About one out of three Americans has done yoga at some point. That is a lot of drop-in classes where people thought they might give it a try. But how many of those people started practicing yoga regularly?
Yoga is different than most exercises. To get the full benefits of it, you can’t think of it as a class that you can attend but rather a devotion to a lifestyle choice.
And, if you are serious about yoga, you have thought about the burning question of how often should you practice yoga?
The answer is not as simple as 3-5 times a week for 30 minutes. It is different for everyone.
Read on to discover how to find that perfect balance of yoga in your life.
Define Your Intention
Many people ask should you do yoga everyday? Well, if that makes you feel good and your purpose is to master yoga, then yes.
Your frequency of yoga all depends on your intention. Those who drop in on a yoga class because their friend asks them to might have the purpose of curiosity. Others want to be more flexible and improve balance or lose weight.
These are physical goals, but there are stronger desires. For many, yoga is used as a spiritual outlet. This makes their intention a serious endeavor, one that must be mastered over decades if not lifetimes.
Physical intentions are easier to gauge. You can test your flexibility, weigh yourself, and look in the mirror. If you aren’t happy with your results, then increase the intensity.
Spirituality is more complex. Your quest goes deeper as you aim to master the practice, not your body. The ego slowly disappears with each level when the spirit dissolves the attention given to the body and mind.
No one can tell you how much you should do yoga because it is a personal voyage. But there are some basic standards for beginners that we will discuss.
Can You Do Too Much Yoga?
If you are just starting to do yoga, regardless of your long-term goals, there are precautions to take.
Firstly, is it okay to do yoga everyday? This depends on how active you are, how long you have been doing yoga, the types of asanas (poses) you are doing, and the length of your sessions.
You want to listen to your body and move progressively. The reason being is that you can injure yourself by doing too much too fast.
If you feel pain beyond minor soreness then you should cut back. If you are in pain always consult a professional to make sure you have not acquired a serious injury.
Will Casual Yoga Be Beneficial?
Any yoga is good yoga. So if you intend to use yoga to relieve stress or reconnect to your spirit occasionally, then so be it.
There is no wrong way to use yoga to your benefit. Just remember that the more of yourself that you put into yoga, the more you will receive from the practice.
If you use yoga as an escape mechanism, then it won’t be a part of you. It will disappear throughout the day. It won’t assist you as a serious practice would.
How Often Should You Practice Yoga and How Long?
These days time is a precious thing. But time may be irrelevant when your intention is set.
If you devote all of yourself to yoga, then even a moment can have lasting effects. But if you have the time, use it as you desire. Doing yoga can last hours if it feels good. Or 10-30 minutes might also be satisfying.
Your session length might also influence your frequency. If you do yoga only 3 times a week then you might want to extend your time on the mat. If you do it every day, then 30 minutes might suit you.
Yoga is not a task that should be pushed, like striving to run that extra mile even though you feel like you’re going to faint. You should feel blissful and ecstatic about each pose and pranayama (breath).
This is not to say that you won’t confront challenges. But you want to take strides with the intention of growing not overcoming.
Finding a Routine
Doing yoga at the same time of the day is beneficial for your busy life. It is also best to do it in the morning or evening on an empty stomach.
This will help you stay on track with your goals and answer your question, “how many times a week should I do yoga?”
You can start doing yoga 3 times a day in the morning or evening before bed. Do this consecutively for a few weeks. If you feel the need to add another day, then do so.
The important part is that you remain consistent. This helps your body maintain an inner balance.
Also, try one yoga sequence at a time. Only add another style of yoga or asana to your routine once you feel like you have mastered your current practice.
It is a Process Not a Race
The most important thing to remember when asking how often should you do yoga, is to not rush yourself. Everyone is at a different stage of their yoga. There are no black belts or trophies to win. Yoga is not a sport for a reason.
Do not compare yourself to others or tell yourself you are behind. You are right where you are supposed to be. Follow your heart’s desire to gain the full benefit of yoga.
Ready to Start Yoga?
The best way to learn how often should you practice yoga is to start doing a yoga sequence. You can find classes near you or online to learn simple yoga poses.
Try our restorative yoga sequence to start your practice today.