Morning Yoga by the Lake by Carlo Kuhlenschmidt

“I miss waking up at 4:45AM!!”

You read that correctly: 4:45AM and I miss it!! Here’s why I say this following my first Morning Yoga by the Lake (MYBL) event with Yasmin Yoga.
A little background: I’m a bit of a slow mover in the morning – my ritual of waking at 7AM, stretching, making fresh juice, eating breakfast, and showering is all done very leisurely. Thus, I was more than a little concerned about getting to Pointe-Claire Village to do yoga at 6AM! Also, I prefer to use my bike in the summer and that meant a 30 minute bike ride before the practice! Given all my morning routine challenges, I only commit to attend the Monday practice. Surely one day would be enough? I was clueless to the change of heart I’d have in the following days!
It’s Monday morning, and the first 4:45AM alarm abruptly halts my slumber. I barely realize why it is sounding off as I reach over to silence it. I snooze for 15 more minutes. Luckily, I prepared nearly everything I need the night before! I drag myself to the kitchen and power-up with my favourite nutritious smoothie. I hit the road with yoga gear strapped to my back, and my initial concerns are starting to fade. It’s now 5:30AM, and the indigo night sky is giving way to shades of pink, orange, and red, all to the soundtrack of chirping birds. The bike ride is very peaceful with so few cars yet on the road, and I’m spurred on by the beauty of cycling alongside the St. Lawrence. I arrive at the pier at 6 o’clock, and the sun is just starting to spill over the horizon onto the calm waters. I am greeted by welcoming smiles of Yasmin and the other early birds. After brief introductions, I’m comforted to learn that several others are MYBL newbies who also struggled to wake up so early!

Practice begins with silent meditation, our bodies turned to greet the new sunlight. I choose to keep my eyes slightly open to take in the gorgeous view and energy. Shortly after, we begin a “write and burn” exercise; a brief private memo about our thoughts, feelings, and intentions. This reflective exercise gives me a greater meaning and inspiration to the yoga practice that follows. Over the next 90 minutes, Yasmin guides us through a gentle, yet challenging, Ashtanga flow class. The serene and peaceful waters, paired with the powerful morning sun make for the perfect setting!

I rise from savasana and seal my practice with a bow to the sun. Before me now is a generous picnic breakfast with every option covered: Sweet, savoury, warm, cold, tea, coffee, fresh fruit, nuts…it’s all there! Very satisfied, I finish eating, pack up my things, and tell Yasmin, “I’ll see you again tomorrow!” She approvingly nods, with an expression on her face thatseems to say “I knew you’d want to come back”!

So one morning became two, and by Wednesday I had committed to complete the entire week. I was hooked onto the whole MYBL experience. By the end of the fifth day, I fully understood why this event is so special. I went to sleep each night with eager anticipation to see the how the sky and water would be painted at sunrise. It was easier to wake up every successive morning; occasionally I woke up before my quarter-to-five alarm! Every morning contributed to a sense of joy: The daily write and burn exercises were therapeutic; I experienced breakthroughs in my yoga practice; and I couldn’t wait to see what delicious delicious new treats awaited at breakfast! I felt amazing each day, with steady energy, mental clarity and focus. Like the night changing to day, or Summer shifting to Autumn, the MYBL practice helped me feel a nice transformation.
If the next MYBL started tomorrow, it wouldn’t be too soon…I miss waking up at 4:45AM!

Peace and Love,