Updated: Feb 9
short answer: go to bed at the right time, then wake up for practice, of course! But if you're up late, wake up early anyway. Yoga will restore you to your best self.
There is nothing more lovely than starting a yoga flow in a dreamy state. Enjoy the softness of a sleepy mind-- it's a much easier starting point than a busy mind if you are (and you are) working towards inner clarity.
While we sleep, gravity compresses the body, especially if you are still/stiff in the night (active sleepers may wake up already warm!). When we stretch first thing in the morning, we create the space and order required for strong, clear tone in mind and body.
On the mat, we draw the subliminal into conscious awareness, just as we do in dreams. Why is sleep particularly important for non-yogis? It’s the only state of consciousness devoted to rest and healing. Yogis who practice often, daily, and deeply, reach this state more frequently, and during the day. Though conscious awareness, fewer harmful actions/experiences are incurred, allowing deeper layers of the body and psyche to be healed through practice and rest. When the diet is simple and close to nature, then even less energy is needed for rest because digestion happens easily. So with time, yogis require less sleep at night, and are more resilient to stressful events.