Some find themselves in a deep hole of exhaustion after a yoga session, especially in the evening. Yoga looks less intense compared to other high intensity workout programs, but why do we end up extremely tired?
Now here’s the deal: because yoga encourages you to focus on your breathing and your body, it actually reveals the fatigue you have from your everyday life. Thus, a huge chunk of the exhaustion isn’t from doing yoga itself.
To address this, adjusting the style and duration of your practice plays a huge role. In this article, we will help you overcome the fatigue hump.
Reasons you feel tired after yoga
- Not enough sleep
Of course, with not enough sleep, your body suffers. Without enough rest, it’s not difficult to understand why getting tired comes a lot faster too.
- Not used to stretching
A lot of the yoga poses include stretching our muscles. For those with tight muscles to begin with, this poses some stress on your muscular units. Muscles release tension when stretching, which is always a good thing, but it may come with some exhaustion after.
- Muscles building strength
With lots of stretching are a lot of poses and motions that can induce muscle building too. Even poses as basic as Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) and Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) can get some muscle building going especially in large muscle groups such as the quads, shoulders muscles, and glutes. In short, your muscles are working hard so ending up tired is pretty expected.
- Not paying enough attention to breath
A yoga practice is all about paying attention to your breathing. It creates a space where we can assess the needs of our body. Also, being in touch with your breath aid in meditation which can eventually help eliminate negative emotions and stress.
- Working out the heart
Contrary to what some might think, yoga is still an active class so your heart is still working hard during your practice. Hot yoga classes, such as Bikram, makes your heart work even more too!
- Not doing the Asana correctly
Yes, some poses may be more difficult than the others, but with proper strategies and training, they are doable. By knowing the proper techniques, you can actually save energy.
- Not doing the Savasana correctly
Savana, also known as the “corpse pose,” is the period of relaxation at the end of the practice. It’s a great space to meditate and rest after putting on energy into your flow. However, if you’re moving around or thinking so much during Savasana, this may be counterproductive to the rest you’re going for.
- Not the right intensity for you
If you’re a beginner, it’s best to build up your practice correctly. Attending advanced classes when you’re not ready may be a lot for your body to take.
- Not the right yoga type for you
If you’re constantly tired with the practice you’re doing, you might want to try and consider other types.
- Asanas work both your body and emotions
Releasing tensed muscles can also release emotions stored in the body. Old feelings may resurface along your practice and if it’s too much to handle, it may add on to your exhaustion.
Tips for more energy after yoga
- Get more sleep
Lack of sleep can easily rob you off energy. According to The Sleep Foundation, adults are recommended to have 7-9 hours of sleep. To some, going to sleep early may be difficult but if you practice the habit of limiting your screen time, this may help a lot.
- Yoga schedule
If your usual yoga schedule makes you extra tired, try experimenting with other time slots. Practice yoga at different times and check when you get to have the most energy after.
- Eat lightly and at least two hours before yoga
Practicing with a full stomach will require some digestion and the digestion process uses up some energy. So instead of having all your energy for your flow, you get less. Moreover, doing some stretches in the morning can energize your body immensely.
A yogi swears by drinking an espresso 30 minutes prior to an afternoon power yoga practice to have more energy. Another one, on the other hand, drinks a single cup of coffee four hours before her flow. Some also love drinking black tea an hour before.
Caffeine is known to provide energy as long as you figure out when is the best time to drink it.
Tips to ensure you’re practicing the right yoga for you
- Check your yoga practice
There are various yoga types to choose and it takes knowing them to know what’s best for you.
- Power, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga are more active and intense.
- Hatha practice includes slower poses with longer hold duration.
- Restorative, Gentle, and Yin classes are gentler and slower. If you feel exhausted or if you’re just starting, these are great considerations.
- If you’re a beginner, it’s best to take milder classes first to build up your yoga practice.
- Check in with your body
Check on you to assess how you feel. If you’re extra drained after a certain yoga type, you may want to think if it’s the best one for you or if it’s time to try other practices.
- Check in with your breath
Your breath easily tells you how hard your body is working. This is a great way to measure the intensity of your flow.
Feeling exhausted may be a good thing
- Exhaustion may indicate growth.
- Our bodies adapt to stress so it makes us stronger.
- The muscles lengthen and strengthen.
- The mind learns to focus and to pay attention.
- New muscles are being exercised.
- It may mean you’re growing in your practice.
- Clearer mind
- Constant physical and mental change goes hand in hand with yoga practice.
- Regular yoga practice helps eliminate old negative thinking and habits.
With all these said, feeling tired after yoga, or any other workouts, is normal. This is especially true if you’re new in practice. Our body adapts and builds resilience!