Fitness Tips

The Best Time to Do Yoga for Weight Loss: Does When You Perform Yoga Affect Your Progress?

You’ve likely heard that yoga can be an effective way to lose weight, but you might be wondering, “What is the best time to do yoga for weight loss?” At least, I know this was a question I used to ponder myself.

In short, the best time to do yoga for weight loss is the time that you can consistently commit to! Morning yoga may provide you with a slight edge, but each time has its pros and cons, and the true key to effective weight loss through yoga is maintaining a regular and consistent practice.

feature image for the best time to do yoga for weight loss - woman in nature doing dancer pose by the water during sunset

In this article, I’ll delve into the pros and cons of practicing yoga at different times of the day based on what’s worked for me in the hopes that it helps you pinpoint the best time for your weight loss journey.

I’ll include a few scientific insights, my personal preferences, and practical tips to ensure that you’re maximizing the many benefits of your yoga practice. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, this guide is designed to help busy folks like us make an informed choice that fits seamlessly into your lifestyle!

The Best Time for Yoga vs. Consistency

Before we get into the nitty gritty of when to practice, I want to hammer home this point about consistency being the most crucial factor.

I’ve been doing yoga on and off for over 12 years, focusing mostly on styles like Hatha and Vinyasa flow, and I’ve tried it all times of day—morning, noon, and night.

For me, the time I practiced wasn’t nearly as important as the commitment. Whether it’s an early morning practice to get your blood flow going or an evening yoga session to help you de-stress, consistency is what helps you both lose weight and attain mental well-being.

Combine a Consistent Yoga Practice with Your Unique Needs

When it comes to weight loss through yoga, maintaining a regular practice is more significant than obsessing over the ‘perfect’ time to roll out your mat. Being regular in your practice helps you build and maintain a rhythm that makes losing weight more achievable. Consistency ensures that you’re continually burning calories, aiding your digestive system, and keeping your body and stress levels in check.

Not only that but keep in mind that everyone is different. For myself, I did not find that I would burn more calories in the morning or the evening. But you might find you have more energy when the sun rises than when it sets, or vice versa.

Your Commitment Affects More Than Weight Loss

Yoga is not just about shedding pounds; it offers many benefits for your mental health and emotional well-being. So, when you maintain a regular practice, you’re not just working towards weight loss but also inner peace and better emotional control. (This can be especially important for those who engage in emotional eating.)

Find the Time That You Can Stick With

The beauty of yoga is that it’s flexible—pun intended! So if you’re a morning person, great – an early morning practice might suit you best. But if you’re someone who has the most energy in the evenings, then an evening yoga practice might be a better route to weight loss and stress reduction. The most important thing is to find a time that allows you to practice consistently.

Morning vs. Noon vs. Evening: Pros and Cons of Different Times to Do Yoga for Weight Loss

Now that we got that out of the way, there are some nuances to consider when choosing the best time of day to practice for weight loss. In the event that you are flexible with when you can practice yoga, here are the pros and cons of each time to help you choose when to pencil in that next flow.

The Benefits of Morning Yoga Practice

The early morning hours are often quiet, allowing you to start your day with focus and clarity. It can be an excellent time for your morning routine to help set a positive tone for the busy day ahead.

Scientifically speaking, some studies suggest that morning might be an ideal time to practice to reduce cortisol levels, which are naturally high come sunrise. Since high cortisol levels have been linked to the accumulation of belly fat, one could make the case that early morning yoga can help regulate cortisol levels.

But to be totally honest, I have noticed that morning yoga made a difference for me in this regard.

Also, a morning practice can be counter-intuitive if you are sacrificing proper rest for it. The worst thing you can do is try and force yourself to do a 5 a.m. practice each day when your schedule or sleep chronotype doesn’t permit you to turn in before 10 p.m.

After all, if you’re sleep deprived, you are going to have an even more difficult time losing weight!


  • Might help burn fat accumulation around the belly by lowering those high morning cortisol levels

  • A positive way to start the day strong and feel refreshed


  • May be challenging for those who are not morning persons

  • Might require some time management if you have a busy morning schedule

The Flexibility of Noon Practices

This time of day is ideal if you find yourself with an hour of free time in the middle of the day when your mornings and evenings are busy.

Lunchtime sessions have become a staple in my own daily routine. I roll out my yoga mat next to my desk and dedicate 20-30 minutes to an Asana Rebel session (or sometimes I switch it up with Pilates from BetterMe).

