Yoga has many benefits, especially if you can routinely fit in exercises each day. The key is being consistent with the workouts.
Whether you’re an early riser or just love to sleep in, you can quickly learn what’s the best time to do yoga.
Many professionals suggest that morning yoga often gives you the most benefits, but ideally, the best time to do yoga is what time works with your schedule.
What if you have the free time to alter your schedule?
If that’s the case, we can help point out the best time to do yoga so that you can maximize your benefits.
Is It Better to Do Yoga in the Morning or at Night?
Historically, many professional yogi instructors would advocate for doing yoga before the sun rises.
The mentality behind this is yoga can put your mind and body in a positive state for the rest of the day.
If you think about it, most of our mornings consist of hitting the snooze clock repeatedly and then finally rolling over to check our phones.
While this may be a habit at this point, it isn’t exactly the healthiest way to start your day.
Instead, think of morning yoga as eating a healthy breakfast.
You don’t want to put spoonfuls of sugar in your mouth right after you wake up since it will cause your body to lag and hit you by mid to end-day.
It’s the same mentality for morning yoga. If you skip doing any physical activity first thing in the morning, there’s a higher chance you’ll either put it off or start to feel worse.
Even though individuals tend to vouch for morning yoga, some people just aren’t morning people.
If that’s the case, we’d recommend doing it whenever you feel the most energetic and motivated.
As we’ve mentioned, a big part of the battle of yoga is doing it routinely.
If you’re more likely to skip yoga in the mornings, then doing it at night may be best for you.
Is It Better to Do Yoga on an Empty Stomach?
Food is a necessity to live, especially for fueling your body pre-workout; still, many yoga instructors have shared their opinion that it’s better to practice yoga on an empty stomach.
Doesn’t that sound counterintuitive? The truth is, practicing yoga on an empty stomach is one of the core principles of doing yoga right.
If you have to eat or can’t stomach hunger cravings, you can choose to eat ahead of time or have a light snack.
Ideally, a light snack should be eaten no sooner than an hour before working out.
If you have to eat a full meal, you may want to wait at least four hours before starting your yoga session.
The main reason for not eating before a yoga session is that it takes both time and energy for the body to digest food.
Instead of using all your strength on your stances, your body would be too distracted by doing multiple tasks, lessening the effectiveness of your workout.
While digesting, your body converts energy into sending food through your digestive tissues to help move it along your intestines.
Additionally, doing yoga while you’re digesting can take energy away from your digestive tissues.
When this happens, your body will feel sick, bloated, and constipated, so in the long run, it can be counterintuitive to eat before a yoga session.
Is 20 Minutes of Yoga a Day Enough?
Experts say that as little as 10 minutes of yoga a day can make a significant difference in how you feel, so 20-minute sessions will be more than enough for a one-day session.
We wouldn’t recommend 20-minute sessions unless you’re in either intermediate or expert level yoga because yoga is very straining, especially to newcomers.
If you’re pushing yourself too hard for too long, you may end up doing more damage than good. That doesn’t mean, though, you should stop doing yoga.
Many people have found that limiting their sessions to 10 to 15 minutes at a time can help prevent any risks and give the maximum amount of benefits.
Easy ways to ensure that you’re getting the most out of your short sessions is by either using yoga DVDs or heading to class with an instructor.
These methods ensure that you aren’t idle during precious workout time.
When just starting, we don’t recommend limiting your sessions; instead, focus more on learning and perfecting each stance.
After all, a 10-minute yoga session of bad stance posture can do a significant amount of damage to your body.
Learning each stance individually before stringing them together into sessions can help ensure that you’re not putting a strain on your joints or tissues.
What Benefits Does Daily Yoga Provide?
Aside from building muscles and promoting relaxation, yoga has vast benefits when done consistently.
According to a ten-year study, individuals who practiced 12 minutes of yoga daily had reversed osteoporotic bone loss.
Another study suggests that yoga can help reduce overall anxiety and help treat chronic insomnia.
Other known benefits of daily yoga are reduced tension, stronger core muscles, and a reduction of pain within the body.
Some find that they get more mental benefits from performing yoga each day.
Those who practice it every day say that when they skip a session, it affects their mood.
Yoga is also good for loosening tight muscles and increasing blood flow.
When your body feels good, so is your mind.
Yoga can be such a powerful tool, even when done only for a few minutes each day.
Experts recommend doing yoga in the early morning to help set your mind and body on the right path for the rest of the day.
However, if you’re more of a night owl, you’ll find that performing yoga before bed can make you feel relaxed and get you into the right mindset for sleep.
Tips to Maximize Your Benefits
Choosing the right time of day to complete your yoga session is key to getting enhanced results, but there are still some key elements you need to consider to help promote a healthy yoga session.
Aside from skipping food, five other main elements can completely change your workout.
1. Choose a Good Spot
Whether you’re working out before sunrise or choosing to perform yoga before bed, you must select a good place of practice.
Having an open space with lots of fresh air free from distractions will drastically help the “mental” side of yoga.
Avoid areas that have direct sunlight, bugs, or may have winds.
Any distraction from the outdoors will take away the focus and awareness you need to be mindful of your stances in yoga.
2. Practice Mindfulness
A big part of yoga can focus on your inner self. If you’re distracted or just mindlessly doing yoga, you won’t see much progression.
Being able to focus on each muscle contracting and relaxing will help you understand where and when you went wrong.
3. Focus on Breathing
Unlike relaxation techniques requiring you to breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth, yoga promotes breathing both in and out of your nose.
Performing yoga either during the morning or late at night can ensure that your nasal pathways aren’t clogged.
The room temperature can also affect breathing, which is why so many people recommend heading outside.
4. Be Cautious
Know your limits when you’re practicing yoga. While anyone can do yoga, many of the applications are classified into different levels.
Trying to perform higher-level stances could be dangerous and harmful.
If you’re working out during the morning, outdoors, always keep steady footing and don’t do yoga on an uneven surface.
Adequate lighting can also help prevent you from twisting your ankle or hurting your wrists.
5. Choose the Right Equipment
That brings us to our last recommendation, which is to invest in the right equipment.
Often television and media oversell the idea that you need a bunch of yoga years to perform yoga.
However, that’s far from the truth. Yoga may not require supplies, but investing in a few key items can help enhance your techniques.
We always suggest investing in a smooth, non-slip yoga mat. Whether you’re practicing indoors, outdoors, in the morning, or even at night, a yoga mat can help create a stable surface for your stances.
Aside from that, clothes should promote movement but doesn’t make you uncomfortable.
For early morning workouts, we find that yoga pants, a tank top, and a light jacket can help make you feel at ease.
If working out during the night, investing in heavier clothing can help prevent your body from feeling cold.
What Is the Best Time to Do Yoga: The Conclusion
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to what time of day you perform yoga.
Each individual should strive for a time that works best for their daily routine.
After all, it’s better to get in a workout every day rather than skip a session just because you’re lagging in the morning or too tired at night.
Consistency is critical, so don’t fret too much about the most beneficial time of day.
As long as you have the drive to get a yoga session each day, the time of day doesn’t matter.
Just remember that keeping an empty stomach, having adequate fresh air, and having a tranquil space can help optimize your session more than the time of day.