Starting your morning on your yoga mat for a revitalising practice is one of the best ways to physically and mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead! Flowing through a series of asanas before breakfast may not always be what you want to do first thing in the morning, but making the extra effort will seriously pay off – spiritually, emotionally and physically! On the other hand, the benefits of ending your day on the mat for a burst of evening yoga are also not to be overlooked.
Benefits of Morning Yoga
If you do not have enough energy in the mornings to get through a yoga session, then this is a huge sign that your diet is not serving you well! Your body will be busy digesting when you are asleep, and if this doesn’t fuel you by the morning then something needs to change. On the other hand, if you wake ready for the day and itching to get on the mat, then you will know that you are nourishing your body in an adequate way – and this knowledge is a great benefit of doing yoga in the mornings!
Having a morning ritual is conducive to a better sleep cycle as you will be more likely to adhere to a sensible bedtime. Nobody enjoys starting the day when they haven’t had ample sleep, but it’s not always so simple to get to bed on time. When you know you have to be alert and energised for your morning yoga, you will encourage yourself to better embrace this essential aspect of self-care.
Addressing your breathing first thing in the morning can really help to maintain your mood and attitude for the day ahead. When you start your day on the mat you will be paying attention to your breathing, and setting the pace of your day. This awareness can help you to return to your breathing for relief in moments of stress and anxiety.
Benefits of Evening Yoga
Taking to your mat before bedtime is a great way to process the events of the day and to release any residual negative experiences and emotions that you have not fully dealt with during your day. Utilising a variety of restorative yoga poses can be especially beneficial here. This better enables your mind to relax and to quieten the constant stream of thoughts and emotions that you have experienced in the hours just past.
When you engage in yoga in the evening, not only can you relinquish negativity, but you can also set yourself up to enjoy better sleep. This is because yoga soothes the anxieties that can so often keep us awake. Furthermore, opting for poses that aid the digestive process is advantageous for better sleep, and can help you to avoid indigestion, heartburn and bloating during the night.
Yoga is a great way to stimulate the flow of energy through your body, boosting feelings of happiness and alleviating stress. This is the perfect state of mind to head to bed in, not only for optimum sleep but also for enabling you to wake with a positive mindset the following morning.
It is worth noting that it is best to avoid intense physical yoga late in the evening as it can actually disrupt your sleep pattern. This is because of how your body reacts to increased levels of adrenalin and cortisol post-exercise.
Which is Best?
As you can see, practicing yoga first thing in the morning can help to clear your mind and equip you to get started with your day. Whereas, evening yoga can help you to unwind after your day and restore peace and calm. It is personal to each individual to discover what works best for them, and to take time constraints into consideration. On the other hand, if you are able to fit in a short practice both in the morning and in the evening, then you will be able to enjoy the benefits of both!