We’re practicing yoga to boost our well-being, improve our health, and make us feel better overall, so what’s with the tiredness we often experience after a session? Are we doing something wrong? Is yoga not all it’s cracked up to be?
If you’ve been tired after yoga and wonder what on Earth’s going on, you’ll be relieved to know that you’re not alone. Many people experience this sensation, but it can usually be fixed. The reasons you’re tired after yoga can be due to performing poses wrong, being a new yogi, dehydration, emotional release, and more. Let’s dive in.
- 1 1. Your Poses Aren’t Quite Right
- 2 2. You’re New To The Practice
- 3 3. You’re Listening To Your Body
- 4 4. You’re Emotionally Processing
- 5 5. You’re Not Properly Hydrated
- 6 6. You’re Not Sufficiently Nourished
- 7 7. You’re Detoxing Your Mind
- 8 8. You’re Not Wearing The Right Sports Bra
- 9 9. You’re Doing it Right
- 10 10. It’s Something More Serious
1. Your Poses Aren’t Quite Right
I felt exhausted after each session when I started regularly practicing yoga. I’d been trying to use a book and videos to master a range of poses, and, as it turns out, this method can have its problems. Namely, there’s no teacher on hand to point out if your poses aren’t quite right.
If you’re not holding your pose correctly, this can stress the joints and undermine the health benefits of the entire practice. In this case, you’re likely to feel mild to significant discomfort and muscle tiredness at the end of a session.
It’s best to attend an in-person (or virtual) class if you’re new to the practice and feeling tired after yoga to ensure you’re hitting every pose perfectly and not putting your body under unnecessary strain.
2. You’re New To The Practice
If you’re entirely new to yoga or haven’t practiced it for a long time, it’s normal to feel tired after yoga. Your body is getting used to a whole new set of exercises and ways of moving, with muscles being stretched and flexed in ways they may never have been before.
It’s important not to overdo things if you’re a beginner. Start slowly, maybe aiming to practice or attend a class just a couple of times a week, and, over time, build this up until you’re practicing yoga five times a week – or more! Be sure to join a class suitable for your current level to avoid having a workout that’s too intense and could leave you feeling shattered.
3. You’re Listening To Your Body
Yoga is a holistic wellness practice that helps us be more mindful of our bodies, thoughts, and physical sensations. This means that being tired after yoga could simply result from noticing feelings that were there anyway.
The practice of yoga builds a deeper connection between your physical sensations and your subconscious. If a session leaves you feeling exhausted, this could be your body communicating with you.
4. You’re Emotionally Processing
As we begin or continue the inner journey innate to a yoga practice, emotions (sometimes surprising ones) can surface during the class or session. Whether it’s sadness, anger, or anxiety, your mind may throw up feelings. Processing these may be exhausting, leading to a sense of being tired which is linked to the muscles of the mind rather than the body.
If this is the case, be kind to yourself. Allow yourself to feel and express your emotions, and schedule some time after the session to relax and re-center. Try not to judge yourself for the feelings you’re experiencing: simply notice them, honor them, and allow them to flow through you.
5. You’re Not Properly Hydrated
While a little exertion-fuelled tiredness after yoga may be expected, if your tiredness turns into fatigue that lasts for a prolonged period, you may want to check that dehydration isn’t the cause. It can be easy to miss the signs of dehydration – we can be guilty of misinterpreting the brain’s thirst signal for a hunger pang.
Get into a habit of keeping water nearby and sipping throughout the day so dehydration doesn’t creep up on you. My personal tip? Try adding a dash of cinnamon to a jug of water – the spice adds a lovely, subtle flavor and a pretty color to the liquid, making it more appealing.
6. You’re Not Sufficiently Nourished
As mentioned earlier, yoga is about bringing body and mind into harmony. If you’re not properly nourishing your body, you’re likely to feel more tired after yoga than you should. Check out our guide on should you eat before yoga to learn more.
There’s no doubt about it; eating too little before a workout can have you feeling noticeably more exhausted once you’re done. This gives you a great reason to tuck into a nutritious and delicious breakfast before heading to your morning yoga class!
Ideally, aim to eat a light, simple carb-rich meal featuring foods such as oats, bananas, Greek yogurt, and granola a couple of hours before you practice. And afterward, replenish and revitalize with more carbs and protein to restore depleted energy reserves and promote muscle repair.
7. You’re Detoxing Your Mind
As a holistic practice, yoga is excellent for detoxing the mind. This tiredness may also be accompanied by a headache which should recede within a short time. Give this process a helping hand by ensuring you drink plenty of water after the session.
As for physical detoxing, there is no scientific evidence of yoga detoxing the body, but as it’s a very common myth, some yogis could feel a placebo effect. Being active, such as practicing yoga, may aid the body’s natural detoxification process, but yoga is not a physical detox in itself.
8. You’re Not Wearing The Right Sports Bra
For women, not wearing a sports bra or wearing an ill-fitting one can cause increased pectoral muscle fatigue, contributing to a feeling of being tired after yoga. Although yoga is generally considered a low-impact form of exercise, not being properly supported, especially if you have a larger bust, can also lead to discomfort and even pain.
While a low-impact sports bra is generally a good choice for those practicing yoga, those with more ample busts may want to consider a medium-impact bra for increased comfort and lessening the chance of developing muscle fatigue after a session.
9. You’re Doing it Right
If you’ve completed a particularly strenuous session – or one in which you’ve learned some new poses, you may feel tired after yoga. In this case, you need to give yourself a pat on the back for undertaking a great workout!
If your yoga session ends with a meditation, then a temporary feeling of tiredness or sleepiness could simply be down to the effectiveness of this particular part of the practice. Once you’ve come fully out of the meditative state, you may feel your energy levels rise fairly quickly again.
10. It’s Something More Serious
In most cases, feeling tired after yoga will be due to one of the reasons listed above. However, if the fatigue is severe, long-lasting, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms, it’s best to seek medical advice. If you liked this post, you might also find our reasons you’re experiencing nausea after yoga helpful.