Best Time to Do Yoga?
It seems that the best time to do yoga, especially ashtanga style, is during the morning. This is often the time that we are most focused and have clarity of mind. As opposed to after work or at the end of the day, typically a person is either exhausted or contemplating events that happened that day. Work certainly can add psychological tension which can impact your energy and ability to maintain focus. Clarity of mind allows a person to be removed from all distractions.
Once you create a routine of doing yoga in the morning, the essence of the routine helps reinforce that clarity of mind. The practice becomes predictable, and our brains love predictable activities. Routine is paramount to the body, so incorporating a yoga practice into your morning routine allows a better-quality pose and practice.
Heard of Sun Salutation?
The morning is also the best time to do yoga because this is the time when your energy levels are the highest after a restful night’s sleep. Yoga expert and mastermind, B.K.S. Iyengar, wrote that “practice in the morning makes one work better at one’s vocation.” His book, Light on Yoga, is definitely worth reading if you have a moment or interested in learning more of the benefits of yoga.
Morning time is also the period where we also have the highest ability to concentrate and meditate while doing certain yoga poses. One of my favorite yoga poses during the morning is the sun salutation (surya namaskar). Below is a video demonstrating this. The reason being is that this helps clear the energy pathways and allows for a greater sense of balance. It is especially important for those who are looking to improve their flexibility and stretch.
A common complaint of those suffering from chronic lower back pain is morning stiffness so sun salutation and yoga in the morning would be especially helpful. I would recommend at least two rounds on opposite sides and building up to at least 12 sets.
Most important is to ensure that you are monitoring your breathing while holding each pose as this improves clarity and focus. For additional reading on how to incorporate the sun salutation into your morning yoga practice, please see the additional resources at the bottom of the page.
The first thing in considering if mornings are the best time to do yoga is evaluating your typical schedule. There is no purpose in perusing a morning yoga practice if your mind is focused on the many tasks of the day yet to be accomplished. The benefits will be nil.
So, for others, the best time to do yoga may be in the late evenings and there are several benefits to this. The most obvious benefit is that it can help you wind down from work and life responsibilities, allowing you a smoother transition to bed thereby reducing the risk of insomnia.
Check out my post on anti-inflammatory foods that can help promote sleep if you are looking for additional ways to combat insomnia.
Interestingly, having an evening yoga routine can also serve as a way for a person to improve their digestion and metabolism.
Looking for more ideas to build core strength?
Check out our article on Cardio Core and Balance for safe exercises that boost fat loss while also strengthening those critical core muscles.