So, you may have decided that yoga is the exercise you want to do – which is an excellent decision. Combining strength and flexibility and with a focus on both the mind and body, yoga is one of the best practices to enhance your overall health. But when exactly should you be getting down on the mat?
Fitting It Into the Schedule
Generally, there are two times that are recommended for practicing yoga – early morning, before you get a headstart on your day, or later in the evening around sunset, when you can use the practice to shed your day’s tension and stress. Teachers usually suggest that a different pattern of exercises be followed in the day and night. In the early morning, invigorating and challenging exercises are the way to go, but in the evening, you should focus more on grounding and calming exercises.
So, you can choose your time of day depending upon which aspect of yoga is the most important for you, and what you think will give you best benefit.
But remember that while recommended, these hours are not written in stone. It is far better to practice yoga at any time of the day, rather than miss sessions if you are busy during these times. Indeed, for those who have fluctuating work hours (such as freelancers), you may constantly have to change your timings to suit your needs. In the end, whatever works best for you is ideal.
Food and Yoga –
As with every other exercise, it is important to have a stable stomach while working out. If you are hoping to challenge your core or work on your inversions, this becomes even more important. A general rule of thumb suggests that you give yourself at least an hour or so after a snack, and upto two hours post a meal, before getting on the mat.
But there again, it is important to take into consideration individual differences. The metabolic rate of some may mean that their stomachs may begin protesting just about an hour into a snack – right in the middle of the yoga session. It is best to ease into a dietary pattern by listening to your body before and after your sessions, and see what kind of eating habits allow you to keep a stable stomach without losing up on energy
The Bottom Line – A Tailor Made Timing
Yoga is all about connecting to your body, and you will find that the answers to your questions about timings and eating will best come from your own experiences. Follow the expert advice, but feel free to modify and change things as per your schedules. At the end, what matters is that you take time from your day and dedicate it to your mind and body, and feel your best in this time.