It’s not actually a subject of debate but the perfect time to practice Ashtanga brings a buzz to practitioners. Surely, this depends on the choice of the yogi. But Ashtanga yoga morning or evening practice has its own pros and cons. Some asanas may require an empty stomach while others are flexible enough to be practiced at any time of the day. It will be a big help to ask your yoga teacher about this.
Here, I’ll discuss some of the points that you have to know if you’re still torn on what time to schedule your yoga practice. Remember that these are just opinions of other yogis and your preference will still be the choosing factor here. Anyway, it wouldn’t hurt to check out how it goes for other practitioners like you.
1. EVERYONE ISN’T A MORNING/EVENING PERSON
This is one of the most obvious factors you should consider if you’re deciding on the time of your practice. Not everyone can jump out of bed, say 5 am, to hit the mat and practice yoga. This may also be the case for people who can’t stand a session in a very tiring evening.
Pushing yourself to practice on the time you’re not comfortable with will sabotage your Ashtanga routine. How can you meditate and nail asanas if all you’re thinking about is going back to sleep? You should know that choosing Ashtanga yoga morning or evening practice is a matter of choice, not to mention the following factors in this list.
2. IT MAY BOIL DOWN TO ASHTANGA’S PRINCIPLE ABOUT SUNRISE
In the traditional Ashtanga principle, the sunrise pertains to the expansion of prana while sunset is the opposite. This is the reason why Ashtanga is traditionally practiced early in the morning. Gurus see the expansion as a precious opportunity to be spiritually active.
Yogis also believe that the sunrise imbibes the flow of energy. This is also the same reason why many, if not all, people are more productive in the morning. However, many Ashtanga classes nowadays are tweaked for modern execution. This may not be a big deal anymore but it will be a different story if you’re enrolled in a traditional class.
3. ASHTANGA IN THE EVENING COULD STIMULATE PRODUCTIVITY
This may contradict the second point but for people who are more active at night, late yoga practice is better. It tends to wake up their sleeping muscles to get ready for work. Instead of watching TV or tinkering with your devices, doing yoga at night may also give you a well-rested sleep. Digital devices emit blue light that is said to affect sleeping patterns. And based on my experience, there’s quite substantial evidence for this.
If you’re a night owl, this yoga practice will work for you. Again, choosing Ashtanga yoga morning or evening practice depends on your lifestyle and schedule. Work nowadays stretches up morning so it’ understandable if you can’t practice the traditional way.
4. THE STUDIO SCHEDULE PLAYS A BIG ROLE
If you’re living in New York or Illinois, this wouldn’t be a problem as there are many studios in these states. But for some places here in the U.S., studios might be scarce. Other yoga schools usually open on mornings and close before evening. If you can find a studio that caters both morning and evening practice, it will be better.
The big problem with choosing a time for practice is the availability of the nearest studio. Driving all the way to another one could be taxing if you’re just squeezing in the classes. With that, you’ll be left with no choice but to adjust your preference.
5. LATE PRACTICE GIVES YOU MORE ENERGY
Again, this might be a different thing for some yogis. Other practitioners believe that they have better Savasana in the evening. This gives them more energy for an all-nighter or to attend to their tasks that need to be done in the evening.
If you’re not sure if Ashtanga yoga morning or evening practice will work for you, you’ll have to try practicing at both times of the day. See when you feel more comfortable and try to stick to it. Changing a yoga schedule might not be advisable.
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6. IT DEPENDS ON THE TIME OF THE DAY WHEN YOU’RE LESS DISTRACTED
Let’s look at the more practical side of the story. Many people who practice yogis could be intoxicated with phone calls and emails in the early morning. Practicing yoga might be the last thing you could do at this point. I guess it’s fair to say that the time of practice depends on when you’re less distracted.
We should go back to the principle of meditation. You cannot achieve this alignment of the body, mind, and spirit if you’re preoccupied with the things you have to finish for the day. Also, yogi parents would have to attend to their kids in the morning which leaves no time to hit the mat.
7. MANY SAY THAT THE MIND IS CALMER IN THE MORNING
This is what the majority of yogis say. Since you came straight from sleep, you have refreshed body and mind. This is important if you want to make the most out of the meditative stage. However, some yogis find it hard to hit the mat after waking up. Some feel like their muscles is jelly-like after a whole night’s sleep. This will play a big role in choosing Ashtanga yoga morning or evening practice.
Again, this will root back to being a morning or evening person. But if you want to get over your yoga session as early as possible, the morning practice is suited for you. The environment you are in will also affect your practice schedule.
8. EVENING PRACTICE CAN BE A BIT LOATHSOME
I’m the person who doesn’t want to do anything strenuous at night. For me, it’s the time of the day when energy is at its lowest level. This may be the case for other yogis. The typical lifestyle includes watching TV or bonding with family at night. Gearing away from this habit can be very distracting.
So when a morning person forced himself to practice yoga in the evening, it will be nothing but a loathsome activity. And as a yogi, this should never be the case. As much as possible, you should have all the concentration you can gather once you hit the mat.
9. MORNING YOGA IS BEST FOR PEOPLE WITH DAY JOB
People with day jobs can extend working hours. This would be a problem if you’re planning to enroll in an evening class. The working force is typically exhausted and drained after a day’s work. This is distracting for Ashtanga yoga morning or evening practice.
Ashtanga is best to start the morning especially if you don’t have time to hit the gym or practice any exercise. This will pump your blood and get you started on the day. At least, you won’t have to dread the idea of having to exert effort after your day job.
10. EVENING YOGA MIGHT MAKE YOU OVERSLEEP
There’s nothing wrong with practicing yoga at night. It will help you become productive if you’re working and it will also give you a good night’s sleep. The problem here is the time of waking up. Ashtanga is strenuous and it will really tire your body. If you won’t set your alarm, you’ll be oversleeping all the way to the morning.
This could be a problem if you have work the other day. But if you’re having sleeping problems, this is a good choice. Therefore, the choice of practice will also depend on the goals you want to achieve from Ashtanga.
Ashtanga yoga morning or evening practice is a matter of choice. Still, it’s important to know what other yogis say about their choices. With some points to guide you, you’ll surely hop in on a nice schedule. Have you decided when to do Ashtanga? Share it with us in the comment section!