Should you practice yoga in the morning or evening? Great question!
As usual, the answer is more complex than you’d think and really comes down to your personal preference. From an Ayurvedic standpoint, it is recommended you wake up in between 4 and 6AM when the world is still asleep, and practice meditation and asana. From a modern world perspective, it’s recommended that you practice yoga either first thing in the morning or in the early evening.
However, many factors are involved in each of our decisions on when to practice. Your work schedule, habits, belief system, and familial responsibilities may make the decision for you.
For example, if your morning involves getting rambunctious kids dressed, fed, and on the bus, a morning practice may be unrealistic. The same is true if you’re committed to evening functions throughout the week.
Your personal constitution may also factor into the decision. Some people are raring to move at 6AM, while others won’t even speak until they’ve had a few cups of coffee. And even if you do have a quiet morning, it may not be the right time for you if you have seasoned habits you practice in the hour before heading to work. Or if you find yourself yawning by 8PM, you might want to try practicing earlier in the day.
Read on to explore the many benefits to both morning and evening yoga practice.
Benefits of morning yoga practice
Morning yoga practice helps you clear your mind and set an intention for your day.
Energizing poses, like backbends and sun salutations, wake up your tight body and work out the kinks after a night’s rest.
The morning is usually the coolest part of the day.
Twists and arm balances are easier to perform when you’re not competing with digestion from various meals during the day.
Practicing yoga in the morning avoids any last-minute conflicts that may derail your intentions to step on your mat.
Benefits of evening yoga practice
Evening yoga practice, on the other hand, can prepare your mind and body for sleep.
Incorporate twists and forward folds to help you wind down from a busy day.
Most people have more free time in the evening, helping you feel less rushed in your practice.
Practicing in the evening soothes tension, aches, and pains, providing a deeper, more replenishing sleep.
It can also help you break bad habits like snacking or binge watching TV.
As you can see, there are benefits to either practice time. If you’re not quite sure what’s best for you, experiment.
Diligently try one full week of early morning practices - either at home or with us at the studio for added accountability. Then spend a second week practicing in the evening, exploring what benefits and challenges you find in each style.
After you find the right fit, stick to a similar time whenever possible to maintain that lovely sense of grounding. Try incorporating daily rituals - like meditation, chanting Om, or doing Sun Salutations - to establish further consistency.
Ultimately, take ownership of your yoga practice and design it so it best suits your body and mind!