In modern culture, choosing a style of yoga is akin to strolling through the ice cream section at the local co-op natural foods grocer. The choices are many and everything looks good. But why are there so many styles of asana these days? And does it truly matter which one you do? Read More »»
Posts Tagged ‘Shadow Yoga’
Scott Blossom is an Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine doctor, as well as a Shadow Yoga teacher. He lives in Berkeley, California and teaches courses on yoga and Ayurveda throughout the country. He talked to The Sacred Cow this month about cleansing from an Ayurvedic perspective. Read More »»
It’s often said that the best time for practice is just before dawn. This is because the mind and the body are fresh, and because the planet (and the home) is still calm and quiet. Some believe that the electromagnetic waves of the sun create obstacles to practice by raising the energetic currents in the environment, and that this is also a good reason to practice before the sun comes up. One of my teachers, Jamie Lindsay, used to say that practicing yoga in the morning is more like preventative medicine, whereas practicing in the evening is more curative. (I loved that way of thinking.) The Kundalini, Ashtanga, and Shadow Yoga communities all deem early morning asana as an important element of a complete practice.
But getting up before dawn can be hard to do. The large majority of yoga practitioners that I know do not practice early in the morning on a regular basis either because their schedules or lack of discipline get in the way. Not everyone has a lifestyle in which they can get to bed early enough to rise with the sun. And even if you do, it can be easy to hit the snooze button in your sleepy haze and convince your still-dreamy brain that another half hour of sleep will be much better for you than getting up to practice yoga.
But is early morning practice really better for everyone? I do enjoy it, but also find that I am a lot more open (and even more clear-minded) in the evenings. Others I know have said they prefer evening practice because they are stiff or tired in the morning, or worried about the things they need to do that day. Of course, it’s also been said that sunset is a beneficial time to practice, but because our work schedules don’t change (for most of us) with the seasons, practicing consistently at sunset is tricky for most people. And evening practice takes a different kind of discipline: You might be tired from a full day’s work or simply tempted to socialize with friends.
Do you have a favorite time to practice? Do you practice the same time every day? What feels different to you about morning, afternoon, and evening practice? Write in and tell us what you think!
This month, The Sacred Cow talks to Mark Horner, a San Francisco Bay Area-based Shadow Yoga teacher, about the importance of preparatory work in asana practice.
Preparatory work consists of simple, yet dynamic movements and positions that are given to a student to practice before he or she even begins an asana practice. They are an important part of Shadow Yoga, which was developed by master teacher Zhander Remete and is an evolving style of yoga that draws from the shared principles of Hatha Yoga and self-cultivating arts like martial arts and dance.