When is the best time to do yoga? Is it in the morning? Or during the evening?
Each moment of the day has its pros and cons for doing yoga. That’s why it’s important to find your own rhythm.
But how? Here are 5 tips to help you find your rhythm.
1) Think about what you want to achieve with yoga
When it comes to the best time to do yoga, your goals are the first thing to consider.
For example, if you want to lose weight, you should “do yoga at a time when you have the most energy and are most excited to work up a sweat,” recommends MIL.
Or, if you want to gain more flexibility, then you could “try practicing in the afternoon or evening when your body is already warmed up and flexible.”
As for relaxation, the same source encourages us to practice yoga during the evening or night. Why?
“Just keep in mind that you don’t want to stimulate your body before retiring to bed, so a certain understanding of which asanas to choose at what time of the day is essential,” notes the Himalayan Yoga Institute.
What does this mean?
Simply put, you shouldn’t do yoga in the morning if what you’re trying to achieve is deep relaxation and sleep.
So, think about what it is that you want to achieve and then proceed accordingly.
If you don’t have a specific goal in mind, maybe Shanti Toya’s words will help:
“Generally, for most of us, the ultimate goal of yoga is to be a better version of ourselves – to be healthier and happier.”
2) Listen to your body’s natural rhythm
Another consideration when deciding the best time to do yoga is your body’s natural rhythm.
For example, some people find it easier to wake up early and do yoga first thing in the morning because of their natural rhythm. Others feel energized at night time and will practice yoga later in the day or evening.
What does this tell us?
Esther Ekhart, a yoga teacher explains it really well:
“Although we may have been taught that we need to do our energizing yoga practice first thing in the morning or that Yin yoga is something we do at the end of the day, it’s absolutely fine to question whether these things work for you.”
So, how can you find your rhythm?
When you start identifying the ways that your body tells you it’s time to practice, you will then be able to apply this information to your daily routine with greater success, which is exactly what you’re aiming for, right?
What’s more, if you listen to your body’s natural rhythm, you will find that you can get the same results regardless of the time of day.
So, always listen to your body and you will get a much better result.
3) Try yoga at different times and let your body and mind decide
The next tip is to do yoga at different times and then let your body and mind decide.
So, what does this really mean?
Here’s yoga teacher Ashish’s take on this:
“Whatever time you choose to practice yoga, morning or evening, first try out yoga at different times and then let your body and mind choose one time that fits into your daily routine and matches your personal goals.”
To be more precise, to find your rhythm, you can try to practice yoga during the morning, afternoon, evening, and night to see when your body feels the most balanced. And then, you should be able to identify your rhythm very quickly.
“Ultimately that’s what yoga is about – being a balanced human being so you can be loving and kind toward yourself, others, and the world”, adds Esther Ekhart.
So, to achieve this, try to practice yoga at various times, and then your body and mind will let you know when it’s best to do yoga.
On top of that, don’t forget about trying various asanas as well. There isn’t only one yoga routine or pose suited to your goals. There are numerous asanas that can help you achieve the results that you’re looking for.
4) Do yoga when your schedule allows it
The next tip is to do yoga when you have the most time for it.
If, for example, you work a full-time job and are only able to go for yoga in the evening when you’ve finished your work, then that’s fine.
I mean, if you have to choose between doing yoga in the evening and not doing it at all, then do it in the evening.
But, if you have more time to do yoga in the morning and you feel ready for it, then why not do it?
You see, there is a reason why yogis practice yoga in the morning, according to the Himalayan Yoga Institute:
“The morning is generally the coolest part of the day, making it a good time to energize yourself. If you start your practice in the early morning before 6.00 am you will be surprised how pliable and flexible your body is. The longer you sleep in the morning the stiffer the body gets.”
Simply put, the morning gives you lots of time to get ready for your day and so you’ll feel more energized and ready to go.
As for doing yoga in the evening, it should soothe and relax you. However, “keep in mind that if you’re practicing late in the evening, you’ll want to avoid energizing backbends and big heart openers, such as the bow.”
Carefully adapt the poses to the time of the day when you’re practicing them.
5) Try to make it something you can stick with
The last tip is to pick a time of the day when you can make it a regular practice.
Why is this important?
Ann Pizer, a yoga instructor, explains it:
“Most people are creatures of habit, so if you really want your schedule to stick, you’ll need to commit to sticking with it.”
