When it comes to practicing yoga, there’s no time of the day that is particularly preferable over others.
No matter how long or short your yoga sessions may be, any time of the day tends to work well.
Most of the time, you simply want a chance to practice, whether that means remaining quietly seated for ten minutes, or cycling through a few postures over a whole hour.
As with any other kind of physical activity, the best time to take up practice is a time that works well for you, so that you find it easy to be regular.
It’s important to be regular with your yoga, and to practice it every day.
Even if ten minutes is all you can manage on a daily basis, it can be helpful to make a habit of it.
A regular, 10-minute session of yoga every day, tends to do far more good than one long session once a week.
When you consider the benefits that the exercise aspect of yoga brings – heart health, flexibility, and a toughening of the muscles and connective tissue – it can help to use the federal guidelines (health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf) to reckon how many times a week you should practice it.
The best part is, when you practice yoga on a regular basis for long enough, you come by its greatest benefits – you are able to develop greater self-affirmation and acceptance of who you are, while also coming by an ability to make changes where necessary.
You’re likely to notice these abilities in a matter of months, and watch them grow stronger and deeper over the years.
As you plan your practice of yoga each day, it can help to keep the following ideas in mind.
Yoga in the morning
The upside: Yoga in the morning can feel good because your mind tends to be its clearest when you wake up after a good night’s sleep.
A clear mind tends to be easier to steer toward the meditative state.
You could find that coming out of yoga, you’re pumped up and ready for the challenges of the day.
The downside: Early in the morning, your body is likely to feel stiff and inflexible.
Your range of motion could be limited, and you could find it difficult to practice moves, such as yin yoga, that target the connective tissue.
It can help to accept training in how to perform yoga when you feel resistance, so that you don’t end up injuring yourself.
Yoga in the afternoon and evening
The upside: As you feel drained and lost through a hard day’s work, having a session of restorative yoga to look forward to can feel good.
Vinyasa yoga can strengthen and invigorate you, and Iyengar yoga, with its analytical focus, can help occupy your mind.
Your body tends to be properly loosened up by this hour, as well, making it easier for you to get into yoga.
The downside: Putting off your yoga session for later in the day may mean that you find you don’t have the time for it.
If you can commit to 15 minutes of daily yoga at a certain time, come what may, however, it could be great practice for your willpower.
The upside: Your body is likely to be near its most flexible at the end of the day, and spending a half-hour on gentle yoga poses can help you target parts of the nervous system that help you digest your dinner, and rest your brain.
You could try any kind of forward fold, or pose involving your legs up a wall.
The downside: If you make the mistake of trying Yin or other energizing yoga poses at this hour, you could have a hard time falling asleep when you go to bed.
The upside: When you need the energizing effects of yoga any time through the day, taking a few minutes out to practice a yoga move that delivers the effect that you need, can be wonderful.
When you’re tired, for instance, taking ten minutes out for the savasana, where you lie down motionless, can be healing.
The downside: You need to be ready with the gear and props that you need if you feel like certain yoga moves.
Yoga is best done over short sessions through the day, each day.
When you know what kind of yoga suits you at different times of the day, you’re well-equipped to use it as a lifestyle companion, no matter what problem you may wish to address.