It’s a half hour before sunrise as I grab my cup of tea and head out the door. The sky is cloudless blue as light ascends on San Diego. The near full moon lights my way as the car snakes down Torrey Pines Rd, around Hidden Valley and up Capri. My destination, Mt. Soledad National Park. I can see the large cross in the distance, the center of the war memorial.
As I reach the top, I am alone. Silence surrounds me, except for the background hum of early morning traffic along Interstate 5 and a couple of crows whom call this park home. I grab my yoga mat and climb the stairs then take in the beauty around me. The light blue and orchid sky surrounding the moon, the yellow and orange sky to the east, the calm ocean, the flickering city lights, the shadow of Mission Bay, the Coronado Bridge and the Coronado Islands.
I set up my mat facing south so that I can drink in the moon as I twist right and the growing dawn as I twist left. My yoga asana practice is short, a series of three gentle vinyasa flows and warrior pose. I keep my eyes open and notice a constant stream of jets rising from the airport. I breathe in the clean, warm air during pranayama practice (breathing exercises): ten rounds of nadishodana (alternate nostril breathing) and 108 kalabati breaths (bellows breath). I meditate on the phase: one breath, one body, one moment, one heart; then add ten rounds of mantra on my mala beads with one-pointed concentration on the eastern horizon as I await the sun.
The bright light winks at me, then rises majestically over the mountains.
The lights of the city dim. Cars arrive in the park. It’s time for me to go. I say good-bye to the moon and thank God for this opportunity to see, feel, touch, and drink in this magnificent planet.