Finding the Optimal Time to Practice Yoga
Squeezing in an hour or half-hour for yoga may seem impossible when you're overwhelmed with work or family obligations. Yet, yoga offers the perfect way to de-stress and recharge. It can even improve heart health and reduce chronic pain symptoms. Finding the perfect time to practice your asanas may take a little creativity, but you'll be glad you made the effort.
Morning, Noon, or Night?
A calming yoga session can help you face the day relaxed and invigorated. If you're a morning person, consider waking up 30 minutes or an hour earlier a few times a week to practice yoga. Your yoga studio may even offer classes for early risers. If not, unroll your yoga mat in a quiet corner of the house or on your balcony or patio and enjoy the morning solitude.
If sacrificing sleep is a surefire way to sabotage your day, make time for a mid-day or evening yoga session instead. Whether you work from home or in an office, you can probably spare at least 15 minutes during your lunch hour for a little yoga.
Mid-day yoga is ideal if you have a stressful job. After a lunch-time session, you'll feel energized and ready to tackle your afternoon workload. Be sure to eat after your yoga session, as performing your favorite poses immediately after a meal can lead to stomach discomfort.
Finding a spot to perform yoga at work can be a challenge, particularly if you work in an open plan office. Empty conference rooms make ideal makeshift yoga studios, but the rooms may not be available when you need them. Luckily, you can still enjoy the stress-reducing benefits of yoga by performing the seated hip opener, chair pigeon pose or other seated poses.
Are you exhausted and stressed at the end of the day? Evening classes or nightly home yoga sessions offer the ideal way to decompress from your busy day. When you reduce stress and anxiety with yoga and meditation, you may find that it's easier to fall asleep and remain asleep.
The ideal yoga practice time may vary depending on your schedule. Some days it may make sense to begin your day with sunrise yoga, while evening practice may be the better option on other days.
How to Enhance Your Yoga Session Any Time of Day
Keeping these things in mind can help you make the most of your yoga session, no matter when you find time to practice:
- Eliminate Disruptions. Televisions, ringing cell phones, and other distractions may make it difficult to meditate and focus fully on your form when you perform poses. Find a quiet spot and let others know that you don't want to be disturbed.
- Focus on Quality Not Quantity. Have a spare 10 - 15 minutes? Although it's true you won't be able to perform all of your usual poses if your time is limited, you should be able to include a few of your favorite poses. Choose poses that relax or invigorate you, depending on the time of day and your physical and emotional needs.
- Ease Into Your Routine: Performing difficult poses without warming up can result in injuries. Start every yoga session with meditation or deep breathing exercises before moving on to hip openers, sun salutations, or other poses that help loosen your muscles and joints.
Yoga is the perfect antidote for a stressful life. Our classes are designed to help you master proper yoga techniques in a fun, supportive environment. Contact us for information on our current class schedule.
Yoga Journal: Q&A: When is the Best Time to Practice?
VeryWellFit: What’s the Best Time of Day to Do Yoga, 12/27/18
MindBodyGreen: 5 Yoga Poses to Practice First Thing in the Morning