When you first started doing yoga, you probably wondered how often should you do yoga? Is it something that you should do on a daily basis, a weekly basis, or simply when the mood strikes you? Most people go into yoga to achieve a specific goal and before being a regular yoga practitioner, they already have a set schedule in their mind as to how long it would take to achieve those goals.
Simply put, there is no “one answer” to this question because a quick fix doesn’t exist in yoga.
While many people look at yoga is another type of workout, long-time practitioners say that yoga is more of a lifestyle rather than a way to sweat. In fact, yoga touches multiple aspects in a person’s life, and the physical aspect is only a small part of yoga. This is the reason why passionate yoga practitioners spend years learning, practicing, and perfecting yoga: the goal of yoga is to create a harmonious balance between the body and the mind, and this process is never-ending.
Why are You Practicing Yoga?
Before you decide how often you should practice yoga, you should first answer why you want to practice yoga. As mentioned above, people have different reasons why they want to start practicing yoga, and here are some of the most common reasons:
- Increases Strength and Stability. One of the most popular reasons why people practice yoga is to increase their core strength and stability. After it, it is impressive to see an expert yoga practitioner being able to carry their own body weight just on their hands! Yoga is especially popular with people who want to strengthen and tone their body without drastically increasing their body mass as yoga relies on body weight training rather than external weightlifting.
- Promotes Balance and Flexibility. If you’re looking to increase your balance and flexibility, yoga is a way to train your muscles to become more flexible and resistant to injuries. Competitive athletes often perform yoga to help level up their game.
- Accelerates Healing and Restoration. People who have experienced injuries and chronic illnesses look to yoga to help decrease pain and promote healing. If done properly, yoga helps muscles, tendons, and even bones heal from injuries more efficiently and even come back stronger than they were originally.
- Alleviate Stress and Anxiety. Finally, many people who struggle with anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions turn to yoga as a natural and holistic way to improve their condition. Practicing yoga helps alleviate stress and anxiety by bringing a sense of peace and tranquility, which translate to better sleep patterns, fewer stress episodes, and an overall feeling of wellbeing.
How Long Does it Take Before You Start Seeing Benefits?
As mentioned above, there is no quick fix when it comes to performing yoga. It is something that you need to invest a significant amount of time, effort, and practice before you start seeing any results.
However, you should not discount the fact that there are benefits that you will feel immediately, even after your first ever yoga class. There are people who already experience a feeling of wellbeing and relaxation after a single class, but in order to see long-lasting results, especially physical results, you will need to practice yoga consistently for an extended period.
Yes, it can be difficult to find the right balance for you because it will depend on your commitment and available amount of time. As a rule of thumb, however, a good amount of practice is what feels balanced for you. Keep two factors in mind: commitment and balance. You not only have to commit your time to practicing yoga, you also have to find a healthy balance to fit the yoga into other aspects of your routine.
How Often Should You do Yoga For…
If you’re having trouble trying to decide how much time to devote to practicing yoga, here is a guide that you can use to determine the amount of time you can spend in sessions on a regular basis depending on your yoga goals:
Calming and Mental Restoration
If you are practicing yoga to help relieve stress and calm your mind, a short daily practice is recommended because it helps put you in a better state of mind to go about your day. Even something as simple and quick as a 3-minute breathing exercise such as the sama vritti (square breathing) can promote a sense of peace and wellbeing.
Strength and Physical Conditioning
If you’re doing yoga to strengthen and tone your body, you’re in luck because this type of yoga often has classes that you can join. Strength-based classes such as power yoga or power vinyasa have schedules because they take into account a recuperating time to allow your body to rest.
Balance and Flexibility
When it comes to doing yoga for balance and flexibility, it will depend on your current personal level. If you’re already at a level where you are comfortable doing intermediate and advanced yoga poses that require a certain level of flexibility and balance, taking yoga classes 3-4 times a week can help you level up your game. However, if you are just starting out, it is advisable to take things slowly and build up your body’s balance and flexibility through 1-2 classes a week and working up from there. Get more tips on yoga workouts.
So, how often should you do yoga? There is no one answer that can apply to everyone because it will depend on your goals, your available time, and your commitment. The key here is to make sure that you find a balance between pursuing your goals and practicing yoga at a pace that’s safe and comfortable to you. Don’t get pressured by the pace at which other people are doing; focus on your own! Remember, yoga is not a race, it’s a marathon, and what’s important is that you reach your goals without comparing yourself to others.