But what if you simply can’t do yoga at the same time, every day?
“Find the times of day that work best for you – even if it’s a mix of mornings, afternoons, and evenings throughout the week,” she adds.
This means that even if you can’t keep the same schedule every day, you should still try to do the same practice every day that you can.
There’s a catch to this, though:
Although it’s great to develop a yoga practice routine, it’s important to keep in mind that you don’t want to overdo it.
In other words, pushing yourself too hard is not healthy and so I recommend you not to do this.
Instead, if you have to skip practicing yoga for one day because of something that can’t be avoided, then that’s no problem.
I mean, what might help is to pick a time of the day when you find this is less likely to happen.
When is the best time to do yoga for weight loss?
If you’re looking to lose weight, it’s important to note that there are many factors that can influence your body’s ability to lose weight.
For example, Gita Mike, a meditator and yoga practitioner, says that your metabolism is faster in the morning, especially on an empty stomach. That’s why she thinks doing yoga in the morning is the best time to do yoga to lose weight.
“Another important note with the boost in metabolism: metabolism is then ignited and working through the day. Of course, the metabolism rate will slow down, but if you get it started in the morning, you will be metabolizing at a higher rate than your baseline,” she adds.
Even so, she also admits that doing yoga during the afternoon is the next best time to do yoga for weight loss.
But why is that?
“If you do a workout during the lunch hour, you will have calories and energy to boost your performance,” she explains.
In other words, if you practice yoga for weight loss in the morning or afternoon, you’ll get the best results.
When is the best time to do yoga for anxiety?
Are you looking to reduce your anxiety with the help of yoga?
Well, if you do yoga in the morning, you’ll be reducing anxiety as well as boosting your metabolism. As a result, you’ll have more energy throughout the day and feel less tired.
If, however, you practice yoga for anxiety in the evening, you’ll be able to calm down after a long day.
That’s why asanas like savasana (final resting pose) and pranayama (breathing exercises) can help you get rid of anxiety.
So, both morning and evening yoga can help you with reducing anxiety. Try both out to figure out which one works best for you.
When is the best time to do yoga for flexibility?
“To gain the most flexibility, try practicing in the afternoon or evening when your body is already warmed up and flexible,” advises MIL.
How does this work?
Let me explain:
Every morning when you get out of bed, your body is quite stiff. The blood flow is getting back to normal after the night’s rest, your muscles are tight and your nervous system is not firing on all cylinders.
But, once you start moving around a bit and get the blood flowing through your muscles and joints, you start feeling more comfortable in your skin.
Eventually, your blood flow begins to return to normal and you feel more relaxed.
When is the best time to do yoga for your bones?
Did you know that yoga can help prevent and sometimes reverse bone loss?
This is why it’s recommended that you do yoga – and other exercises – early in the morning to start the day off right, as well as late during the evening to relax your body properly.
Deepika Sharma confirms it:
“If you want to get only physical benefits, then the time of sunrise or sunset is considered to be the best for this practice.”
In addition, as little as 10 minutes are enough to help your bones to remain strong and healthy.
So, if you’re looking for ways to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, for example, this is a great way to do it.
Are 20 minutes of yoga enough?
Now that you know how to determine the best time to practice yoga and how to find your own rhythm, you might find it useful to know how long you should practice yoga.
We already know it’s important to do yoga every day. After all, it all comes down to consistency.
But are 20 minutes enough per day?
Or, do you have to practice it for at least 60 minutes daily?
According to Ekam Yogashala, “if you are a beginner and your aim is only to keep healthy, even 20 to 30 minutes of yoga is sufficient while if your aim is to lose weight or meditate, you may need more time for performing various poses.”
However, you must also know that if you join a yoga class, the sessions can last somewhere from 30 to 60 minutes based on the type of classes you join.
So, when is the best time to do yoga?
To determine the right time of the day when you can practice this mind-body exercise, it’s a good idea to consider the following:
What time of the day would help you achieve this goal?
How long should you practice yoga?
In addition, don’t forget that your daily activities can also influence when you practice yoga. So, make sure you also take them into account.
This way, you’ll be able to figure out when to do yoga for the best results.
Keep in mind that what works for others might not work for you. So, if something doesn’t work for you, don’t force yourself to do it.
Instead, look for another time of the day that works better for you.