When starting yoga classes, a person usually doesn’t think about what time of day is best to practice. He simply chooses a studio that is conveniently located and has class times that coincide with his schedule. However, consciously choosing the time to practice yoga increases the effectiveness of the practices. Each time of day brings its own advantages. A competent approach to creating a complex for different times of the day helps to use yoga techniques in the most harmonious and precise way. You can do yoga both in the morning and evening, the main thing is to do it regularly.

Lack of self-discipline in any area is a waste of energy.

B. K. S. Iyengar

What time of day is best to practice yoga

Choosing when to practice depends on many factors:

  • yoga style;
  • needs and goals;
  • daily regime;
  • external distractions;
  • energy level;
  • individual energy rhythms.

Therefore, the answer to the question of when it is better to do yoga will be different for everyone, everything is very individualized. For example, working people are more likely to be able to practice yoga in the evening after work, when they don't have to rush and can devote time to yoga practice. Moms with kids sometimes find it easier to exercise in the morning while everyone is asleep and have time to be alone with themselves.

Yoga texts recommend practicing in the early morning: an hour and a half before sunrise — time dedicated to spiritual practices, — Brahma muhurta. Upon awakening, our mind is calm and while still free from the thoughts and tasks of the day ahead, the digestive system is inactive — all of this creates the perfect environment for practicing 12.

Evening time a couple of hours before bedtime is also favourable for practices, although it requires efforts to calm the mind, shifting attention from the worries of the passing day to inner work 12.

Yoga can also be practiced at lunchtime, the main condition for practice in this case is a sufficient gap between practice and meal, it should be at least two to three hours.

What are the differences between classes at different times

The first thing that differentiates practicing yoga at different times of the day is the state of our mind. The mind tends to be:

  • calm in the morning;
  • active at lunchtime;
  • overstressed and unfocused in the evening.

The second important factor is the condition of the body:

  • there may be some stiffness in the muscles and joints in the morning, lack of flexibility;
  • at lunchtime — overexertion, stiffness;
  • in the evening — general fatigue, need for relaxation.

Depending on the purpose of your practice, choose the best time for yoga on your own. If your mind is very mobile and meditation practices are difficult, try to find time in the morning for a light warm-up and meditation, it is easier to concentrate and be in silence in the morning.

If during the day you are very stressed, at the end of the day you cannot relax, mood and sleep suffers, find a free hour for evening yoga practice, it will help to bring all the body systems in balance and set up for a good night’s rest.

If your job involves constant stress, take half an hour to do yoga at lunchtime to stabilize your mind and boost your performance.

Morning yoga features

In the morning, after waking up, the state of mind is most conducive to practice; this is an excellent time for meditation and pranayamas. The morning routine is monotonous, with few external sounds around, so the mind is as slow and calm as possible at this time. Thoughts, worries, anxieties have not yet filled our consciousness, so practices of working with the mind are easier, and clean air and clear consciousness help to get the most out of them.

If you have limited time to practice in the morning, you can start the day with meditation and a short pranayama, and do the asanas at lunch or in the evening.

Early morning is also suitable for physical practices to improve blood circulation, lymphatic drainage. Such practices help recharge your energy for the coming day and tone your body.

Benefits of morning yoga classes:

  • improve metabolism, digestion 345;
  • increase energy level, productivity 678;
  • stimulate immunity 6910;
  • improve blood circulation, blood oxygen saturation 111213;
  • reduce stress and anxiety levels 6141516;
  • improve mood and emotional state in general 61617.

Interesting fact! Practicing yoga on an empty stomach in the morning promotes weight loss 18.

Warm up the body well in the morning, do joint exercises, and favour dynamic vinyasas.

A great way to start the day would be:

  • Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) complex;
  • deflections;
  • inverted asanas;
  • twists;
  • pranayamas (Kapalabhati and Bhastrika);
  • meditation.

Lunchtime yoga features

At lunchtime, the mind is most active. Multitasking, stress, need to resolve issues promptly — it all tones the mind and body. Lunch is not the best time for deep meditation, but instead of them, practices for working with stress and anxiety management, light complexes to relieve tension and clamps in the body, small warm-ups at the workplace, and yoga for the eyes.

Benefits of practicing yoga at lunchtime:

  • improve performance, concentration 78;
  • reduce stress, anxiety 61619;
  • release clamps, improve posture 2021;
  • improve flexibility 21.

Mid-day practice should not be long, 20-30 minutes is optimal. If you do not have access to a mat, give preference to standing asanas, balances, and bends. Such practice relieves tension in body and mind, enhances concentration and performance, also supports digestion, helps to overcome lethargy and drowsiness.

Important! The only condition for practicing at lunchtime is to take a break after eating for at least two hours. If you plan to practice during your lunch break, it is preferable to do some asanas, pranayama first, and then have your lunch afterwards.

Evening yoga features

In the evening the mind is no longer so active, but the psyche is tense and fatigue generally dominates. Evening is the time of relaxing practices: asanas, pranayamas and meditations are effective here as well. Chandra Namaskar complex, pranayamas: Ujjayi, Nadi Shodhana, Bhramari will work well.

Evening yoga helps:

  1. relieve the load on the musculoskeletal system after a working day 2223;
  2. calm down and de-stress 2425;
  3. improve sleep quality 26;
  4. cope with insomnia 2728;
  5. normalize hormone production 2729.

In your evening practice, favour relaxing asanas sitting and lying on your back, bending, twisting. You can make the shavasana practice longer; you can close your eyes and concentrate more on your breathing, practice in dim light.

Inspiration is the key to regular practice

Practicing yoga should be an island of joy and calm in the daily routine, not just another frustrating obligation. Yoga is an effective tool in skilful hands, but regularity is important.

Perfection in asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached.

B. K. S. Iyengar

Try practicing yoga in the morning, at lunch and in the evening. Track the pros and cons of practicing at different times. Gradually you will realize when it is better to practice yoga for you personally and build an optimal schedule, and yoga will become a daily healthy habit.