Why Yoga Before Dawn –
An Auspicious Time to Practice
14 March 2019
It’s called brahmamuhurta in Sanskrit - “the time of the creator” or “Lord of Creation” - the two hours before and including sunrise.
According to yogic tradition, the prana (energy, known as the universal life force) is at its strongest at brahmamuhurta. It is the time of the day when the environment is most pure, the air is cleanest, the mind most clear.
Nothing is stirring at this time. The rising sun brings with it a state of positive potential and with the awakening of the day our mental energy moves to a more externally-oriented and preoccupied state.
Whilst yoga can be practiced at any time of the day (except after meals), peaceful yoga and meditation at brahmamuhurta will renew you and prepare you for the day by connecting your mind, body and soul.
First thing in the morning, the mind is fresh after sleep, calm and serene, uncluttered from thoughts and mental hyperactivity often experienced at the end of the day. It is understood by yogis that the mind is a repository for an array of memories, impressions and perceptions. These perceptions give rise to our desires and anxieties, which drive our actions and dissatisfactions. On waking, sattva qualities (positivity, truth, serenity, balance) are prominent – the raga-dvesha currents (likes and dislikes, loves and hates, attractions and repulsions) have not yet consumed the mind. By waking up early and immediately starting yoga and meditation, you can intercept these tendencies and foster peacefulness, focus, awareness and acceptance.
While there is a lack of research on the benefits of yoga at brahmamuhurta, there is some evidence that early morning tends to be the most productive time of the day. Biologist Christoph Randler said that “morning people [have more] proactivity, with better job performance, greater career success, and higher wages.” Early risers tend to be more active and energetic and are thereby more productive.
As Lemony Snicket said, “Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
And, from Richard Whately, “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.”