Evening Yoga: A Complete Guide

Evening yoga

Yoga has many well-documented health benefits, but it’s particularly beneficial for sleep. An evening yoga session leaves you feeling relaxed, less anxious, soothed and calm. An effective evening yoga class combines meditation, breathing exercises, relaxation, and calming physical exercises.

Is the evening the best time to practice yoga?

Yoga practitioners have long debated over what time of day is best to do their practice. Whether you practice yoga in the morning or in the evening—both options provide benefits. The evening is a great time for deep relaxation, contemplation and letting go of the stress and worry of the day. Stretching and deep breathing right before going to bed can reduce uncomfortable tension and anxious mind chatter, which can make it difficult to have a peaceful night’s sleep.

What are the benefits of evening yoga?

A regular yoga practice can not only improve circulatory health and increase the flow of energy throughout the body, it also engages the parasympathetic nervous system, which handles the rest-and-digest functions (as opposed to the fight-or-flight responses). A good bedtime routine can help you find calm before you snooze, allowing you to get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed.

As with any exercise, it is important to do it properly if you want the full benefits that yoga offers. The more regularly you practice, the more you will notice the changes in your body and your life.

What is yoga for sleep?

Bedtime yoga is a sequence of gentle poses that are designed to relax you, and that will help you sleep. Not all yoga poses are calming and restful, so you’ll need to avoid these to settle down after your session and be ready for bed.

Why practice yoga before bed?

Incorporating a yoga practice into your evening routine is a great way to clear out any stress and tension gathered throughout the day. A major benefit of practicing yoga in the evening is that you can have a relaxing night and a deep restful sleep.

Can yoga help with insomnia?

Practicing yoga regularly can help you to manage symptoms of insomnia and promote restful sleep. A study has shown that people who established a regular evening yoga practice fell asleep faster, slept longer and felt more well-rested in the morning.

Which yoga exercise is best to do before going to bed?

The best poses for bedtime are gentle, relaxing poses that will leave you feeling refreshed and energized for the next day. Waterfall (Viparita Karani) is a great pose to start your evening routine with. Sleeping Butterfly (Baddha Konasana) is a perfect evening yoga pose to help loosen your hips and back. You should always end your practice with Corpse (Shavasana) to encourage deep relaxation.

Why can’t I sleep after yoga?

Vigorous styles of yoga and deep breathing can increase your heart rate and boost your energy. This can lead to waking up frequently during the night and not being able to sleep deeply. To counteract this problem, practice earlier in the evening or avoid energizing asanas.

How do I know if bedtime yoga is right for me?

For many people, the evening is the only time they have to practice yoga. If you are a parent or have a job, you may find it impossible to practice during the morning or day. If you are not a morning person, an evening practice allows you to get a full session in without worry or rush.

What is a good way to get started?

Start with our Bedtime Yoga for Beginners post and then check out the articles in this section. If you are new to yoga, you can also consult our comprehensive yoga for beginners guide for more tips and advice.

Viewing ads supports YogaBasics. Remove ads with a membership. Thanks!

  • Yoga Therapeutics

    Yoga Therapy is the use of yoga postures, meditation and pranayama to help the body naturally heal and balance itself. Check out our Yoga Therapy section to learn which yogic practices have been shown to have healing qualities for common complaints. Yoga Therapy Guides

    Each month YogaBasics’s readers can enter a new giveaway for a chance to win a great yoga prize. Previous prizes have included yoga books, clothes, and yoga festival tickets! Enter This Month's Giveaway!
  • Our Premium Membership

    Like what you see...and want more? Our premium members have access to deluxe features and premium content including: advanced asanas, yoga pose sequences, yoga therapy, and downloadable MP3s. Join Now!