Evening yoga practice vs. morning yoga practice

I’ve been doing pretty well, relatively speaking, in my effort to wake up earlier each morning to get in a fuller Ashtanga yoga practice — working through full primary most days, plus playing with pasasana. Last night I meditated for a few minutes before bed, and my head was comfortably on the pillow by 11 p.m., which is only half an hour later than my new bedtime goal (that’s better than usual). Tomorrow will be great! I thought.

Um. I never hit the snooze button this morning, but I didn’t wake up either. I ended up getting out of bed with only enough time to get ready for work. Oops.

It’s been months since I’ve done my home practice in the evening, and I had two main observations about my practice at dusk:

  • I had forgotten how delicious it feels to practice later in the day, when your body isn’t as cold and stiff.
  • On the mental front, I was using my practice reactively rather than proactively.

The first one is pretty straightforward. As for the second . . . work was draining today, and I realized I was using the practice to try to erase all the little irritants that had accumulated in my body — drip, drip, drip straight into my upper back — and in my mind. This is how I practiced for years: shedding my day on the mat. It’s a beautiful use of a yoga asana practice, and how wonderful that we have that option.

The proactive versus the reactive was interesting to reflect on. If my koshas were like hardwood floors, practicing in the morning feels like adding a nice, smooth protective coat. (I’m standing at our kitchen island while I type this, noticing how beautiful the shiny hardwood floors look.) In the evening, it would be more akin to scrubbing away that day’s dirt and grime on a surface that’s only lightly treated.

I better stop here and start getting ready for bed. Tomorrow’s another long day, and I need any added treatment I can get.

Treated hardwood floors

© YogaRose.net and Rose Tantraphol, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to YogaRose.net with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Print Friendly

6 thoughts on “Evening yoga practice vs. morning yoga practice

  1. I love that imagery. What if we were able to practice both before the day’s rush, and after? I wonder what that would feel like…experiments may need to occur. (in our free time)

  2. Pingback: Reactive vs Proactive « and sometimes I’m like, “That’s not so raven"

  3. that’s a great distinction—proactive & reactive. I love evening practice, but it’s hard to fit into my schedule. I also think proactive (morning) practice gives me more, ultimately, in terms of energy, equilibrium, equanimity… but the reactive (evening) practice feels like kicking off too tight shoes. Delicious, as you said.

    p.s. so glad you found your pretty ring!

    • And I love the analogy of kicking off too-tight shoes. 😉 Amen!

      Thanks about the ring. I guess I wasn’t as detached as I thought I was, because I am way too excited to have it back.

Leave a Reply