Guest article by Anki

Why I Practice Exactly This Way

Hello, my name is Anki and I work as a yoga teacher at Gyan Yog Breath in Rishikesh, India. As a German, I moved to India about 10 years ago, initially to study yogic science, later to work, and to live in harmony with my nature.
Today, I want to give you an insight into my daily yoga routine and explain why it works so well for me. The structure and discipline of my routine help me start my day with clarity, energy, and a deep sense of well-being.

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

My routine begins early in the morning, precisely at 4:00 AM. The early morning, known in yoga as "Brahma Muhurta", is the best time for me to meditate and practice yoga. This time, about 1.5 hours before sunrise, is considered particularly pure ("sattvic") and spiritually powerful.

Starting the Day

Right after getting up, I drink a glass of warm water. This helps kickstart my metabolism and gently prepares my body for the day. Then I shower and practice oil pulling, an ancient Ayurvedic technique where oil is swished in the mouth to remove toxins and improve oral health.

Physical Cleansing

After oil pulling, I go to the toilet and then do Jel Neti, a nasal cleansing practice, to clean my nasal passages and nadis (energy channels). This is particularly helpful in keeping the airways clear and ensures clear breathing during my yoga practice.

Asana Practice and Meditation

Before starting with the asanas, I warm up my body with Pawanmuktasana. These exercises are part of Hatha Yoga and help mobilize the joints and loosen the muscles. For my body type, which according to Ayurveda is Pitta, I focus on asanas with many twists and backbends to balance the inner fire and promote flexibility. Specifically, backbends like Chakrasana (the Wheel), Dhanurasana (the Bow), and Natarajasana (the Dancer) help strengthen my nervous system and allow me to move calmly through the day.

My morning asana practice lasts about 30 minutes and is also tailored to my cycle and the weather. Afterward, I meditate for an hour in the lotus position. This combination of physical movement and meditation helps me strengthen my mind and maintain inner peace. The Bhagavad Gita, a significant text in Indian yoga philosophy, greatly inspires my practice. A quote that particularly resonates with me is: "Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self" (Bhagavad Gita, 6.6). And in my experience, this is entirely true. One just has to learn which yoga techniques to apply when and how, as every body and mind is different.

Vedic Scriptures and Breakfast

After my meditation, I spend 20 minutes studying Vedic scriptures. This is the ideal time to gain deeper spiritual insights with a clear mind.
My breakfast is Ayurvedic and nutrient-rich. I alternate between Kitchari with ghee and overnight oats with makhana (lotus seeds, rich in calcium and magnesium). These meals provide me with the necessary energy and nutrients for the rest of the day until lunch.

Why This Routine?

This routine helps me start my day in a way that nourishes my body, mind, and growth. The early morning practice brings calmness and balance, while the physical exercises and meditation enhance my well-being and concentration. Studying the Vedic scriptures inspires me and gives me a deeper connection to my spiritual practice.
During my yoga studies, I learned how to adapt my yoga practice to personal and external influences. And this knowledge I have been sharing for many years in the yoga teacher training courses at Gyan Yog Breath.
I hope this insight into my routine inspires you to find and shape your own yoga practice. Remember, yoga is not just about physical exercises, but a holistic lifestyle that helps us achieve inner and outer harmony.

About the author

Anki is a passionate yoga teacher trainer and lives in Rishikesh, India. After completing her studies, she dedicated herself to imparting the profound wisdom of yoga to her students and supporting them on their personal and spiritual journeys. She has learned to build a stable and supportive bridge between Eastern yoga knowledge and Western thinking with great empathy.

IG: @gyan_yog_breath