GUEST BLOG BY LAUREN ZINN BUCK – YOGA COACH FOR RESET RETREAT
People often ask me when the best time of day to practice yoga or meditation is.
This is a tricky question with a very straightforward answer.
The question is tricky because the mind has a tendency to use the answer to talk itself out of practicing yoga.
As in: “Oh, I’ve just eaten, so I should put off yoga until later.”
Or: “My inbox is raging, so I’ll do some yoga after I respond to some emails.”
And: “It’s too close to bedtime. I’ll wake up early and practice tomorrow.”
Sound familiar? These were taken straight from my own brain. So I get it. Just because I am a yoga teacher does not mean I am immune to these thoughts, though I don’t typically act on them anymore.
It’s true that yoga is best practiced on an empty stomach — before you’ve eaten.
And the mind is most open to receiving the benefits of practice first thing upon waking — ideally before 6am.
But if you’re not already in the habit of daily practice, and you struggle with a 5:30am wake-up, take my teacher’s advice. I love his super straightforward answer to this question. He says:
“The best time to practice is in the morning right after waking up. The second best time to practice is any other time that you will do it.”
Screw first thing in the morning. Screw being on a full stomach. Don’t use these things as an excuse not to practice.
See if you can switch your attitude toward yoga.
Shift from framing it as something you should do to something you get to do.
Just like you might sneak a scoop of ice cream from the freezer to give you a quick sense of pleasure, practice stealing a few minutes from your busy schedule to experience the joy of being and moving in your body.
Practicing yoga is a privilege. Let go of what you think practice should look like — like a whole hour of sweaty movement — so you can dip in for small nuggets of practice that build up to a habit. To a lifestyle.
And before you know it, you just might be setting the alarm for 5:30 to get up and practice first thing because you want to. Not because you feel you should.
Or not. There are 1,440 other minutes in the day. Anywhere in there is just fine for a yoga practice. Start small. Start anywhere.
Join Reset Retreat and Lauren for a break in Belize from February 19 to 24. Book using code ‘LOVEYOGA’ for a private yoga session with Lauren and a bonus spa treatment!
Lauren Zinn Buck teaches yoga + meditation in Austin, Texas. Also a professional improviser and improv teacher, she is the creator of YogaPlay, a popular workshop and yoga teacher training that combines basic improv games with powerful yoga techniques to elevate presence + creativity. She creates free yoga videos and audio practices to help you start or deepen your practice — sign up at yogathroughlauren.com.