There is something particularly spectacular about sunrise. I have always felt as though watching a sunrise is like being presented with a gift. A brand new day with endless possibilities. Even during my teenage years, where the idea of getting up any earlier than absolutely necessary was not exactly appealing, I would truly enjoy watching the sun wake up as I struggled to do the same thing, when I was dragged out of bed to leave early on family trips. No matter how distracted I may be, I get this amazing sense of peace and thankfulness as the sunlight peaks over the horizon. Now, even being a naturally early riser, the biggest motivator for me to get up early and exercise is getting to watch the sunrise.
I am not a runner. Although I do force myself to run at times when I go through periods where I have the insane notion that I need to improve my cardio-vascular fitness level, it is not something that I find particularly enjoyable. Sure, I love the endorphin rush after a run and the sense of satisfaction of being able to run that little bit further afterwards. But unfortunately the head game that goes on from the time I start running until the moment that my head finally wins out and I stop (which is usually long before my body does) is enough to stop me from attempting again until I forget about what went on last time. It’s not that I don’t love exercise – I do. But I have always preferred swimming, strengthening exercises, long walks and yoga where I can a) breath and b) not spend the entire time bribing myself to just make it to the next tree. Like a sunrise walk, I always feel after a yoga class that I have given myself a gift.
Considering how much I love the practice, it was frustrating that I had never got my act together to find a regular class until recently. A few weeks ago, Sol Natural Food in Fortitude Valley started a yoga class run by Harriet from Harriet by Hand. Harriet is an incredibly passionate food and yoga lover who I met a few years ago while she was completing her art history degree with one of my school friends. Check out her blog for amazing vegetarian and gluten free recipe inspirations.
As if I didn’t already love Sol enough (they make amazing bread, divine breakfasts and beautiful natural pizzas – what more could you want?), the amazing yoga class is held there every Tuesday morning at 6am and is only $15 including coconut water, or $20 including coconut water AND a nourishing, gorgeous take away breakfast. Although it slightly changes weekly, it usually has beautiful fresh fruit, coconut yoghurt and the most delicious paleo granola (variations have had chia puddings, sticky black rice and bircher muesli). It is definitely even worth the 4.30am wake up. After going to class, my weekly ritual has been to take my food down to the Storey Bridge and sit by the river to eat, watch Brisbane wake up, and receive strange looks from passers by as I take photos of my breakfast from various angles. And in my state of yoga-induced blissed-out state, I couldn’t even care.