Times for Yoga
Although I’ve already revealed that I’m not the peppiest person in the morning, I also know that morning is the best time for a yoga practice.
Actually, there are two best times: at sunrise and at sunset. Many traditions and cultures encourage some sort of practice that pulls you away from either the sleep state or the mundane activities of the day so that we can notice these shifts of energy- in the light, the air, the animals and the elements.
Sunrise and sunset are highly charged times. We know something is changing, everything moving, descending and ascending, a fluidity, a portal into another way of experiencing the connection between light and life. I was taught that these are the two most appropriate times to do asanas. Having tried yoga classes at all hours of the day and night, I stand by my teacher’s wisdom.
Also while in India, I noticed how in many places at sunset, folks gathered along the water to watch the sun – on the beach at the tip of Kerala where the three oceans meet or in Pushkar where drummers played to the birds circling over the ghats.
And yes, I admit, despite my grumblings while at the ashram (it was actually a very gentle 4 am wake-up call as my hut was next to the tea hut where the cook chanted while preparing morning chai for everyone); there was something extraordinary about starting morning meditation in darkness and then opening your eyes to see streaks of morning light appearing.
I recently studied several beautiful passages from an Indic sacred text in praise of the goddesses of morning light- each fragment of time known by a different name.