Choosing a class is tough, and then finding an awesome class at a time slot that works for you is almost a small miracle. I’m the first one guilty: I tend to choose my classes depending on my schedule. Mostly this means that I do yoga between 6 and 8pm – or sometimes in the afternoon, over the weekend. Or in the morning, if the studio is close to work.
Now, what’s wrong with that?
Well, a few things.
There are certain times of the day where you shouldn’t do yoga, or at least not certain types of yoga. Why? Ayurveda divides the day into different ‘time parcels’, chunks of time which are good for certain things – but not for others.
This is your day, in Ayurveda:
2 am – 6 am is Vata time
6 am – 10 am Kapha
10 am – 2 pm Pitta
Then the Vata period starts again, lasting from 2 pm to 6 pm – and so on…
So what’s good for what?
Vata time slots are excellent for furthering your spiritual practice. Meditation will come more easily than at other times (Kapha periods will promote sluggishness and you may simply nod off! – And Pitta, the fiery time of the day, will make you twiddle your thumbs and mentally rehearse the grocery list while you sit on your meditation pillow as if it was a hot plate…).
Similarly, Kapha time windows are just perfect for moving your body (finally, here’s the reason/justification/motivation you were looking for when considering that early, early morning practice!).
Pitta is great for digesting food (lunch time!) as your engine – your body – is already running at full speed. There’s no need to accelerate and hit the gas pedal just now, so those popular lunch time classes may not be that suitable for many people.
To add another layer of complexity, it also depends on what type of yoga you go for. Yin yoga and its long, deep stretches and long-held postures may not raise your heartbeat as much as a sweaty power yoga class. As always, the combination of time window during the day and type of yoga is key!
Maybe next time you feel that a class just simply didn’t gel with you or it just didn’t click the reason lies totally elsewhere?
Enjoy your practice 🙂