When Should I Practice Yoga? | New Year 30 Day Yoga Challenge | Day 5

by Melissa West on January 5, 2018

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When Should I Practice Yoga


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One of the most asked questions I get is when should I practice yoga? What time of day is the best time of day to practice yoga?

And the answer is, it depends. It depends on you. Are you a morning person?

I am a morning person. I love to go to bed early and get up before the sun. So for me, practicing my yoga first thing in the wee early hours of the morning is a great fit. For my husband and my daughter, they are not morning people and it would make no sense for them to drag themselves out of bed in the morning to practice yoga. They both come alive at night. In fact, whenever my husband and I roll out our mats together, it is usually at night. So if you usually come alive at night, then practice your yoga at night.

Another part of the ¨it depends¨ answer, needs to consider the type of yoga you are going to practice. Yin yoga for example works best first thing in the morning when your connective tissues are cold. If your connective tissues are warmed up, then you will stay up at the superficial level of muscles and not get into the deeper levels of connective tissues, ligaments and bones. That being said, yin yoga is also a wonderful style of practice at the yin time of day, in the evening when the world is becoming quiet and dark again and embodying those yin qualities of being: stillness, slow, reflecting on the day.

We can look to traditional chinese medicine for our answers as well. Traditional Chinese Medicine would probably say morning. Between 9 and 11 am our spleen organ system, which controls our muscles and our four limbs in our body is most active, so this is a great time for more active forms of yoga such as hatha yoga, vinyasa flow yoga, power yoga and ashtanga yoga.

If you are practicing restorative yoga, the answer again would be it depends. I have often woken up in the morning after a terrible night´s sleep and turned to restorative yoga first thing in the morning. Restorative yoga can also be a wonderful practice right before bed to prepare your body for sleep. It might not be the best practice mid-day when your energy and the energy of the day is the highest.

If you have that 4 pm energy slump, yoga nidra or sleep yoga can be the perfect way to pull through the afternoon. Yoga nidra can also be a wonderful bedtime yoga practice to prepare for sleep and I have also used it plenty of nights when I need yoga for insomnia and want to do yoga in bed.

If you would like my 7 days to better sleep with yoga and I will send you 1 video a day for 7 days with the best of yoga, ayurveda, self massage and pranayama (or breath practices) to help you get the best night’s sleep. https://www.melissawest.com/sleep/

Thank you so much for watching today. If you made it all the way to the end put the words bedtime yoga in the comments. I will see you tomorrow for day 6 of our 30 day New Year yoga challenge.

Namaste, Melissa

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