If you’ve ever wondered what’s the best time of day to practise yoga, you’re in good company! It’s a question that yoga students often ask when they want to establish a routine they can stick to but also wish to maximise the impact of their yoga practice.
Finding the ideal time to practise depends on many factors and variables and should ultimately be an entirely personal choice. So, when is the best time to do yoga? Keep reading to discover some of the time-related factors that can impact your practice as you go through the day.
How Time Affects Your Yoga Practice
Different times of day affect our mood, energy, motivation, and the way we think. Based on the responses of our nervous system, we tend to achieve variable states of equilibrium at different times throughout the day. The nervous system is not only highly attuned to our changing activities and surroundings but is also constantly responding to a vast range of input, creating various chemical reactions that can either be conducive to a strong yoga practice or extremely counterproductive.
Chemical messages that are sent to the brain in the early hours of the morning vary vastly from those that are sent in the afternoon and evening. If you notice that you get better results from practising yoga in the morning, this could be the best time of day for you to practise. The benefits of yoga in the morning are numerous. However, if you’re not a morning person, practising yoga in the morning could inspire inertia, a lack of focus and ultimately, very sporadic practice.
Practising Yoga in the Morning
Most people will agree that they tend to be more productive in the morning, whether they are at home or at work. Most of us tend to feel more clear-headed, energised and refreshed first thing in the morning. The morning also ushers in two powerful healing periods: Our physical intelligence and our emotional intelligence. The first healing process, the physical intelligence, occurs between 3:00 to 6:00 AM when our body is at its peak of healing, repair and maintenance. This is when the body heals itself from the damage of the previous day.
The second healing process, emotional intelligence, occurs between 6:00 to 9:00 AM. This is another important phase when the body is at its peak of healing, repair and maintenance. Morning yoga is often popular, as it can help to energise the body and augment its repair work, just at the time when we are most receptive to healing.
Your Nervous System Throughout the Day
Throughout the day, our circadian rhythms follow the sun. These rhythms are directly connected to the nervous system and endocrine system. Circadian rhythms govern the many processes of the body. These processes include how the body feels, metabolises nutrients, and heals itself.
The energy levels present in the morning surge at around 11:00 AM, and then they subside. This is why we often feel sluggish in the afternoon, with little desire to do anything. Some of us even experience a mild form of depression. This is because our body’s immune system is at its peak of activity for about 4 hours, between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM and then begins to slow down.
Practising Yoga in the Afternoon
Because the afternoon is the time when we often experience a slow-down within the body, many people struggle to stick to a regular afternoon yoga routine, finding it easier to focus in the morning. The late afternoon is also the time of day when we tend to crave more food, as the body begins to increase its hunger signals to satisfy its need to metabolise more food to replace lost energy.
At this point, however, the metabolism has slowed down, making it a less-than-ideal time to eat. If we can overcome resistance, a yoga class at this time might help us to balance the hunger hormones and reenergise the body more effectively, in preparation for a healthy evening meal.
The evening is a time when most of us feel like relaxing. It is when we crave a snack, a movie or some comfort food. The endocrine system creates a sense of relaxation and balance and the hormones, melatonin and cortisol, prepare our body for the coming night’s rest. However, some people find that yoga is the perfect way to relax in preparation for a peaceful night of refreshing sleep. Many have claimed that practising yoga at night has even cured their stress-related insomnia.
So, When is the Best Time to Do Yoga?
In case you’re still unsure, the best time to practise yoga is whatever time works best for you. Delve deeper into an understanding of your own body, intentions and physical makeup. Understanding how different times of day affect you will help you to make the right decisions about the best time for you to establish a consistent yoga practice. The most important thing is that you listen to your body and avoid forcing it into anything that feels strained or unnatural.
How The Power Yoga Company Can Help!
The Power Yoga Company offers over 90 classes a week. You’re sure to find one at a time of day that suits you! If you’re looking for friendly, sympathetic yoga classes in London, taught by highly qualified and dedicated yoga teachers, get in touch with us today!