As many of us settle into a new normal, we are having our routines constantly challenged. The one thing that should remain resolute is your dedication to a spiritual and movement practice. Yoga is great, in that it encompasses both in one. But, I often get asked “when is the best time to practice yoga?”.
The answer can be simple, or complex. It really depends on what we’re classifying as “yoga”. For some yoga is a workout, or a way to relax. But for many of us it’s actually a lifestyle and spiritual practice. This is where you have to ask, are you doing yoga, or asana?
You can view the video on YouTube. Maybe add it to a playlist? Above all, remember to to subscribe to my channel. New videos are uploaded every Tuesday and Friday. However, for exclusive longer format videos sign up for my Patreon community. Patrons also get early access to all my videos, along with other benefits.
When is the best time to practice yoga?
Firstly, I want to address that when talking about “when is the best time to practice yoga”, we’ll be focusing on asana. The physical movement practice of yoga. Because yoga as a holistic practice is a lifestyle, not a workout. However, many of us do the asana practice as a way to relax, unwind, stay limber or simply stretch. So when is the best time to practice yoga asana? It depends on the type of yoga practice, your lifestyle, your location, and most of all your personality. All these, and more, factor into the best time to practice yoga.
All the traditional literature tells us that morning is best. After all, there are even asana sequences called Sun Salutations. For many morning asana is desirable as the stomach is empty, and fasted exercise burns more fat. Plus daily Schedules that center around sunlight help set our circadian rhythms. And in a World of screens, that rhythm is already out of whack for many of us.
Most health and fitness experts agree that movement in the morning sets you up for the day ahead. Plus you get it done. How many times have you have exercise on your daily to do list and never around to it? Pushing it back throughout the day? If this is you, then yoga asana first thing in the morning may be the best thing!
The issue is during early morning you may not feel ready for a lot of exertion, making a longer warm up necessary. This is where knowing the types of yoga helps. Maybe you already have a full morning schedule? Are you up early to walk the dog, fix food for the kids, and then do school run before heading to work? Adding a morning yoga practice may not be possible for that schedule. Another barrier to morning yoga would be for night owls. Try getting my night owl husband up at 5.30am for sunrise yoga! That’s a quick way to divorce court.
Night Time Yoga
So, you’re not a morning person, but you want to practice yoga? Maybe a evening practice is for you! Many people catch a yoga class after work. It can be a great way to release the stress of the work day before heading home. A daily professional reset button.
While some may find energetic flows what they need after a stressful day, for some this can be too much exertion, and they need to relax with restorative. On the flip side, at night you may be too tired for an energetic practice. This is why you need to do the self study, and figure out what you need, when, and why.
As someone who has preached for years about the benefits of yoga and stretching, I’ve found that it often it falls on deaf ears. But, post workout yoga is one of my favorites ways to practice. Your body is already warmed up, you’re mobile and moving so take 10-15 minutes for a post-workout yoga session. You wind down from your workout, stretch, and relax all at the same times.
Personally, I like a morning practice but sunrise yoga doesn’t work for my life. I have a dog, and if I’m up in the morning, he’s up. So early morning is when I am walking in nature with my dog. When I come back I spend at least 15 minutes on my yoga mat. Many days I’m fortunate enough to get more yoga asana practice during the day.
Location, location, location
As you think about what time, also think about where you are practicing yoga. In many parts of the World the weather may be a factor. I know, that my own practice shifts during the year. In Summer I enjoy a morning practice as it’s cooler. In winter, I tend to shift to afternoons.
When thinking about location, where are you practicing. At home, in a studio, in a gym, or maybe outside? All these will factor into your best time to practice yoga. For a long time my workouts, and yoga asana practice were done on the pool side. When it’s freezing outside, or blowing 30mph winds that’s just not possible. Same in Summer. Midday yoga in Summer would mean 115°F. I know hot yoga is a thing, but that takes the cake.
Something is better than nothing
As I mentioned, I’m fond of 10-15 minute daily yoga sessions. In my opinion, that is much better than one 90 minute session a week. And it’s doable, especially for those leading busy lives. The key point to remember is that something is better than nothing. If your yoga practice is getting on the mat and taking a 20 minute savasana each day, that’s a yoga practice!
In the morning, you may like a gentle flow. Post workout, perhaps a yin class with poses held for longer periods of time. Do what feels right for your body, in that moment. Sometimes yoga for me is doing some massage with a tennis ball, and a 5 minute savasana. It’s your practice.
All that being said, there is something magical about doing sun salutations at sunrise outdoors. But a physical yoga practice looks different for everyone. As long as it feels right, then it’s yoga. There is no “best time to practice yoga”, only the right time for you.
Yoga on your schedule
Attending yoga classes can be frustrating, and expensive. How do you find classes to fit into YOUR hectic schedule? Do yoga at home! Set your time and your schedule with my yoga videos.
Discover how you can move with ease, get healthier and happier so you can live your life to it’s fullest potential. Sign up today to gain access to over 20 yoga classes on Patreon. There is a class to suit your time, style and needs. What are you waiting for? Sign up today!
- Are you a morning lark, or a night owl?
- When is your preferred time to exercise?
- Do you like to workout outside?
For me I like to do yoga first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening, but I suppose it depends on the person x
I like first thing in the morning, just doesn’t always work for my schedule though.
Yes, I am not a morning person and I usually do an evening practice after work. I agree that yes, it’s a great way to release the stress. Love the term RESET because yes, that is exactly how it is to me.
Anyway, happy to know that there is no best time to practice yoga. As long as it’s part of our lifestyle then I guess that’s good enough.
100% do yoga when it feels good for you. I’m fond of a midday reset personally.
I used to do yoga consistently when I was younger, and really miss how it made me feel. Waking up with the sun and getting into a yoga routine can really make a difference in how you approach your day and your overall mood!
Yep, sets you up for the day!
I prefer in the morning, it gives me best mood for the day and it’s easier to put it into the schedule. After all if wake up early you own this time
I agree, doing it in the morning gives me a better attitude for the day!
I have just started trying to incorporate yoga into my day and was doing my best to make it work in the morning as that was what everything I read encouraged. That being said, it wasn’t really working for me the way that I felt it should… After reading this, I think I’m going to try switching to an evening time and see if that works better. Thank you for your tips!
So happy you feel able to listen to your body and mind and do what feels right for you! Honestly many of us women just have too much stuff to do first thing in the morning.
I really love doing yoga in the morning or at night. It really helps set the energy for whatever time of day I am doing it in.
Yes. It’s amazing when we tune into our body and give it what we need. I taught online Wednesday then took a 40 minute restorative yoga after. Just what I needed. Restored for the rest of the day!
Something is definitely better than nothing. I do some midday stretches for my back, and just finished some. With all this sitting, I forget to stand up so my lower back always reminds me with aches lol.
hahaha I am with ya! Especially since the pandemic. I seem to be sitting such a lot more than “usual”.
didn’t knew there are such things as good time for them. learning more, really. good one
The best time is the one that works for you!
Thanks for the information about the benefits of doing morning, afternoon, and nighttime yoga practice.
You’re welcome. Do you do yoga? What time of day works for you?