It really doesn’t matter what time of day you practice your yoga. If you talk to anyone that has gone through yoga teacher training there are different benefits to practicing certain poses at different times. Whether you use yoga to wake up and begin your day or throw in a yoga practice at the end of your day to find a calm end to a stressful routine, it is all a health benefit.
Yoga Practice in the Morning
Practicing yoga in the morning can help reduce your stress which will also improve your focus for other things that you need to do such as work or school. Having your yoga routine begin in the morning can improve a students’ academic performance. If you add one hour of yoga into your morning that includes meditation and prayer, you can significantly reduce stress and improve your confidence which leads to a better day.
There are some yoga teaching methods and poses that will help build energy for your body. Practicing any back bending poses will help invigorate your body. Warrior 1 Pose is a standing back bending pose which adds the benefit of grounding your body to the earth providing a sense of strength.
To begin Warrior 1, place your right foot about three feet in front of your left. The toes on your right foot face forward and your toes on your left foot should be facing toward the left. Bend your right knee into a comfortable angle and raise both arms over your head as you slowly arch your back to look up. Hold this pose for five breaths and then repeat with your other leg forward.
Heat Generating Poses
On those cold mornings when you have to crawl out of bed you can wake up and warm your body with Sun Salutation. You can begin by transitioning from Downward facing Dog to Upward facing Dog and back again to help warm your body. This type of yoga teaching sequence will improve range of motion in your hips, ankles, shoulders and wrists.
To begin this pose you should be on your hands and knees with your legs straightened as you press your hips toward the ceiling and your heels toward the floor as you move into Downward Dog. Keep your neck relaxed as the top of your head faces the floor. Slowly move into Upward facing dog by rounding your upper back slightly and rolling forward over your toes while you arch your back at the same time pressing your shoulders down. Lower your hips toward the floor and lift your chest up toward the ceiling. Transition slowly back into Downward Dog by pressing your hips toward the ceiling.
Yoga teacher training will advise that these poses and transitions should be done in controlled and fluid movements.
If you wake up after a restless night of sleep from a mind that will not stop, practice balancing poses to help center your thoughts and reduce your stress. Tree pose is good and requires you to bring your focus by grounding yourself to the earth and concentrating on your breathing. Begin this pose by standing on your right leg and place the inside of your left foot onto your leg as high as comfortable. Find your balance and then extend your arms overhead. The arm extension will help stretch your chest. Hold this pose while you inhale and exhale at least five times and then repeat with other leg.
You should always finish your yoga practice with relaxation or Corpse Pose. This is a restorative pose that will help calm your mind and lower your blood pressure. This pose can be challenging even without much effort because it requires that you are in a total sense of relaxation and stillness without falling asleep. You have to stay in control of the pose.
To begin this pose, lie on your back with your arms at your sides. Have your palms facing up and your legs extended with your feet naturally falling to the sides. Let the floor support your body as you relax and bring your focus to your mind and your breathing. Rest in this pose for up to ten minutes.
Yoga teacher training will provide tips on what poses are better to do in the morning to get a jump start on your day. There is never a bad time to bring a yoga practice into your day.