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Yoga poses for morning and evening

October 11, 2011

Have you ever left a morning yoga class feeling sleepy? Or walked away from an evening yoga class with a bit too much energy? The time of day we practice yoga should determine what postures we practice, and being aware of which postures are energizing and which ones are soothing is important!

Morning Yoga:
An ideal morning yoga class will ease you into gentle movements shortly after you crawl out of bed. That’s why you’ll generally find yourself practicing a few extra sets of cobra before your first chatarunga, nice, long forward folds, and some extra stretches at the beginning of class. Sun Salutations are great for waking up the body, and after lots of movement and balancing, the instructor will most likely guide you into some gentle inversions and heart openers. If your hips and spine are feeling open at this point – dive into the heart openers, like camel, bridge and wheel. These postures will leave you feeling awake and rejuvenated – maybe even more than your morning cup of coffee! Also, indulge in an extra-long headstand or shoulder stand to send fresh oxygen into your head. This will also allow you to leave class ready to face your day.

Evening Yoga:
The perfect evening yoga class should soothe and relax you after a long day. An after-work yoga class is a slightly different story – you’ll be ready to move around, open your heart, and potentially move upside down. If you’re practicing later in the evening however (within a few hours of going to bed), you’ll want to resist moving into big heart openers and energizing inversions. Most likely, your instructor will guide you into soothing surrender postures like half pigeon and seated forward fold. Twists are also incredibly relaxing in the evening as well. Your instructor might cue deep heart openers, so just be sure to gauge how you feel and what you need.

Start paying attention to which postures affect your energy levels at which time of day, and this will empower you to practice exactly what your body needs. Remember – you are your best guide!

Questions about specific postures and how they affect your energy levels? Join us on Facebook on Wednesdays at 12pm MST for an hour of your questions – answered!