So you want to get started with yoga, but you of course have limited time in your day. So what is the best time of day for you to do yoga?
I think this depends on what you’d like to get out of your yoga practice.
There are benefits to practicing at different times of the day, depending on your needs and your daily routine.
I’ll walk you through all of this in this article.
I LOVE morning yoga. You can’t beat starting the day with some sun salutations to wake you up.
Morning yoga is a great way to stretch your body after a long night’s sleep. Think about it – you’re in the same position for 6-8 hours straight. Your body is craving some stretch and movement, and yoga is a perfect way to satisfy it.
Morning yoga also encourages you to set intentions for your day. You could choose an affirmation for example ‘I will make today great’, and repeat this internally whilst doing your morning yoga practice.
To have a great day, you need to set yourself up for it. And yoga can help to positively prime your brain to have a good day. Of course, you can’t control everything that may happen to you throughout the day.
But what you can do is encourage your mind to take control and take responsibility for your own feelings. Starting your day with a healthy habit and healthy affirmation primes your subconscious for the day ahead.
Morning yoga also has the potential to be extremely calming, before you start your day.
This is actually how I began my first ever yoga practice. Find out more here, but I basically had an extremely stressful and uncertain job at the time I started yoga. I needed something every morning to calm my anxiety and focus my mind. Yoga was perfect for this.
Have you heard of the ‘post lunch dip’?
After eating lunch, people sometimes feel tired, lethargic and bored. Especially if your job involves sitting behind a desk all day. Does thing ring a bell?
Yoga can help combat this. Practicing yoga in the afternoon at work (or at home) helps to reawaken your body, stretch out and focus your mind.
Making you more productive and happy at work.
It can also be great if you’ve got a busy day, and need even just 10 minutes of relaxing breath work to help you silence the business of your mind, and ease any anxiety you may be having.
If you do work the standard 9-5, then you could start by seeing if there are any events or yoga studios around you where you could get an afternoon practice in.
If not, why not start it yourself? I know of many offices where people have devised their own yoga class for the afternoons. This can also become a social occasion, allowing you to meet and speak with like-minded people in your office – people you may not have met otherwise!
Do you struggle to wind down and relax in the evenings?
Do you struggle to slow your mind down when you lay in bed ready to sleep?
In our modern world with so much going on – so many meetings, interactions,events – it can be really hard to fully unwind and get ready to sleep.
If you struggle to do this, I would recommend some evening yoga.
Evening yoga can be restorative and relaxing – and focuses a lot on breath work.
Yoga calms your mind before bed – and focuses on accepting whatever have happened throughout the day – no matter how stressful or painful some things may have been.
It helps you press reset on the day, and sets you up for a good day tomorrow, rather than carrying any emotional baggage with you into the next day, or even the next week.
And just like it’s great to have a morning routine, it’s great to have a bedtime routine. A regular bedtime routine sets up a rhythm for your body, and is a good sleep practice to get the most out of your 8 hours downtime.
You can also use an evening yoga practice as a way to break out of some old, unhealthier habits, such as binge-eating or binge-watching TV!
Instead of watching an hour of Love Island each night, try replacing it with an hour of yoga and I’m sure you’ll see so many benefits you won’t ever look back.
Listen to your body
Yoga is a form of self care that should be completely personalised to you.
You know yourself better than anyone. When would be best for you to practice?
You may find that different days require different things. For example, if you’ve got a stressful day coming up, you may want to wake up just a little bit earlier (literally 10 minutes earlier will do it) and begin with a calming yoga sequence.
Likewise, if you’ve had a particularly difficult day and your mind is racing, you may notice that a bedtime practice is exactly what you need.
Alternatively, if you find yourself sat behind your desk bored and unmotivated, a quick yoga reset can help to kickstart your productivity once again.
And what’s funny is that because yoga focuses hugely on awareness – the more your practice, the more you will notice exactly what you need.
You don’t need your mat
And don’t forget – there are many principles of yoga that you can use and harness throughout your day, without necessarily having the step foot on a yoga mat.
For example, take some simple breathing. You can harness the Buddha Belly Breath at any point throughout the day.
Yoga also incorporates a lot of meditation – you can meditate absolutely anywhere. And just taking 10 minutes to ‘reset’ your mind can be extremely beneficial.
Basically, it is all completely up to you. You don’t need an article on the internet to tell you when to practice. You simply need to listen and learn from your body and mind, and you’ll figure it all out yourself.
Let me know how it goes!