Frankly, any time is a good time to practice yoga! Traditionally, yoga practice was completed in the morning (you’ll see why in a minute), but in reality your practice should be completed whenever is best for you. We’re all unique individuals, and if I preach for your practice to be personalized to you (which I do!) then that includes the time of day that you practice. However, there are some guidelines to help with this:
- Keep in mind the main purpose of your yoga practice. Is it for physical gains? Psychological? Spiritual? The purpose of your practice may give you more insight into the most beneficial time of day for you to do yoga. Typically, sunrise or sunset are ideal times to practice for psychological and spiritual gains.
- Attend to hygiene first prior to your yoga practice. Regardless of time of day, visit the restroom prior to your practice. In addition, complete personal hygiene first (e.g. wash your face, brush your teeth) if you decide to practice in the morning.
- Yoga is typically completed on an empty stomach (another reason why it is traditionally completed in the morning). If you do complete yoga after a meal, try to keep it a light meal.
- Make “quiet” a priority when finding the time of day that works for your practice.
We tend to have more stiffness right away in the morning. Therefore (generally speaking) we’re not going to push our limits as much and tend to have a safer practice. As long as you get a good nights rest, we tend to be alert and do not have as much cognitive fatigue in the morning. Plus, who doesn’t feel awesome and accomplished the rest of the day if they already have their workout done?
As the day goes on and we “warm up” we’ll likely have more flexibility and are able to obtain more challenging postures..who doesn’t like that?! But this increase in flexibility also increases our likeliness of injury if we’re not safe (so please be safe!). Additionally, if our day is stressful and “busy”, finding time to practice in the evening often times allows us to clear our brain, help with cognitive fatigue, and refocus…that is, if we make the time for it. It is not uncommon for people to prioritize activities other than yoga (or exercise in general) as the day goes on when they are having a stressful or busy day.
Regardless of the time of day we practice, we need to have good insight into how we’re feeling. Pay attention to your body. The mind tends to wander at times during our practice, especially if you’re new to yoga. If that’s the case don’t feel bad about it, but try to focus on the breath. Being present and mindful of your movements is a good way to prevent injury, regardless of time of day.
I know a lot of people who practice yoga in the morning. Good for them! Personally, I’m an “after work” kind of person. To be totally honest, I’m still half thinking about how comfortable my bed is if I try to practice in the morning! I find that I get more benefit and enjoyment out of my practice if I do yoga in the afternoon/evening. But do whatever works for you! Like I said earlier, any time is a good time for yoga. Hopefully these guidelines help!
What else do you guys wanna hear about? Let me know in the comments!
One Reply to “Morning Lark or Night Owl: When Should You Practice Yoga?”