning doesn’t help. The stomach growls for food. It is easy to fall prey to our own eccentricities.

    But take heart: over time, the body can get conditioned. The body is not just the “temple of the soul,” but it is remarkably amenable to change.

    Professional athletes understand this fact, because they have no choice but to live it every day of their lives. Their careers depends on it.

    You have to condition the body to break old habits and form new habits. The yogic exercises will help you achieve that goal, so stick with it. It’s a plan.

    That’s what I have learned from the school of hard knocks: there are no short-cuts or easy answers.
    You have to take it one step at a time. It helps to wake up early in the morning to get a head start.

    And practice, practice, practice till you form a habit. Once it becomes a habit, it’s like your second skin: and the subconscious gets programmed. Your body will cooperate with you.

    After a while, it becomes almost effortless to fall into the groove: it becomes like your second nature. This has been my experience anyway. And I wasn’t the best student; nor the brightest bulb shining in the closet. I was a late-bloomer, in fact.

    And hey, if I can do it, anybody can do it. So, there is light at the end of the tunnel for all of us, me thinks. Please keep up the good work despite the odds. Obstacles are just challenges, nothing else.

    And glad to know you and your students are making progress. Your posts are reminders and a great way to record your journey. Thanks. Cheers!


    1. April 14th; Day 14 … only got in 20 min. this morning as I slept-in a bit too late, but, instead of ditching-it, I figured 20 min. was enough. I did the 3-legged dog with hangover too! LOVED it!

      I wasn’t feeling up-to-par today & ended up leaving work, ill, napping for 3 hours this afternoon (despite the glorious sun! mon dieu!). After a few good endorphine-booster-laughs around dinnertime, I felt revived, so, tonight, I matched-the-morn with 20 more min. This time, more seated twists & leg stretches with yoga band/scarf. Tried the 3-legged-dog with hangover again; preferred my morning dog (!?)

      Anyway, I’m so glad I didn’t give-in to the thought this morning that 20 min. wasn’t enough because, it was! And adding the 20 min. tonight after not feeling too well has helped me feel ready for a good night’s sleep … ZZZZZZZZzzzzzen.


  2. Day 12 I did your most recent routine again and still loved it. Day 13 I warmed up with a lot a lot of suns for about fifteen minutes. Then I did ten minutes of whatever felt good, including lots of hip stretches and (surprise for me) side stretches. I never really felt those before so it was a sweet surprise.


  3. Y’ain’t kidding about morning vs. afternoon. Yesterday I practiced at noon, and I was full of energy, flexibility, strength, and warmth. What a difference this morning! Woke up with my back feeling all crunched up in the middle (yesterday’s wheel, maybe?), so I headed to the osteopath for a treatment, then came home to do 15 minutes of yoga, all I could get in. I decided to really explore mostly sitting poses, see what would happen if I energized my legs and activated the bandas. What a difference! I also explored where I feel physical resistance (wide-angle for sure), and where I feel mental resistance to a particular pose. I like the idea of breaking down the resistance, but gently and by honoring my body.


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