At the advanced level, practical training comprises all phenomena of life. Therefore, we can only discuss training time in the context of the initial stage. That is the training time intended for the special exercises of the beginner.
When choosing the time for such training, it is necessary to understand and consider the specific features of planetary and biological rhythms at a particular time of day. Morning features an increase of activity, which reaches its maximum from 11:00 till 13:00.
Then there is a decrease, the down point of which falls between 15:00 and 16:00. And, activity increases again, with the peak from 17:00 through 19:00. It is followed by another decrease, followed by a sleeping time during the night. In this event the evening activity increase is not as strong as the daytime peak.
In the early morning, the greatest results may be achieved after practicing psychic-energy complexes such as Surya Namaskar («Sun Salutation») or the Shiva Nata (Dance of Shiva) movements (see below), breath and contemplation practices. Good results at this time may also be achieved after such generally restorative techniques as morning jogging, swimming, and tempering.
At mid-day, one may develop all physical qualities, such as: strength, flexibility, coordination, reaction or endurance.
Evening time is ideal for development flexibility and deep relaxation exercises. Good results may be expected from psychic-energy complexes of the type of Chandra Namaskar («Moon Salutation») breathing and contemplation exercises.
Unfortunately, the majority of practitioners must use whatever time is available, after work or family, rather than the time most suitable for training. At first sight, it appears that nothing can be done about this, but among people who have already obtained the Spirit of the Tradition of Yoga, there is the popular opinion that the Pathway is the main thing in their lives. Work and other obligations become the means to provide greater capabilities and increase the effectiveness of this Pathway. A practical use of yogi capabilities in real life develops outside the special «hothouse» conditions of the training hall.
Many experienced Yoga technique practitioners change their whole life and organize their working day in such a manner as to adjust it to training.
But, of course, the ideal option is a rare combination of personal creative interest and professional obligations. These are the only conditions, which allow the best capabilities of a person to develop, and for the practitioner to realize the purpose of his life.
Whatever conditions you are in, it would be useful to remember to allow for some peculiarities with respect to the time of the day you train and the results obtained.
All Yoga schools deem the transition time between the day and night the best for practice. In the morning, it is sunrise and one hour thereafter. In the evening, it is one hour before sunset and one hour thereafter. This is the time when a deep psychic-energy transformation takes place in the consciousness, which is so powerful that even the most insensitive individuals can not ignore the related processes. This is the time when the organizing Power is most active.
During this time the consciousness becomes bipolar, not as active and awake as in the daytime, and not as passive and sleepy as during nighttime. One’s conscious and unconscious functions combine into a non-dualistic balance, which does not have a dualistic nature. During this time, one can easily and consciously penetrate into the sub-conscious, trace the actions of subconscious programs and reprogram them as required. This ability is directly connected with rapid consciousness growth and the ability to adapt to any conditions. It gives a chance to survive at least to separate representatives of the mankind.
Subconscious programs, comprising at least 95% of the whole life activity of any «normal man» control all material shells and rhythms of a human being.
It is possible there is not any reasonable sense in this, but even if the acceleration of the human civilization progress is accepted as necessary and useful then overcoming of lack of human biological foundation from demands required to him is possible only through counsious bioprogramming and substitution of old fashioned programs with new more perfect and progressive ones. Human nature has adjusted through thousands of years of evolutionary selection. Because it is impossible to make the correct improvements into such an ancient and evolving mechanism. The responsibility and opportunity to personally evolve depends on the abilities and caution of the person who chooses to «train the Beast»…
People who only have time to train in the evening should construct the training algorithm in such a manner as to avoid over-stimulating the nervous system before going to bed. Violations of this rule may result in late nights (and, as it is known, going to bed after ten o’clock in the evening is harmful for health). Therefore as a rule after training, one feels like eating, which is also extremely harmful before sleeping, and leads to diseases of the internal organs. Because, one should pay special attention to avoid becoming over-excited during evening training. It is advisable to use special relaxation exercises at its final stage, this will facilitate a slow-down of the whole system. Also avoid eating before going to sleep (in extreme cases, restrict yourself to liquid and easily digested food such as honey dissolved in warm water, which appeases hunger and quenches thirst). Eating before going to sleep is harmful and contributes to obesity, body pollution, and change of weight and proportions of the body, restricting the training process.
Evening training will be of higher quality if you manage to take a nap before, which helps the interaction of consciousness and the sub-conscious in the same way as during the post night-sleep period.
It’s clear that early in the morning, all these training difficulties vanish by themselves.
First of all, morning-time training is practiced right after a night’s sleep, so there is no need to spend additional time for rest, which is advisable before evening training. Also, the organism is fresh and restored, and interactions between consciousness and the sub-conscious are most favorable.
Secondly, the activation of internal rhythms after training does not interfere with the requirements of the coming day, on the contrary, in most cases it helps stimulate effective and fruitful actions.
Thirdly, the hunger one feels after training is easily appeased by a harmless morning breakfast. In this way, there is the possibility to easily control the time of the evening meal and eat earlier, which facilitates the reduction of weight and polluters in the organism, cleansing energy channels and making the body proportions more delicate, which substantially accelerates the training progress.
And fourthly, the day becomes longer because people who sleep in the time period from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. get enough sleep in a shorter period of time than people who go to bed after midnight. Remember: morning begins in the evening. And when one goes to bed early, the foundation is laid for feeling energetic and having a complete training in the morning.
The above mainly refers to non-professionals, for which even one training a day is a gift of Fortune. What concerns the people who have devoted all their lives to the Tradition of Yoga, is that their daily schedule includes several specialized training cycles at different times of the day.
With the development of Mastership, this gradually transforms into a Special day-and-night training program with alternating special conditions and Real («Martial») Actions, in accordance with the requirements of life. In this event, dreaming is completely or partially replaced with specialized relaxation and meditative practices.
Non-professionals cannot afford more than one (even short-term) training cycle a day. And it is quite enough for them to have one complete training cycle per day. Moreover, their training level would not allow the organism to regenerate between two complete training cycles within one day even if they tried to do so. This would sooner or later lead to over-training and frustration with practice. If you use short-time training, the algorithm will not include the required amount of exercises. Therefore, a sufficient load will not be created to develop enough endurance, the transition to the a second wind will not happen, one’s Personal Power will not be increased, and other similar effects verified by centuries of training experience at many schools around the world will not happen. Moreover, short-term training complexes may not include all mandatory exercises, required for complete development of only basic elements of the body and the psychic-energy structure. Such training would become restricted and incomplete.
It is desirable to train at the same time of the day for the biological rhythms of the organism to get used to a particular schedule. Then, it will adjust and activate during a particular training. This will result in an increase of the training form, and, consequently, an increase in the Power, opening new horizons for the evolution of consciousness.
In the long run, the duration of one complete training cycle is absolutely individual and depends on many factors such as initial state of the practitioner, his general training form, experience, speed of practice, purpose of training and the conditions available.
For the people who aim at a «protective» approach and the «conquest of colds» two-three training cycles a week will suffice.
Training once a week or less is not worth doing. In this event, each session will only mean stress, related to regular muscle pains and other unpleasant things.
Training methods and conditions should not be diluted by adapting them to personal «deficiency», on the contrary, one should develop oneself and organize life by coordinating it with the ideals of the Tradition of Yoga.