Most beginning Yogis are haunted by this question: “How often should you do yoga?”
The truth is, it depends on your goals, and it’s worthwhile to figure out what your goals are. In fact, not knowing your goals could be the very thing that is stopping you from having a successful practice.
Don’t procrastinate on this!
Before we talk about how often you should practice it, let’s talk about what it is exactly.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is over 5,000 years old. Upon its inception, it was considered a comprehensive system for well being. It addresses mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health.
While health is one of the easiest facets of yoga to document, it also helps in more complex areas of life such as stress relief, vitality, mental clarity, healing, peace of mind, and spirituality.
There are various schools of yoga, each with their own interpretations and understandings of the practice. That’s part of yoga’s charm. It is unique to individuals and has something to offer for everyone.
Yoga practice promotes the connection between the mind, body, and spirit. Studies are continuing to reveal its plethora of benefits to physical, mental, and even spiritual health.
Once you step onto the yoga mat, and begin to feel the effects of these unique body movements and breathing exercises, you’ll most likely get interested. It provides you with a safe space to explore yourself on many levels through different techniques, which is hard to do in any other platform.
While many are hoping for a quick schedule of how often they should do yoga, it truly does depend on the goals of the individual.
What are Your Goals?
At this point, you might be thinking, “I thought this article was called ‘how often should you do yoga?’ Where’s the answer?”
It’s easy to throw out a prescription for yoga, but if you want to get the absolute best results, it’s essential that you individualize your practice so that it meets your needs and works into your schedule.
There’s no point in knowing how often you should do yoga if it won’t really work for you.
That being said, the average yogi does yoga three times a week or more.
When you’re trying to figure out how often you should practice yoga, it’s extremely useful to go back to basics and assess your goals.
First, determine the purpose of your practice. Why do you want to do yoga? Consider the benefits you’re after. Are you planning to increase your flexibility, improve your posture, relieve stress, gain strength or lose weight?
- Each purpose can be fulfilled with a different plan. For example, losing weight does not only depend upon how often you practice, but on what positions you are practicing.
- Consider what kind of supplements you are taking, and which cardiovascular exercise you are practicing.
- Think about what other exercises you do throughout the week to achieve those same goals.
What is Your Diet Plan?
Remember that yoga is not a magic bullet. If you do all the yoga postures in the world, but eat extremely unhealthy and fattening food on a regular basis, you can expect to see results that reflect those habits.
For example, if your goal is to lose weight, hot yoga could be a great option for burning a ton of calories. However, if you don’t get your diet under control, then hot yoga will not be able to provide you with the benefits you are hoping for. It will inevitably fall short.
How Do Injuries Affect Yoga Frequency?
Injuries alter the impact of yoga on your body, which will also affect how often and for how long you should practice yoga. If you think you might be injured, note the following:
- Stiff muscles, scar tissue, and muscular injury will likely prevent you from getting the best out of yoga.
- You might have to invest more or less time in your practice, depending upon the condition and type of your injury.
- The ideal amount is practicing three times a week, which is advisable, however, it is best to do a little bit each day, which can provide you with more internal stability.
- The most effective breakdown is to practice yoga spending 5 minutes each day in seated postures, 10-minutes in heated yoga and last 5 minutes doing corpse pose.
You’ve probably noticed that the question, “how often should you do yoga?” is more complicated than it seems. It depends on many factors, but the most important part is to figure out is what your goals are. Once you’ve figured out your goals, be sure to understand the different factors that will enable you to achieve the results you want. Pay attention to your diet as well as your physical health. And whatever you do, don’t wait for the perfect yoga plan to formulate itself. Get started today!