My best friend and I found ourselves here one morning at sunrise. By “found” I mean I dragged her ass out of bed before even the sun decided to get up, to stand in the cold on the top of a mountain in the dark. But I can’t say I’ve ever regret watching the sun come up so at 5:30 in the morning with the streets still empty and the sky still dark, we drove up windy roads to Washington Rock State Park.
The parking lot is closed all night so we drove into the neighborhood across from the flagpole and parked. We could see the small landscape spot lights illuminating the deer on the grass as we walked across the street and towards the balcony.
Right past the flagpole is a two level balcony of stone where I chose to practice. There is a good amount of flat grass to practice in front of the memorial flagpole but I am more about location over convention (as I’m sure you could guess, being that’s the basis of this blog!). It’s easy to switch up a yoga practice but I find the most interest in switching up what’s around me, what’s under me. Sometimes it’s stone, grass, water; it may be 6am when the sun hasn’t even come up or noon when it’s warmest. I might be on the edge of a mountain, in a greenhouse, on the beach, in a studio. My biggest practice is releasing expectation, letting go of the idea that I need to be in a quiet space with dry, even ground and a comfortable temperature. I have such a good foundation from that type of focused environment but more and more I crave the fresh air and the sunlight. Everything I see feels like an opportunity, there’s never any disconnection between being on the mat and off the mat.
So I started to stretch, to feel the fresh air pass through the spaces in between my fingers as they reached up to the sky that started to glow as the sun rose.
High enough to see the New York City skyline, we watched the orange and pink flames crawling over the buildings before exploding through the horizon line.
There’s something about getting up with the sun, feeling the warmth touch my face the same moment it touches the ground for the first time that day.