Practicing yoga at night or morning- which is right for you?
Yoga, like any exercise, gives you the greatest benefits when you regularly incorporate it into your routine. However you might be wondering which is better, yoga in the morning or the evening.
With yoga and getting into a regular practice, it’s important to practice at the time that is best to you. There’s no perfect time that suits absolutely everyone the same, but there’s one golden rule - find a time where there’s no distractions between you and your yoga mat.
Whatever time of day is the time that you’ll be the least distracted is the best time of day for you to practice - regardless of whether it’s in the morning or in the evening.
Try to practice when you are still feeling awake however! Sleepiness and tiredness will hinder your ability to reap the benefits of your yoga practice. You should also wait a while after eating to work out, just like any activity, to avoid any discomfort.
The time that you practice is ultimately not as important as practicing yoga regularly and consistently. The more you practice yoga, you will notice the benefits and changes take a hold of your body and your daily life. With consistent practice, you’ll be able to progress deeper into the poses, and take on harder variations over time. Disciple and determination are key in taking on a regular yoga practice, so finding a right time where you’ll be able to focus on your body and movements is very important.
Choosing the time you practice yoga depends on a lot of different external factors, such as your schedule, your space, class timings.
The time of day you practice can affect which postures you practice, so it’s important to consider what’s right for you. For example, everyone has different body clocks and schedules. If you are a morning person, you may need certain asanas to stimulate you and get you ready for the day ahead, while if you are a night owl, you may want to use your practice to unwind before bed.
Is morning yoga right for you?
Generally, morning yoga practice consists of gentle movements to start to ease you into your day after you’ve woken up. They might have a few more long stretches at the start, such as forward folds and cobra to help ease you into the day.
Morning asanas might also consist of a lot of sun salutations, to help wake up your body, so you might want to incorporate some inversions and heart openers such as camel and wheel. These poses will wake you up and make you feel rejuvenated for the day ahead. It’s also good to add a head or shoulder stand to help send oxygen into your head, helping you to face the day ahead of you.
The time before the sun rises is considered a very spiritually charged time of day, and it is a great time to start your practice, if morning yoga is for you. Practicing yoga the first thing in the morning can help you to clear your mind and boost your body for the day, as well as warm up your body if you’re prone to waking up feeling stiff. This is why energizing poses like sun salutations are ideal for morning practice.
It’s also good to take advantage of the coolness of the morning, so you don’t overheat in warm climates. If you practice your yoga before eating your breakfast, you’ll also benefit from having an empty stomach, and you might find challenging poses a little easier when your body is not digesting any food.
Ultimately, morning yoga is ideal if you wake up early and like to set your tone for the day. It gives you the space and quiet to reflect on the day ahead of you and set any goals you may have for your day. If you practice yoga in the morning, you’re also more likely not to skip your practice and get it done for the day. Throughout the day other distractions and conflicts may come up, meaning you miss your yoga time.
Is evening yoga right for you?
Yoga at night is ideal to soothe and relax after a hard long day. Try to resist big heart openers and inversions that you might practice in a morning yoga session, as these are energizing moves and not idea for just before heading to bed.
Surrender poses are great to soothe you in your evening practice, with poses like half pigeon. Twists and other relaxing poses can help you unwind after a heavy day. Yoga in the evening helps you unwind and process the day just gone, so choose poses that will help you destress such as child’s pose, which will aid digestion and help you get a good night’s sleep.
If you just can’t get up in the morning, evening practice might be for you. It can help you wind down after a busy day, and you might be able to spend more time on your practice as you don’t have anywhere to be after (apart from your bed!).
If you incorporate it into your nighttime routine, yoga can help you fall asleep quickly by getting your mind and body ready to rest. You might even want to add in a meditation to your practice to help you further de-stress.
When it comes down to it, the time you practice is up to you. Thankfully, if you’re struggling to find a routine that works, this week's classes are all selected, to help you create healthy routines for yourself to stick to. Whether your best moments for routine, are in the morning, middle of the day, or the evening, this week's classes have you covered.
By Amy Cavill
Ready to explore which time of day is right for you? Try these classes, designed either for morning or evening time!
Get Your Day Started with Robert Sidoti
Yoga Ritual: Evening Practice with Mark Morford
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