Insomnia, a Yoga Challenge and Learning to Live in the Moment

Every day I learn something new if I really think about it. Some days, they pass us by so quickly and if we don’t take the time to reflect back on them, we will miss it.

For instance, last night I learned that part of the reason my marriage is so great is because I go to bed first. My husband works late. I need a lot of sleep. So before 11 I’m usually out cold. He rarely gets in bed before 11. Reportedly, I snore (I don’t actually believe this, but I’m just repeating what I’ve been told). But I’ll tell you one thing. My Chef Husband could rival a motor he snores so loudly. Last night we went to bed at the same time, chatted for a while, and then he fell asleep (in roughly 42 seconds). I did not. No, instead I lay there willing myself not to kick him, it was that loud. Eventually around midnight (over 1.5 hours after I got in bed), I fell asleep.

Now normally, if I fall asleep around midnight I’m a write-off the next day. I honestly need a minimum of 7 hours of sleep, but ideally, 8-9 is perfect. This is something that I know about myself and try to adhere to for the sake of myself and my family. But I do suffer from periodic insomnia – not to the same extent as my aunt or my mother, but it’s still there. It was rampant back in high school but back then, I had a good friend who also was an insomniac. On nights where both of us were away, we’d talk until 4-5 in the morning, finally pass out, then go to school. Now that I’m post-children, it doesn’t hit me as often. When it does, I’m up until somewhere between 1 and 3, and it sucks.

Back to last night. Like I did back in April/May, I’m doing a 30 day sunrise yoga challenge. Every day I wake at 5:30, get my yoga clothes on, and head out the door, mat in hand, in the pitch black to do yoga. Willingly. I love what this challenge did for me last time and I’m excited to see what the differences between the first and second challenge are, as well as what differences I see in my body.

So I got 5 hours sleep. And now, I’m tired. So tired I feel like I could fall over. So tired that I really had to focus when making the 1o minute drive from my kids’ school to my house. So tired that I fully plan on going to sleep before 8pm tonight.

The last time I partook in this challenge, Chef Husband was in exam period and not teaching, so I didn’t have to worry about the time. Hockey season was over (put to an end by a concussion), so it was really, all about me. This time though, a couple of mornings a week he teaches at 8, so I have to leave early. It’s not something I like to do – leave a yoga class in the middle of it, but in order for this to work, I need to be respectful of a) my need to complete this challenge and b) his need to work and teach.

I’m going to blog about my experiences this time in the challenge. Also, because as my mother says, I like to do too much, I’m also going mostly vegan. That’s kind of a cop-out I know, but I don’t really have any great desire to be vegan exclusively. I care very much about animal rights, and when I do eat meat, I’m very selective about where we get it from. But I really need to cut out dairy, and I just need to reboot my system. So mostly vegan it is. I’ve been eating pretty much like a queen.. amazing wraps with fresh vegetables, tacos with kidney beans, quesadillas with beans, vegetables and daiya cheese. Tonight was Portobello mushroom fajitas from the Happy Herbivore. Life is good.

Day 1
Option 1 – Yoga Flow Foundations (Donna)
Option 2 – Akhanda Yoga Flow (Isabelle)

I went for Option 2 yesterday for 2 reasons. 1 – I didn’t really want a foundations class and 2 – the combination of Isabelle and Akhanda is exquisite. The class was amazing, but I did something wonky to my knee. Or my hamstring – I can’t figure out which. I think maybe I over stretched my knee? It doesn’t hurt, it just feels really weak. So I’m being really careful about how far I go in the asanas (poses). Since taking the Grow Your Roots workshop, I find that I’m very particular about my alignment. I also find that my legs start to shake sooner and I need to come out of poses more often. I think that I’m using more muscles now that I might actually be doing the postures right. We chanted So Hum in this class – I am that. It’s one of my favourite chants and I sang it to Mr Man that night before he went to bed. This class was wonderful for a first day of 30.

Day 2
Option 1 – Vinyasa Flow (Jaya)
Option 2 – Yoga Flow Foundations (Angela)

I again went for option 2. Jaya is one of my absolute favourite instructors. You go into her class and feel like you’re a poem by the time you come out. Her words are magical and rhythmical and all over amazing. She’s a very strong practitioner and I run in her direction just to be in her line of energy. But this morning I had to leave early. I also indicated that one of my intentions of this challenge was to “Start Slow”. I know that when I get to, I will love to be in the Jaya Vinyasa, but this morning was not the right morning for it for me. So I went into foundations. I found this class to be a little slow for me (personally), but then, it was perfect for an introduction class. Angela’s voice is so melodic – I really think she should record meditations. Her guided meditations are among my favourite to listen to. The meditation went for 15 minutes and though it was amazing, I was selfishly sad that I didn’t get more asanas in given the short time I had.

I can’t find the quote I’m looking for, but Angela told us a quote from Rumi that went something like this:

If you life in the past, or in the future, you don’t live in the moment.

In 2 days I already remember how to go into a more zen mode. Because of illnesses, my pass expiring, and a general feeling of September being too insane for me to bear, I hadn’t gone to yoga in 2 weeks and I noticed a huge difference in my ability to cope. When I do yoga, I feel like the meditative state lasts with me through the day.

Today, I’ve been living in the moment. And it’s been amazing.

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