The word “practice” has a dual meaning. First, it is the repetitive and intentional act of doing something. What is done is determined by principles and a set of rules. The other meaning is a repeated undertaking to achieve the desired goal or perfect art or discipline.
Practice can also describe a field or a discipline of study. In this sense, a practice is a solemn undertaking that requires profound study and repeated and regular training.
Yoga practice uses both meanings of the word practice. On the one hand, there is the repetitive and intentional practice of a series of postures, along with breathing techniques and meditation. On the other hand, yoga practice is also a solemn undertaking that requires profound study and repeated and regular training.
Today, let’s explore how the different times of day can affect your practice. Here’s what you need to know:
TIME OF DAY
Different times of day affect our mood, energy and motivation, and how we think. Our senses are also more attuned to varying times of the day. These effects are created by the nervous system and the chemicals that communicate with the brain and body.
OUR NERVOUS SYSTEM THROUGHOUT THE DAY
Throughout the day, your circadian rhythms follow the sun. These rhythms are directly connected to your nervous system and your endocrine system. Circadian rhythms govern the many processes of the body. These processes include how our body feels, metabolises nutrients, and heals itself.
The morning is when most people are most productive, both at work and home. We feel clear-headed, with a good deal of energy. The morning also ushers in two healing periods called our “Physical and Emotional Intelligences.” The first healing process, known as “Physical Intelligence,” occurs between 3:00 to 6:00 AM. Our body is at its peak of healing, repair and maintenance. This is when our body heals itself from the damages of the day before. The second healing process, “Emotional Intelligence,” occurs between 6:00 to 9:00 AM. It, too, is a time when our body is at its peak of healing, repair and maintenance.
The energy levels present in the morning surge around 11:00 AM, and then they subside. We feel sluggish, with little desire to do anything. Some of us even experience mild depression. This is due to the fact that our body’s immune system is at its peak of activity for about 4 hours. This period of peak activity is between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Then, it begins to slow down, and we feel less active.
The late afternoon is the time of day when we tend to crave food. There are many reasons for this. First, our body’s metabolic hormones, responsible for regulating hunger, are at their highest levels between 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM. These hormones—insulin and glucagon—tell our bodies when to eat and when not to eat. Second, our body is preparing to transition from an active day to a restful period.
So it sends us signals to eat something so that it can begin to metabolise (burn fat and carbohydrates for energy). However, this can be an unhealthy time of day to eat. Our metabolism has slowed, and we may have overindulged food during lunch. This can lead to poor quality digestion in the evening.
The evening is a time when most of us feel like relaxing. It is when we crave a glass of wine, a snack or a movie. Our endocrine system creates a sense of relaxation and balance. These hormones (melatonin and cortisol) prepare our body for the coming night’s rest.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Understanding how different times of day affect you will help you with your yoga practice. Proper timing is essential to your ability to enjoy your practice. This is true whether you are practising at home or elsewhere. What’s important is to listen to your body and avoid forcing it into anything.
If you are looking for yoga classes in London, you’re in the right place. The Power Yoga Company is the leading Yoga studio in London. Offering over 90 classes a week. It’s your time to recharge, energise and transform. Allow us to help you tap into your fullest potential and unleash your energy. Contact us today to learn more. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on tips, offers, and more.