Every summer for many years, alleyCat Yoga practitioners have embarked upon an early morning ritual of practice at sunrise (6:00 – 7:15 a.m.) for 21 days straight. And this year anyone from around the world can take the class LIVE ONLINE over Zoom. Why on earth would someone do that, you might ask? Answer: Because it could change your entire life. 

No joke. After 21 days of getting up and practicing yoga before you start your day, I’m convinced that you will experience one or all of the following benefits: You will feel like a new person. You will have more energy. You will be more confident. You will have better health. You will have more clarity and insight into how you live your life. You will be more loving toward yourself and others. You will be stronger and more flexible in your mind and body. You will love the morning.

This year the 21 Day Sunrise Yoga Adventure will be structured around the first and second steps of the yogic eight-fold path—the Yamas and the Niyamas. These are the ten ethical practices from the yoga sutra that help you live your life with more grace and kindness on and off the mat.

The Yamas are considered “restraints” and include the following: 

Ahimsa (non-harming)
Satya (truthfulness)
Asteya (non-stealing)
Aparigraha (non-possessiveness)
Brahmacharya (maintenance of vitality)

The Niyamas are considered to be “self-disciplines” and include the following:

Tapas (purification through discipline),
Santosha (contentment)
Saucha (purity)
Svadhyaya (self-study)
Ishvara Pranidhana (devotion to a higher power)

Although the yoga sutras were written thousands of years ago, the message within them is as relevant now as it was then and provides a complete journey to health, well-being, happiness, and meaning. They can be used to reflect on our lives and deepen our self-awareness both on the yoga mat and beyond. 

Starting Monday, July 6, we will join together ONLINE over Zoom each morning and focus for two days with each practice. Each yama and niyama will have a corresponding asana (posture), mudra (hand gesture), and mantra that will help you focus on the energy and intent of the teaching. This instruction will be woven into a complete asana (posture) practice that will prepare you for the day. By the end, you will have a more complete and energetic understanding of the path of yoga as more than just a physical practice. You will have abundant joy! 

I’m writing this now, because I want you to be able to prepare for the challenge. If you aren’t used to getting up so early, you can begin to get up 15 minutes earlier each week, as needed, until July. This might entail getting to bed a little earlier, not being on your computer or TV screen until the moment you go to bed, and not imbibing in certain beverages which interrupt your sleep. Let other people in the house know what you’re planning on doing. It would also be helpful to get in a little more regular yoga practice. If you already do it every day, great! If not, think about weaving in a few postures first thing in the morning to start getting in the habit.  

This will be my first time teaching the 21 Day Sunrise Yoga Adventure, and I am very excited about the opportunity to share this time together. The power of the practice will certainly be enhanced by the integration of the yamas and the niyamas and give us all an opportunity to talk the talk and walk the walk as loving yogis in the world. See you on the mat! 

Sign up for the 21 Day Sunrise Yoga Adventure here https://alleycatyoga.com/2020/21-day-sunrise-yoga-adventure/. If you have questions, concerns, or need a little convincing, please contact me at MindfulRossy@gmail.com

Reposted from Tasting Mindfulness