- Practice in the morning is best, evening second best but not starting practice past 6:30 pm.
- Practice on an empty stomach.
- Don't practice during your period.
- Don't practice on moon days.
- Don't practice on Saturdays.
- Skip supper, go to bed early, to rise early and practice.
and the number 2 rule:
I have grown so attached to 'the rules' that I was half-assing my actual practice!
Inspirations led me to this understanding:
- Halley- a friend of mine who has committed to exercising daily, even if that means heading to the gym at 11 pm on a full stomach.
- Christina from prescribing yoga- she rolls out her mat in the on-call room at midnight.
- TM, my patient- a beginner yogi in her 50s, she goes to yoga class 2-5x/wk every week since the week before Thanksgiving 2012, it is making EVERYTHING so much better.
After hearing from them, I resolved to ignore the rules, starting TODAY! I remember back in graduate school I practiced 5-6 days a week at all hours of the day, period or not, and I didn't even know what a moon day was. I had been known to occasionally roll out my yoga mat in our office a little after lunch. That was a stressful time of my life and I got through it healthy and happy. Now that my practice is weak I am weaker and less happy.
Today, I slept through my early alarm yet again and didn't have time to practice, again. But today, instead of a hasty sun salutation in my pjs, I opted to skip out on morning practice. I left work early(!), only to get stuck in rush hour that I forgot existed and got home way past 6:30pm. What did I do? Changed into a yoga outfit and rolled out the mat. And do you know what, I felt better about myself and the whole world around me. I am going back to the days before I even knew about the 'rules' and just knew that practice makes everything in life better, so make it a priority to practice more!
I am sure that these rules work well for many people, they just don't work for me right now. Sure, I'll likely skip inverting during my period, wait a little before practicing after a big meal, and perhaps even rest on moon days...but the cardinal rule of yoga is to PRACTICE and that is the only rule that I need to adhere to.