Should you engage in your yoga practice first thing in the morning or later in the day? Many of the experts out there would say first thing in the morning is the best time, and if that’s not possible then later in the day is also acceptable. I used to go on that premise and once I was fully awake I would be on the mat starting with sun salutations. I also tried performing my yoga practice after work and found there are pros and cons to both approaches:
- You get it done first thing in the day, and don’t have to worry about something else coming up.
- Yoga done first thing in the morning sets the stage for morning meditation by breathing and stretching before sitting.
- Both the yoga and meditation enhance your frame of mind as you start your day.
- Early in the morning is usually quieter for both yoga and meditation.
- You are the least flexible first thing in the morning.
- You must make time for it and you may have lots of things to take care of first thing in the morning.
- You are the most flexible later in the day. I found this particularly true for me as I was much more flexible at night versus first thing in the morning.
- After working all day you may really need some physical activity and yoga is a great way to re-awaken your body, especially if you have a job where you sit all day.
- It sets the stage for an evening meditation session.
- It is more likely that something else may come up and you end up skipping your practice.
- If you are also performing some other form of exercise you will need to determine how to fit this in. I personally had to move my strength training to the weekend so I could concentrate on yoga during the week nights.
I am currently performing my yoga practice in the evenings as soon as I get home from work, and when I’m done I spend about 20 minutes meditating. I would also note that while I don’t practice yoga in the mornings I do other forms of exercise and about 10 minutes of meditation. My strength training routine had to change as I went from a 6 day split to a 3 day split, with the majority of this being done on Saturday and Sunday. This leaves me 5 days a week to devote to yoga in the evening. I guess you have to ask yourself, what works best for you and your lifestyle? Can I get up early enough and have the uninterrupted time needed to perform a morning practice or is it more convenient to do it after work? Neither of the approaches is optimal for people with demanding careers, but choose the least objectionable one and make sure you make it a priority.