Sometimes it just takes one small change to trigger a series of healthy transitions.

This is something Axis Yoga Teacher Training students have the chance to experience first-hand. The following student committed to adding a short Yoga practice to the morning routine and soon experienced the desire to make other healthy changes. This all resulted in better awareness of what the body needs and a commitment to continue making positive changes. Axis YTT students prove over and over again, every journey really does start with one small step!

I have a tendency to aim higher than I can jump, so for my Ayurvedic experiment I decided to keep it simple. My goal: To do just ten sun salutations, the eight Kriyas, and some meditation every morning. This turned into other things as well – drinking water with lemon every morning, as well as meditating before bedtime and avoiding screen time in the hours of the evening. The hope: that my energy throughout the day would be more focused and that I would be able to use some of that energy to keep my life more organized.
I have always loved mornings, so setting aside time for me first thing in the morning has been lovely. I rearranged my room so that I have a place – a very small place, but still – to do my yoga and meditation, and, as a result my room stays more organized. My energy throughout the day is much more stable – part of that may also be due to the fact that I don’t usually feel like I need to drink coffee after my morning practice, so my caffeine intake has dropped severely. This doesn’t mean that at first I didn’t want to just keep drinking coffee anyways – but that I noticed I didn’t want it as much, and then made an active decision to stop consuming it. The same goes for alcohol – not that I was much of a drinker anyways, but it has come to my attention that even drinking on the weekends once in a while (which so much of our culture finds totally acceptable) is detrimental to the rest of your week.

Something else I noticed about having my own personal practice was that I felt more of the ‘side-effects’ of yoga than I do when simply attending classes. Although I attend some of the same classes week after week, they are never at the same time every day, and they usually don’t start until around nine in the morning. Not to mention the task of getting ready to leave the house- getting up and having my asana space there and ready made ‘getting to yoga class’ incredibly easy! Once I got into the rhythm of practicing every morning that is.
I will admit that at first I had trouble with that rhythm! And tried to rationalize myself OUT of doing my practice – well, I’ll go to class at nine anyways, or, I’ll just do it tonight after the gym, that counts, right? But after I started noticing how much more aware I was during the day, and how stable my energy was afterwards I wanted to practice more. And more and more things begin to grow out of this one little change – I wanted to stay away from TV before bedtime, I wanted to be outside more during the day, I started walking to the grocery store (which is so close to me I can’t believe I wasn’t walking there before) just to be out in the sunshine in the morning. I have always tried to be aware of my hydration, but through this practice I begin to drink a big glass of room temperature water with lemon in the morning, and to stay away from icy cold water during the rest of the day.

The fact that this one little change could make me feel all that – and become so much more aware – makes me want to keep doing experiments and definitely makes me want to share the practice of Ayurved with others. It was such a small, simple change, and it only took about twenty to thirty minutes from my day. Due to the asana and meditation practice, I believe I have become more aware of what my body is telling me, and more accepting of what it has to say. An open ear and an open mind when listening to our bodies is key, and this practice has helped me attain more of that. I have every intention of continuing with this practice and I have a feeling that I will want to add to it as time goes on.