Namaste. Quite often physical fatigue and tiredness prevent me from doing meditation at scheduled hours. This happens especially in the early morning when I am just unable to wake up inspite of setting the alarm. I feel that spiritual practices are not for weaklings like me. Please suggests ways to overcome this.
—LISA SEN, INDIA
Namaste. Please never think that spiritual practices are not for you. They are for everyone. All of us have weaknesses, each his own. Everyone, in other words, is a weakling somewhere. Bit by bit we can overcome it. It is a completely normal process. Yogananda teaches us: “Never count your faults. Just see that your love for God is deeply sincere. For God doesn’t mind your imperfections: He minds your indifference.”
Try to see what strong sides you have, and build on them. Maybe you are a calm person, or have devotion, or purity of heart. If so, any one of these is an immensely important quality on the meditative path.
How to overcome your particular weakness, the difficulty of waking up, feeling tired in the morning? I’ll give some suggestions for body, mind, and soul, as the solution can lie on any of those levels.
Concerning the BODY:
A first suggestion is to eat very little in the evening. Have breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a normal citizen, and dinner like a pauper. Your sleep will be much better and you will wake up more refreshed.
Another physical practice to try would be some soft yoga before going to bed. It refreshes the body and you might feel less fatigue in the morning. Yoga deeply relaxes the body. Many people, Yogananda explains, are not able to relax, even at night. During sleep, he says, their body is like a car parked in front of the house, but still running, all night long. It never gets a proper rest. Of course, in that case, we are not well rested in the morning. So you may try just a few simple postures, for example, Janushirasana, followed by Bhujangasana, then resting in Balasana. Add a twist, for example, Jathara Parivartanasana, and finish with an inversion, which can be Sasamgasana (an inversion because the head is lower than the heart).
Here is another possible solution, by Swami Kriyananda: “The next time you feel fatigue, do some deep breathing.” In the morning, try if it works for you: as you wake up, immediately take some deep long breaths, consciously inhaling prana, vitality, life.
There are also things you may try with the MIND, with the psychological level:
Sometimes we have a hard time waking up in the morning because we don’t really say YES to life, to the new day. Try as you wake up to immediately say, “YES”. Try to fill your mind with the sense of wonder that a child feels who sees this world with a fresh outlook. Such a “YES!” to life gives a lot of energy.
Again on the mental level: Swami Kriyananda also teaches to carefully avoid thoughts of tiredness before falling asleep: they enter into our subconscious mind and will influence our sleep, and even the way we wake up. So never think at night, “I am exhausted,” but “I am well, my body just needs some rest. Tomorrow I will wake up full of energy.”
Finally, here is a solution on the SOUL level:
Yogananda tells us to make God responsible for our weakness: “Give to God not only the good that you do, but also the bad. I do not mean that you should deliberately do things that are wrong. But when you cannot help yourself, because of habits that are too strong, tell your mind that God is performing those actions through you. It is He, after all, who has dreamed your existence. You have merely hypnotized yourself with the thought of your weaknesses. If you make the Lord responsible for them, it will help you to break the false hold they have on your imagination. You’ll find it easier, then, to recognize in yourself the perfect image of God.” (From The Essence of Self-Realization.)
All the best to you. Isn’t it wonderful to think that our true Self is made “in the perfect image of God,” no matter what weakness we may have to deal with outwardly?