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When is the Right Time to Reap the Benefits of Yoga?

by Justine Crowley (follow)
Independent Business Consultant, Doctor, HubGarden Editor and Author/Publisher of four self help books: www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JustineCrowley
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yoga, when to practice yoga
The wheel pose outside


Is there a particular time of day where you're more flexible? Is yoga great to partake in while pregnant, and if so, which poses should be practised? Is there a time in a woman's pregnancy where yoga should cease? Also, is it a great idea to partake in yoga at 'that time of the month?' Should we contain our minds to a certain level to stop them from wondering, so that we get the most out of our 'yoga' practice? Or is some constant chatter ok?

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I am the youngest member of my yoga class. Everyone else apart from the teacher are at least in their forties. Most of them go to gain back some of the flexibility they used to have. As they only started recently, however, there are some poses that they will never realistically achieve. For this reason, it is good to start yoga when you're young, so that suppleness continues into later life.

My yoga teacher recommends the best time to do yoga is in the morning, particularly the breathing exercises that get you ready for the day. The sun and moon salute poses are meant to be done with the rising and setting of the sun, but on a practical level, yoga can be done at any time that is convenient for you.

While we are doing the poses in class, we are quiet and concentrating, but as we move between each exercise, we always find time to chat.
You're generally less flexible in the mornings, however in saying this, the mornings are the best time of day to exercise, and especially with yoga. You feel lighter, more flexible and uplifted. It's a great start to any working day without the need for coffee.

If you're pregnant, seek advice from a qualified yoga instructor on the right yoga poses during different stages of your pregnancy. Generally, the last couple of months is not ideal to practise yoga.

At 'that time of the month' you're not as flexible. Don't be surprised if you're trying to engage in the wheel pose, yet you only stick to a bridge pose. Our bodies are different at every session. I'd avoid power yoga during your menstrual cycle.

Our minds are busy, and if you're engaged in mentally stimulating work (amen to that), your mind will find it difficult to switch off. When you focus on your breathing and intense presence in each and every yoga pose, your mind starts to gain some quiet. Love the shivasana at the end.
An aunty of mine who has practised yoga for several years always say that the best time to do yoga is in the early morning when the mind is fresh and the body is relaxed. Further, various yoga books opine that early morning at the dawn is the best time to do yoga. This belief often stems from Hinduism where sunrise and early morning are held to be the most important and tranquil time of the day, perfect for meditation and yoga.
Yoga can be enjoyed by all and can be done at anytime. However, in some cases yoga may not be the answer. Always check with your physician if you have back problems to see if yoga would help.
I did yoga for over 40 years, but had to give up full classes when it began to tell on my knees. However, I don't regret the time spent on the poses from my early years and find I am one of the most flexible at my all women's gym. I also have been measured in a longitudianl study of women's health and well being as having the balance of a very much younger person. I still do the Salute to the Sun at the end of my gym circuits as I have warmed up sufficiently to avoid injury. The meditation and relaxation aspects stand me in good stead at any time of the day or night.
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