What is the purpose of finding your yoga rhythm?
My personal belief is that finding your own rhythm is the most important thing in your yoga career and life. You will be happier and more balanced if you can identify the best time to practice yoga – on both a physical as well as an emotional level.
This can be a complex and difficult thing to do. In our quest to perfect practice and achieve certain poses, we forget to ask “How does this really make me feel?”
You are invited to explore your natural yoga practice rhythm. Which type of yoga is most appropriate for you at different times? What time is best for you, your body clock, and your schedule?
These questions will help you create a sustainable practice. It will also allow you to take a step back from what your brain thinks you should do and focus on what is best for you and your body. This is how you make your practice work for both you and the mat.
How I discovered my yoga rhythm
Through trial and error, I created my own yoga rhythm. One day in my life, I was so caught up in a vigorous morning practice that I didn’t stop to question: How does this make me feel. It took me an injury to learn to listen to what my body was trying to tell us.
I changed my morning practice to be more grounded and slower. This is the kind of practice that I used to do in the evenings to wind down. I noticed a difference in my energy, irritability, and tiredness when I started to go into the day.
After doing some research and trying out different practices, I realized that the way I was ‘built’ meant slow, mindful practices that are more beneficial for my physical and mental health. However, just because something is right for me doesn’t mean it will work for you. I don’t doubt the benefits of a good yoga practice. It was right for me at a particular stage in my life. I still practice a strong yoga practice occasionally, but I take it slow and keep the tough parts short. Then I balance out by taking time to get back to my roots.
It’s all about trying new things and finding what works best for you. You are invited to “switch it off”. You might be used to a particular way of practicing yoga for some time. Take a note of the things you do, the times you do them, and, in particular, how you feel afterwards. It is also useful to keep track of how you feel afterward.
Keep in mind that just as your taste buds may enjoy something different from what you eat, so might your body.
How can you determine what is right for you?
Yoga can help you fine-tune and improve your awareness. It’s like training a muscle. It’s a good idea to take a few minutes before you start your yoga practice to observe how you feel. It will take a while for it to reveal itself. It might take your body a while to get used to your feelings. For example, if you feel tired, you can start by being present with where you are now and learn to accept your tiredness rather than trying to fight it.
It doesn’t matter if we were taught to do our energizing yoga first thing in the morning, or that Yin Yoga should be done at the end the day. You can still question whether these practices work for us. You might find that something calm and relaxing is better for you if you have a hectic day ahead. You may find that you just need to get on the mat after a difficult day. It is helpful to ask yourself the following questions: “Why do I do this?” “What does my practice bring me?” Don’t take anything for granted. Find what works for your needs and find your truth.
What happens if your schedule is rigid?
It’s fine for me to encourage you to try different times during the day, but this may not be possible for you if you are short on time or have many commitments. It is a good choice to accept the fact that you cannot control the situation in which you are practicing, even if it is 5am. Asking the question, “What do I need from my practice today?” will help you choose the best practice for you and make sure you are using the time that you have.