One of the interesting aspects of practicing yoga is how it affects your energy levels, your mood, and the overall experience you have after a yoga session. Because of yoga’s unique ability to have an impact on your day it’s important to decide what time of day you will choose to do your yoga. For many of us this question is often answered by our datebooks, calendars, and blackberry’s - all of which seem to have a lot of other things for us to do before we make time for our yoga. But let’s assume that you’re dedicated - you’ve decided to practice for at least a half an hour every day, a very worthy goal. Now if you have a regular forty hour a week job the next question is - when do you practice? In the morning or at night?
There are certainly a lot of merits to practicing at either time of day and the best way to decide is to be clear about your intentions of your yoga practice - what you want to get out of it and what you feel would best serve you in accomplishing those goals. Once you have those ideas in mind it can be a great asset in determining when and how you’ll practice.
Another thing to be aware of is the type of yoga you’re doing and whether or not that practice will work during certain times of the day. For example, if you’re doing a basic Hatha routine that only lasts thirty minutes you very well might be able to get up a bit early and fit that into your morning without much trouble. But what if you’re all about Bikram yoga? You probably don’t have the setup necessary to practice that at home in the morning and in that case you’d probably be better suited to an evening class.
However if you are in a position where your practice can take place at home then your decision as to what time of day to practice is more about personal preference and what kind of results you want from your practice.
Practicing yoga in the morning is very common and is often reported to provide you with alertness and energy throughout the rest of the day. It can be a great way to wake up and start your day. It’s also said that starting your day with some form of exercise sets your metabolism as a higher rate which helps you burn calories all day long and keeps you in better shape. Practicing in the morning can also make it easier to develop a habit of doing your yoga. Your alarm wakes you up and you’ve already designated time for it so as long as your diligent about getting up and doing your yoga it can become a lot easier to maintain your practice. There’s also a benefit of convenience as you can shower after your practice and then just head straight to work.
The downside though is that you are after all losing more of your sleep and that a yoga practice in the morning can also make it difficult to find time to eat. You don’t really want to eat a big breakfast before you start your yoga as that can make you sick but you also don’t want to eat quickly right after so that can cause some complications as well.
If you decide to practice yoga at night there are a lot of benefits you can gain that way as well. Often doing yoga at night can help you unwind from the day and can help prevent you from becoming stressed. It can also be a great cure for insomnia or other sleep disorders. This way you get as much sleep as you want and you can work your practice into your busy schedule. The issue with doing yoga at night is that if your routine isn’t designed to be relaxing it might give you too much energy to go to sleep. It can also be easy to put off your yoga if you feel tired or rushed or have other plans.
There are definitely pros and cons to practicing at either time of day. Weigh the benefits of each and decide which one works best for you!