Perhaps you decided to try yoga after hearing your friends rave over their yoga classes. They tell you how invigorating the classes are and how they boost their energy levels. However, after your first class, you’re feeling the complete opposite. You’re drowsy and tired, feeling like a nap is the next order of business.
If yoga is known to be invigorating and boost energy levels, why do you feel so tired? Many times, there’s an underlying reason at play. Here’s what you need to know.
Why Do I Feel Worse After Yoga?
Yoga classes are supposed to help you feel better, and they should help boost your energy and get the blood flowing, making you feel refreshed and ready to tackle the day. Of course, more relaxing yoga classes are designed to relax you, but why would you feel worse after taking a heart-pumping class?
Generally, there’s something else going on in your life that is making you feel this way. If you feel nauseous, it could result from eating too soon before class, undereating before class (it’s a delicate balance), dehydration, the release of toxins, or something else.
Alternatively, perhaps a headache overtakes you after you finish a yoga session. Considering it isn’t the revitalizing feeling you were probably hoping for, you might be less than excited to participate in another class. Headaches can result from hunger, dehydration, improper technique, inversion poses, overexertion, and several other things.
However, while nausea and headaches might make sense, exhaustion can be a confusing after-effect of your yoga class. There are a few things that can cause this, which we’ll look at in the following sections.
Why Do I Feel So Tired After Yoga?
Exhaustion after a would-be revitalizing yoga session isn’t normal, but many folks experience this from time to time. Generally, this happens for a few reasons, with the most common reason falling to a lack of sleep. Aside from too little sleep, there are a few other reasons you might not be familiar with.
Here’s what might be causing the exhaustion:
Lack Of Restful Sleep
A lack of restful sleep is one of the most common reasons for a wave of exhaustion after your yoga class. Your body needs a certain amount of sleep to function well every day, so if you aren’t getting enough, you might notice exhaustion throughout your day.
Every person is different, and some folks might thrive on less sleep, whereas others crash and burn without enough sleep. As a general rule of thumb, shoot for seven to eight hours of sleep. Remember, seven hours in bed doesn’t always translate to seven hours of sleep.
We wake up periodically throughout the night as we move through our sleep cycles, so try to shoot for eight hours (if possible). It might not always work out to get eight hours of sleep, but try to maintain a regular sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up around the same time to develop a routine (if possible).
You’ll probably become tired and drowsy without enough sleep after the smallest tasks and activities. You’ll likely notice your performance in the gym suffers, as well as your focus and endurance throughout specific tasks. So, shoot for a regular sleep schedule that consistently gives you seven to eight hours of sleep.
Once you adjust your sleep schedule to give your body the rest it needs, you should notice a difference in your energy levels after your yoga session (and throughout the rest of your day).
Another potential culprit of your tiredness is improper form or techniques throughout the class. Without good form, you can easily hurt yourself in a yoga flow. So, it’s essential that you follow the correct techniques as indicated by your instructor to reap the benefits of the class.
Some yoga poses may seem too difficult. Step back and modify the pose when your body pushes back. Ask your instructor for guidance with modified poses or ways to relieve pressure in the pose. Forcing your body into poses it isn’t ready for can lead to injury, so remember to take it slow and pay attention to how you feel.
Pushing Too Hard
While some yoga classes are slower-paced and more relaxing, others push your body to the brink of exhaustion. It’s crucial to pay attention to what your body is telling you, especially if you’re new to yoga. Pushing too hard right out of the gate can make you feel drained and exhausted.
Although you might be tempted to force your body to keep up with the rest of your yoga class, remember to work within your limits. Pushing too hard can lead to overexertion, which will only inhibit your progress in the long run.
While pushing your limits is good (once you’re accustomed to the training type), don’t work outside your boundaries. Your body can only take so much before exhaustion takes over, and the risk of injury spikes.
When you start practicing yoga, you need to listen to your body. Your muscles need time to adjust to your new activity level, especially if you’re new to yoga. Choose a yoga class that matches your fitness level, but don’t be afraid to back off or slow down if your body is overwhelmed.
Intense activity levels can tire our bodies out, making us feel sleepy after class. If you’re new to yoga, start with a beginner class and work your way up. Certain poses in beginner classes may feel too difficult, so if that’s the case, slow down or modify the moves until your body is ready to perform at a higher level.
Yoga can be an advanced activity, even in entry-level classes. If your body is unaccustomed to this type of exercise, it might take a toll on your body. Your body might be unfamiliar with the deep stretching and holds in yoga, so starting can be tiring.
Yoga targets muscles in our body we often overlook, forcing these muscles to build strength, endurance, and flexibility. If these muscles have been lying dormant for years in a sedentary lifestyle, suddenly focusing on them can release pent-up tension. While this is a good thing, the relaxing after-effects may make you feel sleepy.
Focus On Breathing
As you move through your yoga class, your instructor will regularly remind you to focus on your breathing. This focus brings our attention to our bodies and helps us take stock of everything going on. When you focus on deep breathing, you may enter a meditative state and potentially even release negative emotions.
Deep breathing allows you to let go of whatever has been taxing you, such as stress in your daily life or pent-up emotion. The meditative state relaxes our bodies, allowing us to take a step back and rest. This can make us tired, as breathwork is a standard method people use to relax their bodies for sleep.
Aside from meditation, deep breathing and releasing negative emotions can leave us feeling drained and empty. This can be tiring, even though the release is a relief.
Why Do I Feel So Tired After Hot Yoga?
Hot yoga classes, such as Bikram yoga, are intense sessions performed in a sweltering room. Many times, temperatures in the studio hover around 105 degrees, driving your heart rate up and making you sweat profusely as you move through the session.
Without proper preparation, a hot yoga session can leave you feeling exhausted and drained rather than giving you a boost of energy. Your exhaustion could result from pushing too hard, dehydration, or a lack of proper fuel (eat a small snack about a half hour to an hour before class).
Remember, if you feel ill or have a wave of exhaustion, sit out of a few poses until you feel well enough to proceed. If the feeling persists, exit the room and sit down in a cooler area, ensuring you stay hydrated. Heat exhaustion can pose a threat to individuals participating in a hot yoga class, so it’s vital to prepare properly by fueling your body and ensuring you stay hydrated before, during, and after class.
How To Fix The Problem
If you regularly feel tired after yoga sessions, whether it’s a hot yoga class or a regular class, the culprit could be one of the above-mentioned issues. You may have to work your way through the list, eliminating potential culprits one by one. Sometimes, the problem may be obvious, while it could be harder to isolate in others.
Understanding where the exhaustion stems from may take a while, as every individual is different. Yoga challenges your body and mind, so the fatigue might stem from your mind and release of emotions rather than actual body exhaustion.
As you work through the potential culprits of the tired feeling, remember to pay attention to your body. Eventually, you can narrow the issue to several potential missteps and correct each pinpointed problem as necessary.