Best Times To Do Yoga:
Are you someone who prefers to work out in the morning? How about the afternoon? Evening time? Right before bed? Do you wander if there are “best times to do yoga”, or other exercises? An often subjective opinion, we’ll give our thoughts within this post.
Fact is, anyone who has exercised for any extensive amount of time has probably done all of the above at one time or another. Oftentimes, it’s about when you can fit a 30-minute, or hour routine into your hectic day. Additionally, some individuals feel most energized within certain timeframes of there day.
Interestingly enough, there has been research studies surrounding the “best” time of the day to exercise?
That’s right! There is research to suggest different benefits dependent upon what time of the day you workout.
Keep in mind, there are all sorts of variety, when it comes to exercise routine, not just yoga. Some are more gentle forms while others make you sweat, and get that heart pumping. So it’s important to keep this in mind. What we’d like to do is provide information as if you were participating in a moderate-intensity yoga routine.
The Best Times To Do Yoga?
Usually, either a morning or evening routine works better for most. Oftentimes, an individuals schedule does not allow for an afternoon workout. Many of us work, or are running our kids around. Furthermore, due to how many of our daily lives are structured, afternoon workouts can be challenging to fit in.
According to us, here at RN to Zen, the best time to do yoga is obviously when you can fit it in safely and effectively. However, specific times may lend itself to certain advantages.
Your age and current fitness level may also determine when and what time you like to exercise. Even Sleep Foundation discusses specific research on such influences. They state that the optimal time to exercise depends on many factors, including; chronotype, your age, and underlying health conditions.
Yoga offers many benefits and it is only in the long run of a daily routine that one can find its effect. You will need to decide which path (style) suits you best, fits your lifestyle, and works with your daily schedule most cohesively, for longevity.
Related Article: Easy to Complete Yoga Sequences for Beginners!
Like beforementioned, it’s important to be consistent. For example, being an active participant in yoga at least 3 – 4 times a week, especially if you are not pursuing any other form of exercise. For us, this is a good starting point.
Yoga is about helping to heal both the body and mind, it should not be a stressful time. However, should be a way to unwind, or push yourself in a way that helps you heal.
A Case For Morning Yoga
Surely, morning sessions are more suited for some. Morning yoga (or exercise) gets you a fresh start to the day, blood flowing, increases energy levels and hormone production. On top of this, morning exercise (and early exposure to sunlight) may have an added benefit.
According to Sleep Foundation, “this helps entrain circadian rhythms”. Thus potentially, leading to an easier time falling asleep early.
Related Article: Yoga for Better Sleep: Learn Why Bedtime Yoga, Works!
Working out (generally) in the morning, get’s you up and going, making you feel better, as those happy endorphins get released. For us personally, working out in the morning makes us feel as though we have gotten a large “to do” off our list. It gives us a sense of accomplishment and opens up the rest of the day.
How many of you are sore, stiff or tight in the morning? If this is the case, exploring a morning yoga routine may also be beneficial to optimize your mobility for the day, helping to increase strength and flexibility.
Certain poses may help to aide in pain relief or stiffness, allowing for decompression of your spine or opening up those tight hips.
Some Interesting Research:
Another reason to add yoga to your morning routine is to help curve your appetite. A study done out of BYU, suggests 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise in the morning, reduces a persons motivation for food.
Related Article: Yoga for Lower Back Pain
Another study suggests that working out in the morning may be beneficial to “enhance nocturnal blood pressure changes and quality of sleep”. Morning exercise has also shown to improve muscle strength, compared to other times of the day, in one study. However, it’s clear more research is needed to prove this conclusion.
A study from the University of Copenhagen were able to produce results in an animal study, concluding that exercise in the morning results in an increased metabolic response in skeletal muscle.
Can we better burn (metabolize) things like sugars and fats in the morning? Just maybe, according to this research.
Also, yoga in the morning is said to be beneficial due to the fact it’s consistent with having an empty stomach and digestive system. Think about doing all of those yoga poses while having a full stomach. This doesn’t sound to comfortable, right?
Morning Yoga Stretch In 10 Minutes
As per the Ashtanga system, which emphasizes keeping with a specific routine and time in which asanas are done, typically encourages morning routines.
Keeping with these consistencies is said to have a better effect on the body and mind. Ashtanga style yoga, although a vigorous workout routine, is very focused on the spirit and riding the body of toxins through sweat.
A Case For Evening Yoga
With all that said about yoga in the morning, what about the benefits or pitfalls of yoga in the evening?
Evening yoga routines can also be beneficial. Additionally, some individuals are just not wired to get up early and grind. Many of us need a solid morning breakfast consumption, or due to the timing, doesn’t support our work schedules.
Above all, (when discussing evening yoga), may be the question of, how late?
Some Interesting Research:
According to John Hopkins Medicine, it takes about 1-2 hours for endorphin levels to go down after a workout. This is important because these brain chemicals can keep some people awake. So working out, showering, and then going right to bed without a little wind-down period, may not be ideal for some.
We’ve discussed one advantage of morning yoga being that it gets your muscles warmed-up. However, you also have to get past that initial stage of being stiff and rigid. With an evening routine, your muscles, and joints are already warmed up, ready to go. This obviously depends on the type of work you do regularly, but for many it’s difficult to perform yoga maneuvers in the morning simply because there muscles are not warmed-up.
There has also been evidence to suggest strength and endurance is better in the evening versus in the morning. An article published in 2013 produces evidence that one may be able to workout “markedly” longer in the evening, versus in the morning.
An Evening Stretch & Relax Session
Combining Yoga With Other Mindfulness Techniques:
Evening yoga routines offer a time that you can de-stress and decrease the tension that may have built-up throughout your day. Likewise to morning yoga, yoga in the evening accompanied with meditation, can help us practice mindfulness. Meaning that we can focus our energy and steer aware from bad habits, like food indulging and late night eating.
Oftentimes, these are comfort cravings, so if we can focus our mind on something else, these cravings may subside.
Remember, this is a habit that you form. It’s not about the best time to do yoga, rather than deciding to do it regardless of what is happening in your life. If you decide to do it regularly, you will find the balance and the best time that works with your busy schedule. For us, whether the morning, noon or night, you can’t go wrong placing yoga in your life!
We appreciate your time with us today and we hope that you to can find time to better yourself and health! Please comment and offer any advice you may have to help people get started in there yoga journey.
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