Tips for early yoga (6 A.M.) & late evening yoga (10 P.M.)

by

Old Fashioned Red Alarm Clock

Thinking of trying one of Bikram Yoga Vancouver’s most extreme class times? Take the following tips into account to ensure your practice is a sweaty success – no matter where on the time spectrum it happens to land!

Early Bird (Early Morning Yoga)

Class options:

  •  6 a.m. @ Cambie
  •  6 a.m. @ Kits
  •  6:30 a.m. @ West End

Early Bird - Rooster Crowing on White Background

Benefits of early yoga

  • Less chance of missing class because of other commitments that may run late
  •  Traffic on the way to the studio may be lighter; parking may be easier
  • Early classes are generally less busy than others throughout the rest of the day
  • A great way to start your day, with a burst of energy from Bikram Yoga

Special considerations for early yoga

  • You may feel sleepy (this will quickly pass once you start practising)
  • Your flexibility may be limited (your muscles haven’t had a chance to warm up)
  • You may not be properly hydrated (unless you take action to ensure you are)

Tips for practicing yoga first thing in the morning

  • Pack your gear the night before (and put it in the car) to avoid a mad rush
  • Avoid eating a late heavy meal the night before
  • Drink water the night before to avoid dehydration
  • Wake up at least an hour before class and drink several glasses of water
  • Try not to eat breakfast; Bikram Yoga is easier to do on an empty stomach
  • If you’re absolutely ravenous, eat a piece of fruit and save breakfast till after
  • No coffee before class; caffeine may dehydrate you further
  • Bring extra water to class, in case you haven’t had enough fluid prior to class
  • Do some light stretching in the hot room before class to warm up your muscles
  • Use your uncluttered morning mind to focus on the dialogue and postures
  •  If you feel tight/stiff, listen to your body; don’t push past your physical limits
  • Use any “morning stiffness” (which may prevent depth) as a chance to work on alignment, grip and weight distribution over the feet
  • Less flexibility in the morning also means you’ll be using more strength to perform the postures – a definite plus
  • This is the perfect time to pause, be still and reflect on your goals for the day

 

Night Owl (Late Night Yoga)

Class options

  • 9 p.m. @ West End
  • 9:30 p.m. @ Kits
  • 10 p.m. @ Cambie

Night Owl - Brown Owl with Orange Eyes on White Background

Benefits of late night yoga

  • Ample opportunity to hydrate before class (you have all day to drink water!)
  • Your body tends to be looser/more flexible after a full day of use/movement
  • Perfect for busy moms and dads who can’t practice before the kids go to bed
  • Late-night classes tend to be less busy than afternoon/evening sessions
  • Unwind/de-stress at the end of the day with 90 minutes of moving meditation
  • Rather than reach for sleeping pills, Bikram Yoga may help with insomnia

Special considerations for late night yoga

  • Your “monkey mind” may be working overtime after a full day of activity
  • You may be tired after a long day/have to push yourself to come to class
  • It can be challenging not to eat dinner right before class

Tips for practicing yoga late at night

  • Be committed to attending class; treat it like any other scheduled appointment
  • Don’t eat for at least two hours before class
  • If you’re absolutely starving, try a light, late afternoon/early evening snack
  • Use late-night classes, when your muscles are warmer, to really find your physical edge in terms of depth
  • Do your best to still your mind for 90 minutes, no matter the events of the day
  • Leave all your stress in the hot room

What’s your best tip for morning/night classes? Let us know; leave a comment below!

 

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  141. melissa says:

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      I am hypoclycemic and was afraid of taking early morning classes. Turns out though that I am doing well with them without eating before my 6am class. I took my glucose pills to class the first couple of weeks, but I no longer feel the need. Changing my work schedule to accommodate early morning classes has been a huge positive change for me.

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  142. Lillis says:

    I have learned that according to Ayurveda one should go to bed before 10 pm. Maybe this is not as important when doing Bikram Yoga on a regular basis?

    The liver detox between 10 pm and 2 am, that is one reason to be asleep that time. But maybe the Bikram Yoga postures also detox? Is it detox also by doing Bikram Yoga at home with a space heater only (not as hot as a studio).

    • Trevor says:

      Hello! Great to hear you talk about Ayurveda. I spent a long time studying it and it’s great to have someone bring this up.

      The reason that Ayurveda says that going to bed between 6:00 and 10:00 is because this is Kapha time – the time for relaxation and a bit of wonderful laziness and slowness. This also helps us to avoid the more physical Pitta time that comes between 10 and 2 and the more cerebral Vata time of 2 to 6. Although for most of us, Ayurveda states that going to bed during this Kapha time is best, it also can depend on the dosha that a person predominantly is, for when they go to bed.

      Unfortunately in today’s world we live outside of the natural body cycles that Ayurveda speaks of and for many of us, it’s impossible to be in bed by 7-8:00 like many monks! At least doing yoga late at night, you are capturing the energy and fire from practicing hot yoga during Pitta time between 10pm and 2am!

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