Imagine: your morning did not get off to the best start. You overslept and didn't have time for your usual yoga practice. Now, you are almost halfway through your day, and still craving your blissful, daily experience on the mat. Have you missed your opportunity for the day?
While the next, most frequently advised time to practice yoga would be early evening, there is nothing wrong with a mid-day practice! It is common to crave an afternoon snack or nap to keep energy flowing through the rest of the day. However, the right yoga practice could be more beneficial to calming the body and mind, regaining focus or creating a fresh surge of energy for delving into your next task.
Lots of people begin to feel sluggish in the afternoon. There are many reasons for this. If you have had a heavy lunch, the act of digesting that meal has expended energy and the natural thing to want to do is rest. Ayurveda assigns the period of time from 10AM - 2PM as Pitta time.
Likely, you have put in the most productive hours of your day.
Not only might you be a little drained from that effort, you may also be feeling the transition from Pitta time to Vata time, which is from 2PM-6PM. Vata time is excellent for brainstorming and doing creative work, but it may be hard to get started if you are worn out from your efforts during Pitta time! If you feel hazy around 2PM, the right mid-day practice could help you transition with greater ease and keep you grounded during what's viewed as the most tempestuous time of day.
Take time to look inward in the afternoon and monitor your needs. If you've been sitting all day, a standing sequence might be ideal. Warrior poses build confidence and strength. A faster pace may also be beneficial.
If you've had a large lunch, you may not want to do inversions or forward folds (again, standing poses would work) but seated poses and twists may be just fine. If you are feeling rather heated from working on a stressful project, consider a sequence that keeps you low to the ground and utilizes restorative poses like Child's Pose or Downward Facing Dog.
If you feel sluggish, a quick, bright sequence could be very refreshing! Choose a sequence with chest lifts and movements that you can incorporate little springs and bounces into. Big arm movements are wonderful for stirring up energy.
May you have a wonderful rest of your day.