The best time of day to practice yoga is when you have time!
Congratulations on recognising that it is a good idea to add a yoga practice into your day!
Yoga is most beneficial when it is practiced regularly. In an ideal world, I would recommend a morning and an evening practice every day but we all know that most of us simply do not have time time for this. Consistency is your friend. You will be surprised at the difference in how you feel once your practice becomes consistent.
As with anything we would like to become part of our routine, it has to be manageable. If we set ourselves unrealistic targets, as soon as we begin to struggle for what ever reason, we will start making excuses and feeling we have failed. Then we are less likely to achieve our aim. Try to fit your yoga into your day rather than build your day around your yoga.
I recommend first deciding when you have time to practice. Then decide out how much time you will have. Then reduce that time by half (remember you can always choose stay longer on your mat). You are far more likely to regularly complete a ten minute practice every day than a twenty minute one. Some days you might achieve twenty and that will feel like a bonus. Allow completion of your ten minute practice to feel like a pleasurable win. If you find ten minutes too much of a commitment, then reduce it to five but do five minutes every day. Make this daily time slot to which you look forward. Once this time slot feels like it is embedded in your day, you are much less likely to stop. Just promise yourself that you will do that ten minutes. If you find ten minutes too much of a commitment, then reduce it to five but do five minutes every day. It is best to avoid practicing yoga too soon after a meal - allow 90 minutes after you meal before starting your practice.
Traditionally, more invigorating practices would be done earlier in the day and the slower, more restorative yoga saved for later in the day but you may have different needs. Decide what you need from your yoga practice. How would you like to feel after it? That might vary day to day. It is likely to be different depending on whether you practice in the morning or evening.
If practicing in the morning you might like to feel awake, invigorated and ready to take on the rest of the day but equally, you might wish to feel calm, alert, balanced and focused ready to host a meeting, presentation or something else. If practicing just before lunch, its good to “fire up” the digestion so that your body is ready to efficiently digest your food so that you benefit well from the vitamins, minerals and fuel it offers.
If your available time slot for yoga is the afternoon, you might like a relaxing practice. Naturally, our bodies expect a rest in the afternoon. You might benefit from a relaxing and restoring practice leaving you restored and with energy and focus for the afternoon. You might prefer to practice just before bed, in which case, you will likely wish to feel relaxed and ready to sleep. The great thing about yoga is that we can practice according to our needs. The poses, breath work and pace we choose will be different.
You may well notice that your muscles feel stiffer earlier in the day whilst your body feels more pliable and joints a little "looser" later in the day. When ever and how ever you practice, be aware of the signs your body is giving you. Yoga is not supposed to hurt! Warm up, ease in and if it all seems harder work than usual, be more gentle on that occasion. Respect your body. Your yoga practice can be as individual as you are. Yoga is for every body. Have you heard of "chair yoga"? Yup - there is that too where required and just because its called chair yoga, this doesn’t mean it's easy, it's just better suited for some bodies.
If possible, create a space in your home or work place where you can practice. Lay out your mat and have available any props you are likely to need. Step onto your mat. Take a few breaths, feeling the ground beneath your feet, remember that you are about to give your body what it needs, just as you choose to feed your body a nutritious diet. Then settle into your practice.
If you would like help creating a home practice to suit your personal or varying needs, I can help you with that. We could do this via Zoom or face to face in a private 1:1 session. Just get in touch or book yourself into one of my 1:1 slots via this link
If you don’t see a slot that fits with your schedule, message me and I will try to accommodate you.