Well, Just like No one person is alike. The same can be said for yoga. Yoga is a practice that can fit into a one-size-fits-all formula. “Yoga practices are highly individualized.”
The good news is that you can practice yoga whenever you feel like it. However, you feel like it.
While daily practice is by far the best way to build a strong foundation, the most important thing is to be consistent—and regular—with your practice.
I thought it would be good to write a post that answers your many questions about the benefits of practising yoga, how often you should do yoga, and how to incorporate this healthy and mind-clearing activity into your life.
So, let’s start with,
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient mind-body practice that aims to help people achieve physical fitness, mental serenity, and spiritual insight. It is a system of exercise designed to build flexibility, strength, and balance.
Yoga means “union” or joining together—yogis use postures (or poses) and deep breathing techniques to control energy flow through their bodies. Many of the postures have symbolic meanings.
Benefits of Practicing Yoga Asanas
Many benefits are associated with practising yoga asanas. Some of them are:
• Improves balance and flexibility
• Reduced stress and anxiety
• Decreases blood pressure
• Breath control
• Pain relief
• Reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes
• A sense of calm and connectedness with the rest of the world
• Increase energy levels
Yoga is a great way to take time for yourself. It’s a slow, meditative practice that centres your mind and body.
You can practice yoga at anytime and anywhere. It's a great way to relieve stress and relax.
Rituals surrounding the practice, such as chanting and lights, are all part of practising yoga. If you have the time, try to set aside a few minutes after eating or before bed to practice some asanas.
How Often Should You Do Yoga?
Depending on your fitness goals and lifestyle, you can employ yoga as a:
- Morning or evening flexibility routine
- Mindfulness practice
- Vigorous warmup before a heavy workout (vinyasa flow)
- An active cooldown after running or cycling
- Workout to increase strength, balance and flexibility(Ashtanga yoga)
- A natural way to reduce chronic pain
- To prevent an Injury or recovery (Yin or restorative yoga)
Yoga is so much more than the fancy arm balances and handstands that we see on Instagram. Instead, yoga is a meditation that can be done anywhere and at any time.
Yoga is a great way to enhance your flexibility while relieving chronic pain. You can practice it on all levels—beginner, intermediate or advanced-and appropriate for all ages and fitness levels.
Practising Yoga regularly will increase your energy levels, making it easier to fight off the urge for coffee, tea, or soda.
You'll have more time to focus on other aspects of your life, such as your social life and work.
In short, yoga will help you look better and feel better in every way—physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is an admirable tool that we can access at any time to utilize for a variety of uses.
How Often Should You Practice Yoga: The Simple Answer
As a simplified matter, precisely how often you do yoga is dependent on a series of factors like:
- How often do you workout
- Your current fitness levels
- Your spiritual goals (if any)
- Your fitness and lifestyle goals
But if I give a general answer, it would be:
- If you are pretty fit and work out regularly, you might want to aim for around 2-3 yoga sessions per week. For this case, it is advisable to pick up a type of yoga that complements your training.
For example, if you are a lifter who also runs, you might want to focus on a form of yoga that will help build your strength and balance.
- If you’re practising yoga and not going to another kind of training, then you could try practising six days a week. As you’ll be training more often, keep your yoga sessions shorter to about 15 – 30 minutes each.
I recommend that you include some light bodyweight exercises at the end of each session to focus on areas not typically targeted in yoga, such as band pull apart, rows, or pullups for the back and rear shoulders.
This answer is an excellent place to start. But it's also based on what you want to achieve through your practice.
How Often Should You Practice Yoga: Based on Your Goals
- I want to: gain strength/muscle.
Muscles need time to recuperate between workout sessions so that they might repair and grow stronger. A daily yoga routine might burn you out quickly if you are also lifting weights and doing cardio.
I suggest doing Yoga 2 – 3 times a week to gain strength or build muscle. If you’re also working out off the mat, ensure that your yoga routine complements your lifting.
For example, a Hatha yoga class is an excellent way to stretch out their muscles and improve flexibility.
- I want to: Reduce stress and anxiety.
Yoga can be a great way to take time out from a busy day with deep breathing and relaxed poses.
Research shows that you will lower your stress and anxiety levels by practising yoga once a week for 20-30 minutes.
Even better, if you practice yoga regularly for about 30 minutes. You might want to incorporate other practices like yoga and meditation into your daily routine.
Yin yoga is the type of yoga that's most effective for reducing stress and anxiety.
- I want to: lose weight.
Losing weight usually involves two things:
- Increasing the number of calories you burn (cardio)
- Decreasing the total amount of calories you consume in a day (dieting)
Yoga can help with both. In addition, the deep breathing and slow movements of yoga help improve your endurance, making it easier to do longer cardio sessions.
And also, yoga helps you burn fat, as when performing certain poses like Warrior or Crow pose, the muscles are more metabolically active.
You can lose weight by doing an intense yoga session, but I would only recommend it if you are also doing a form of cardio.
If you want to lose weight and are just doing yoga, you'll need to do it more often.
Yoga can be a great exercise, but it won't help you lose weight as cardio or weightlifting will.
Consistently, healthy choices must be coupled with a good diet and lifestyle.
- I want to: Increase My Flexibility.
It depends on your body.
Most people lose their flexibility over time. But for the naturally flexible, a few yoga classes per week can preserve suppleness in their bodies.
I’m one of those people who needs to practice every day. My muscles and joints need exercise. So I would develop my splits for months and then spend a week away from the mat.
Upon returning, I would find that my splits are not as great as they once were.
Every type of yoga will increase joint mobility and suppleness eventually. Longer holds of Yin Yoga are best if you want high flexibility and splits.
There are no rules about how often to practice. You can do yoga every day or even two times a day if that’s what you need. There are no restrictions about how often to practice.
However, there's a catch. Flexibility training should always be accompanied by at least some aspect of strength training.
A person can develop hypermobility and instability in joints by focusing on flexibility only. Weight training will help establish support and protection for joints.
How Much Yoga Is Too Much?
Performing Yoga for some time causes it to be a habit. So at this point, no amount of yoga is too much.
If you find solace in yoga for several hours every day and you are satisfied, marvellous! Think of someone you know who does this and tell yourself that the frequency doesn’t fit your life, but don’t feel bad.
What works for some people doesn't work for others.
The key to peaceful, satisfying yoga is gratitude. As long as you get your yoga in, be mindful of your needs and approach the practice with an exciting demeanour rather than a forceful one, the benefits are going to be great.
I have been practising yoga for three years now, and I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I began on a whim, and after my first class, I was hooked.
I do yoga, and I love it. I want to thank you for the great work on your website.
Consistency is crucial in achieving your goals whether you’re training two days per week or 6; if you want to create a practice that will help you feel better, it’s essential to choose yoga classes that align with what you want to achieve.
Though yoga is not a fast-paced workout, there are still many benefits to practising it regularly.
If you have a history of making good decisions about your wellness, it will be easier to practice yoga.
It's not worth doing a daily Ashtanga yoga class if you are trying to build muscle.
Yoga is not a competition, and the more you do doesn't mean better results do.
Therefore, get practising and do it with a frequency that suits your goals. Don’t copy someone else’s yoga routine.
Once it works for you, own it.