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Beginner Yoga: Morning And Evening Practice

Mar 29, 2008
Are you beginning a Yoga practice? If so, you are probably aware of the many physical and emotional benefits of yoga. Benefits to mood, energy level, decreased stress, increased metabolism and more restful sleep have all been associated with the practice of yoga. However, in today's busy and hectic world, you might still be looking for ways to fit yoga into your schedule.

It used to be that if you wanted to practice yoga you either had to go to a yoga studio or try to practice on your own. With the advent of online yoga, there is another way to do yoga that better fits busy lifestyles and can still offer us competent and personalized yoga instruction. Many beginners would like to practice yoga more often than a once-a-week yoga class; online yoga can help make yoga a way of life rather than a sporadic exercise routine. At home and even at the office, people are taking time out of their busy schedules to log onto their online yoga studio, take a deep breath, and practice a few minutes of yoga.

Morning and evening yoga have long been a luxury of experienced yogis who could create their own yoga routines at home. But we can all use a pick me up at the beginning of a busy day and a relaxing stretch at the end of it, although we rarely have time for a studio yoga class!

Time of day definitely affects your yoga practice. Body and mind are just so different at different points in the day. Doing appropriate exercise at different times of day can be effective in regulating body functions and can improve mental performance in the daytime and restful sleep at night. Also, the deep breathing techniques taught in a yoga practice, known as Pranayama, can calm and steady the mind as well as improve overall health.

In the morning, a vigorous practice to wake up your body and to focus your mind can be beneficial. The calmness and feeling of vitality that follows your yoga practice will leave you ready for even the most challenging day! Even a short sequence can really make a difference. More and more people are turning to online yoga since it allows them to practice yoga in the comfort of their own home. A moderately vigorous morning routine of around 25 minutes works best for me but of course, your level of yoga experience and your physical limitations will affect your choice of routine.

In the evening, winding down the day with a slower paced restorative class will slow down the autonomic nervous system and promote restful, deep sleep. Yoga can promote detoxification and healing, and slipping into sleep after a gentle yoga practice will enhance this health benefit. My favorite practice in the evening is a 20 minute restorative or gentle class for maximum relaxation and sleep enhancement.

Even if you do not have time for a long practice, between the two shorter sessions you will have practiced around an hour of yoga and you will receive all of the health benefits of yoga without ever leaving your home!
About the Author
Ashley Hecht is one of the founders of Guided Yoga (www.guidedyoga.com), an online yoga studio bringing personalized yoga classes to aspiring yogis of all skill levels, and dedicated to improving the quality of the online yoga experience. CONTACT: ashley@guidedyoga.com www.guidedyoga.com
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