Diary of A Happy Yogi: Different Times Of Day for Yoga

Posted: April 27, 2015 at 12:55 pm

IMG_2296By: Ashley Whimpey

Pajamas on, face freshly washed, blankets fluffed and waiting for a tired body to sink into them… This is ready-for-bed. Although, sometimes even when I climb into the welcoming cushion of my mattress, I cannot find any comfort. My mind zips left and right categorizing tasks I need to do and double checking if there are only 100 or 1,000 things I forgot to do that day. Even when there aren’t tasks in my head, I often find myself unable to fall asleep due to the incredibly distracting evaluations of life going on inside my brain. For example, how do baby turtles know how to get to the ocean?

Unfortunately for you, I didn’t look up the answer to the turtle question. Instead I dug up how to slow the racing thoughts. I found a study of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder patients and yoga practices. Yoga was proven to significantly increase their ability to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep. The focus and mind exploration learned and practiced in a yoga class are the reasons so many of the patients found success. They reported being more able to freely experience their bad emotions and then let them pass. Instead of fighting the racing thoughts, they allowed them to just pass by and lead them deeper into dreamland.

However, a national survey of yoga participants (4,307 randomly selected across the country) all frequently mentioned the benefits of yoga including “energizing their day,” when practiced in the morning. Yoga taps into the human body’s energy current, which is referred to as prana by many yoga practitioners. Our prana is a life force, which comes from food, oxygen, proximity to other living things, etc. When there is a blockage in the flow of prana through the body, prana is inefficient. Yoga works to restore flow, and if the practitioner’s day is just beginning, can promote energy.

The effects of a yoga class depend greatly upon the content of the class. Too intense or vigorous of a class late in the evening can turn the energy dial too high and make it just as hard to sleep as before. Remove just enough blockades to silence a racing mind, however, and you’ll be out like a light.


Haddad, B. (2013). Energy Release And The Art Of Self-Protection. Massage & Bodywork, 28(6), 90-97.

Ross National survey of yoga practitioners: Mental and physical health benefits. Complementary therapies in medicine. (08/2013)

Hertenstein, E., Rose, N., Voderholzer, U., Heidenreich, T., Nissen, C., Thiel, N., … Külz, A. (n.d.). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in obsessive-compulsive disorder – A qualitative study on patients’ experiences. BMC Psychiatry, 185-185.