I’m often asked about the ideal time to practise yoga or meditation. Of course, there are lots of lofty and wonderful ideals. First thing in the morning when your mind is quieter and your body creakier, or before supper when your mind may need a little unjumbling and your body may be more willing (or maybe even stiffer from a day at your desk).
Firstly, if you live in London (or any other busy place), if you have kids, if you have a job, if you look after people, if you have bills to pay, then be kind to yourself. Be grateful to yourself that you have your own practice. If you are making the time in your busy life to honour your inner world, to nurture some mental calmness and some physical ease, then be deeply grateful. The real treasure, and moments of clarity, are during that time of self-practice, of inner exploration, when it’s just you and your mat or meditation cushion.
So, less worry about getting it right and ticking it off, and more gratitude to yourself for finding time and making space.
There are a few general rules which you can bear in mind when working out your routine (and I do mean routine):
- Put your practice slot in your diary and highlight it. If life gets in the way then of course move it, but don’t delete it.
- Don’t practise when you are very hungry, or when you have just eaten, or when you’re very tired (unless you are doing a practice to help you sleep). You simply won’t enjoy it so much or be able to concentrate so well. Practising yoga with undigested food in your tummy can make you feel sick.
- Don’t rush your practice. Do less if you need to, but do it well. Maintain your focus and absorb yourself in the sensations. Your body is more mobile after it’s been moving around for a while, but your mind will be less settled. If you’ve been moving around a lot or working out, you may become stiffer. That’s OK too. Just observe and notice and work with what you have.
- Accept each day and each moment as a new experience and, most importantly, enjoy what you’re doing.
- Take time to notice how the practice makes you feel and how you can take that into your life, and if it is not working then change it.
- Notice if your mind wants to scold you if you miss a day or do not fulfil your target time. Make that observation part of your practice too.
- Practise kindness to yourself and bring that same kindness into the world. That’s the most important practice of all.
Please get in touch with Robin any time on +44 (0) 20 8452 8322 or at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your requirements and find out more about taster sessions, one-to-one lessons and group classes at your home, office or online.