Making this a mandatory appointment in my daily routine has kept me consistent and accountable. Then, when I return to my desk, I find I have renewed focus for the afternoon, which helps me avoid that dreaded 2 pm energy slump.

Just make sure that you do your session before you eat lunch to avoid feeling bloated and sluggish while you move through your poses. (Plus, pre-lunch yoga might help improve digestion!)

However, practices are a little less practical when you work in an office. Even if you are able to get away somewhere private to practice, you will likely want to avoid anything too rigorous so as not to return to the office a sweaty mess. (Been there, done that!)


  • Breaks up the day and reduces stress

  • Can easily fit into work-from-home schedules

  • Helps with digestion, especially if you’ve had a heavy lunch


  • Might be tough to fit into a busy work schedule if you’re not at home

  • Limited time may restrict the types of yoga asanas you can perform

Evening Yoga: Wind Down Your Day Right

An evening yoga practice also has its merits. For those who find the evenings to be their “me time,” an evening session can help in better digestion and contribute to a restful sleep. An evening practice allows you to reflect on your day and helps to de-stress, making it easier to sleep peacefully through a calm mind.


  • Helps with proper digestion

  • Allows for a deeper, more restful sleep

  • Ideal for people who find evenings to be the only time they can commit to physical activity


  • High-intensity poses might disrupt sleep if performed too close to bedtime

  • Might coincide with family commitments or social activities

  • I do not recommend doing yoga too soon after dinner on a full stomach, either

Remember, whatever time of day you choose, the key is to make it a consistent part of your life. I’ve found that the best time to do yoga for weight loss is the time that allows me to be consistent. Whether that’s an early a.m. practice, a quick noon session, or a peaceful evening practice, the time that allows you to stick to a consistent practice will yield the most benefits, both for your weight and overall well-being.

Final Thoughts on the Best Time to Do Yoga for Weight Loss

When it comes to determining the best time to do yoga for weight loss, your own preference and personal commitment trump all. Whether you’re an early riser who enjoys the serenity of morning yoga, a busy bee squeezing in a midday session, or a night owl who winds down with evening poses, consistency is the key. Each time of day has its pros and cons, but none outweigh the benefits of a regular, consistent practice.

Don’t get too hung up on the “right” time; instead, focus on what feels right for you. You’re more likely to stick to a routine that fits naturally into your life, and that’s what will ultimately make your weight loss journey through yoga a successful one.

Need a new mat for your practice? Check my review of the top yoga mats of 2023.


What type of yoga is best for losing weight?

Vinyasa and Power Yoga are generally considered the most effective styles for weight loss due to their faster pace and higher calorie-burn potential.

Should I eat before or after practicing yoga?

I prefer practicing on an empty stomach, or at least two hours after my last meal, to aid proper digestion and get the most out of my session.

How many times a week should I practice yoga for weight loss?

I recommend you perform yoga at least 3-5 times a week to help with weight loss and overall well-being.

Should I combine yoga with other forms of exercise for better weight loss?

Yes, many find it beneficial to combine yoga with other forms of physical activity like cardio or strength training to accelerate weight loss. Remember that weight loss will only occur if you are in a calorie deficit (i.e. burning more calories than you consume.)

Will doing yoga before bedtime affect my sleep?

Gentle yoga poses before bedtime can actually help you relax and achieve better sleep, but avoid high-intensity yoga as it may disrupt sleep.

Is yoga enough for complete physical fitness?

While yoga offers many benefits for flexibility, balance, and mental well-being, it may not provide the cardiovascular fitness that other forms of exercise offer. Consider mixing it with other activities for complete physical fitness.

What should I wear when practicing yoga?

Comfortable, breathable clothing that allows you a full range of motion is best for any practice. But no need to splurge on fancy yoga leggings, unless you really want to!

Can yoga help with emotional eating?

Since mindfulness is a big part of a yoga practice, it may help you become aware of emotional triggers for overeating and help you make more conscious food choices.

How long does it usually take to see weight loss results from yoga?

Results vary from person to person, but with consistent practice, proper sleep, and a balanced diet, you may start to see changes in as little as a few weeks.

Corrie Alexander is a former ISSA-certified personal trainer, home fitness advocate, and founder of The Fit Careerist. A proponent of personal growth and a self-proclaimed fitness app-junkie, Corrie shares tips and product reviews with the goal of helping others on their own fitness journey.

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