Should you do yoga in the morning, or is it more beneficial at the end of the day? It depends… Here are a few tips for determining the best time of day for you to do yoga…
Do you love yoga in the morning, or is an evening class more your style? If you’re feeling guilty because your best bud always gets on your case about coming to her favorite 8:00am yoga class, but you don’t even like to get out of bed that early, give yourself a break! One of the great things about yoga is that your practice can be tailored to suit your needs and preferences, including your daily schedule, your lifestyle, and your body’s signals.
Here are a few tips for adapting your yoga routine to suit each of these aspects:
Your Daily Schedule
If you have the time in the morning or can make the time, right after you get up is a good time to practice. Because yoga is best practiced on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning is a good time to run through your yoga routine. With an early morning routine, when you ate last is not an issue, as it can be at other times of the day. Because you are fresh, you can practice a variety of active energizing poses and perform a full workout, but do realize the downside is your muscles may be stiff during the first few poses.
If midday is your best time of day for yoga, you may prefer to concentrate your practice on seated bends and twist poses. It can drain away the stress from the morning and prepare you for the afternoon.
For many yogis, the best time of day is in the evening. The workday is over, you most likely have not eaten much since lunch, and your muscles are looser from moving around during the day. Evening can be the perfect time of day to practice calming and relaxing poses.
Split yoga practices are also popular. Some yogis do a short routine in the morning to get them ready for the day and a longer routine of different poses in the evening to relax them. Regardless of when you practice, be sure to finish up with a nice Savasana to get the most out of your practice!
You may be one where the time of day is not as important as keeping up with your busy lifestyle. Your schedule may change daily, so for you, you may do yoga at different times of the day throughout the week. Fortunately, if you take yoga classes, most studios offer several classes throughout the day, so finding one that fits your schedule shouldn’t be too difficult. If you do yoga at home, fitting it into your busy schedule is even easier, as you can access yoga classes online, or develop a collection of your own favorite yoga DVDs featuring workouts of different lengths, so you can choose whatever fits into that day’s schedule.
Your Body’s Signals
Once you have been doing yoga for a while, you will find yourself becoming more in tune with your body. If you listen to what it has to say, you may find out that you are practicing too often, or not often enough, or when your body just isn’t feeling up to it. You may find that practicing in the morning leads to more strains or injuries, or that you don’t have enough energy to focus on a yoga class at the end of a busy day. Pay attention to your body’s cues, and learn to practice when it feels best for your body.
Our bodies are also sensitive to the change in seasons. You may find a select group of poses work well in summer, but in the winter they feel too strenuous. Or vice versa, you may prefer more intense yoga workouts to warm you up in the winter, but more relaxing and cooling poses in the summer months. Listen to your body, and be willing to challenge yourself, but also pay attention to when and what types of yoga feel healthiest for you.
Regardless of which poses you do or when you practice them, the most important part is reaping the benefits of doing yoga regularly to improve your health and well-being!