While I certainly consider myself a morning person – and indeed often wake far earlier than necessary in order to read before work, when my alarm went off at 5am on Friday morning after a late night and copious glasses of prosecco, I almost succumbed to the temptation of hitting snooze and falling back into a dreamless sleep. Thankfully, however, I forced myself to get out of bed and make a cup of hot, sweet tea before strolling down to Bondi Beach in the early morning light for a sunrise yoga practice organized by mental health charity One Wave.
My friend Ali had told me about the event, and as an avid supporter of any organization raising awareness for mental health, I was really keen to attend. Before the yoga practice began, someone from One Wave gave a short introduction to the charity before introducing Toni, a British girl who had been living in Sydney for two years, and had been suffering with depression for over half her life. The talk was both sobering and inspiring, and she spoke of the huge importance of small gestures, urging people to not ignore those suffering around them.
We then began the practice against one of the most beautiful backgrounds I could imagine; doing sun salutations with the waves crashing against the shore and the sand beneath my feet made the early start worth it a million times over. Before I left to head to work, it dawned on me that it had been exactly four weeks since I landed in Sydney, and as I looked at my fellow yogis downward-dogging on their mats; at the surfers running into the sea; at the morning sunshine casting its rays across my favorite beach, I realised I had never felt more at home.