When is the Best Time to do yoga?

Yoga is a healthy way for your body and mind to find a balance that improves your wellbeing.  Yoga improves your blood flow and overall flexibility while decreasing your stress levels.  Yoga is a natural way for your body to improve its strength and conditioning while incorporating helpful mindfulness techniques that you can incorporate in all aspects of your life.  

The best time you can utilize your yoga practice depends entirely on your overall health goals.  Having a yoga practice only relies exclusively on a consistent daily routine, which can either be in the morning or evening. If you prefer an energizing yoga practice that activates your metabolism and blood flow, then morning yoga would be best for you.  If you prefer a more calming and restorative yoga practice, than evening yoga would be the better option.  

Below, we’ll be going over what times you should be doing yoga, as well as the benefits that come from the various times. Also, we’ll be taking a look at common poses that can help get you started if you are new.

Should You do yoga in the Morning or at Night?

A healthy yoga practice depends on many factors.  A common thought is that yoga should be practiced first thing in the morning, but this outlook does not work for everybody considering work and family schedules and different body clocks.  For the best morning yoga routine, you should exercise before you eat breakfast to not disrupt your digestive system.  

There are many types of yoga poses that revitalize and calm your body, depending on which type of practice you prefer. Your morning yoga routine should be active and make your body more physically involved with an invigorated outcome.  On the opposite spectrum, your nighttime yoga practice should produce a healing and meditative environment that promotes relaxing movements that allow your body to reflect upon your day and ease your mind and body towards a restful sleep.   

Overall you can practice yoga at any time of the day, but what time of day depends entirely on your health goals.  Practicing yoga at a specific time of day allows various health benefits.  Evaluating whether you function better with a morning yoga routine or evening yoga routine may take a trial and error approach for you to determine how best your body responds to various programs.  You can also discuss your health objectives with a yoga instructor to get a better idea about what yoga routine is best for your lifestyle.  

Why Choose Morning Yoga?

Morning yoga poses help activate your mind and body to increase energy and decrease stress throughout your day.  Yoga focuses on intentional breathing, which forces your mind and body to relax and become attune to your thoughts and movements. 

 Learning how to focus only on breathing allows you to learn mindfulness tools that decrease anxiety.  Decreasing your stress levels naturally is useful to limit distractions and focus on what you can control.  Some health benefits of morning yoga are: 

  • Improves quality of sleep
  • Balances hormones
  • Increases metabolism
  • Strengthens arms and legs
  • Improves heart rate and lowers blood pressure

Yoga stretches your muscles and joints, which are the stiffest in the morning.  Yoga stretches in the morning increase your flexibility and decrease your susceptibility to muscle aches and pains from regular daily physical activity.  Yoga allows you to train your body how to move correctly and learn how to move your body in a functional way that prevents further injuries.  

Whether you have been practicing yoga for years or are new to the exercise, it is a way to incorporate health and movement into your lifestyle.  Yoga allows anyone at any age to learn and train their body to move in a safe and practical way.   

Morning Yoga Heath Benefits

Having a morning yoga routine clears and focuses your mind on the tasks you must perform for the day and produce a positive and uplifting perspective.  There are other important benefits to morning yoga.  Some health benefits include:

  • Fresh start to the day
  • Hormones are activated
  • Blood flow is increased, which produces energy
  • With sweat-inducing poses your muscles improve their flexibility

Common Morning Yoga Poses

Morning yoga offers promotes different poses than evening yoga.  Because the health and exercise goals of morning yoga differ, the poses are more physically demanding and expressive.  The poses that allow your body to use the highest amount of physical exertion are:

  • Yoga Twist: a healthy morning yoga pose that strengthens your back and elongates your spine.  This pose promotes a healthy digestion system, which is essential to start your day off correctly.  
  • Camel Pose:  a healthy morning pose that opens up your breathing with its open and expansive pose.  This pose focuses on breath control, which decreases stress.  
  • Cat-Cow:  This pose stretches both your upper and lower body.  By stretching these muscles, you are waking up your body and preparing your mind for your movements for the rest of the day.  
  • Bow Pose:  This is a morning pose that is a natural morning boost of energy.  This pose offers a great amount of stretching that increases flexibility, which is essential for movement throughout the day.  
  • Bridge Pose: this is a more relaxing pose that allows the body to pause for a moment.  You focus on your slow movement and breath while stretching your entire upper and lower body, keeping your entire body involved in the pose.  

Evening Yoga Health Benefits

Evening yoga offers a different perspective and goal than morning yoga.  Your muscles are in a more comfortable position for movement, but usually, it is your mind that needs a refresher from the day.  Because of built-up mental and physical tension, your muscles need a release, which evening yoga provides.  Increased tension and stress leads to inflammation, which is a common causes for many bouts of sickness, which yoga offers a natural way to prevent.  

Common Benefits of an evening yoga practice: 

  • Allows your mind and body to unwind, loosen up and refocus
  • Your digestion system functions better
  • Your sleep cycle improves with decreased stress
  • Your overall mood improves through concentrating on positive thinking skills

Common Evening Yoga Poses

Evening yoga poses have a different intention than morning poses.  Evening poses focus on recharging and relaxing your mind and body.  Stress and tension build throughout the day. Therefore your evening yoga should provide a physical and mental relief.  

The best yoga exercises for an evening exercise routine are:

  • Downward facing dog:  this pose involves both your upper and lower body, which force you to focus your breath while holding the pose.  It is a natural stress reducers while removing tension from your body.  
  • Triangle Pose:  this pose releases built-up tension in your upper and lower body.  Your build-up energy is released by rotating your body to gain a new perspective.  
  • Seated Spinal Twist:  this pose forces your entire body to move in an opposite natural direction, which increases blood flow and improves breath control.  Your mind is also able to sharpen and refocus.  
  • Corpse Pose: This is a common final relaxation pose that offers you a chance to reflect and offer gratitude for your day and prepare your mind and body for sleep.  Both your mind and body can embrace a comfortable silence.  

All of these poses allow your body to calm down from your hectic day.  Your mind and body may resist slowing down after your long day, but allowing your mind and body the chance to reflect and recharge improves your health and ability to overcome stress-related illnesses.  

Sources: 

https://emiliam.com/health-benefits-of-yoga-in-the-morning/

https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/finding-the-best-time-to-practice

https://www.livestrong.com/article/1012675-whats-time-day-practice-yoga/

https://www.verywellfit.com/yoga-poses-for-evening-downward-facing-dog-3567172

Sita

Mother of three and Yogi of 20+ years and 200 Hour Certified Yoga Teacher. I am also a Certified Thai massage therapist and I have taught Gymnastics for more than 10 years. In the last couple of years, I've been a big promotor of intermittent fasting.

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