Yoga provides us with so many benefits both physically and mentally that everyone should try to incorporate it into their lives. Whether you wish to reduce stress and tension or increase strength and flexibility, practicing yoga has the power to produce results.
Whether you are just entering the world of yoga or have been practicing for years, there are often many questions people ask when it comes to yoga. One of the most common questions that gets asked is how often should you be doing yoga. The answer, of course, depends on the individual and what their goals are.
Just like exercise, the more you practice yoga the more benefits you will likely experience. That is not to say, however, that you need to find time every day for yoga to make it worthwhile. Yoga should be something you look forward to and not seem like a chore or something you dread. The key is to find what works best for you with the schedule you have. Good news is that anyone despite their level of fitness or available free time can include yoga in their lives and benefit from doing so.
What are Your Goals?
You first need to look at what you are trying to achieve through practicing yoga. Are you an athlete looking to increase flexibility or are you simply looking to take some time to relax after a stressful day at work? Has your doctor recommend yoga to help with pain or ailments or has it been prescribed by a mental health specialist to help with your anxiety or stress? Are you looking for fast results or are you content with slower progress? You must also factor in your age and personal fitness level into the equation.
If you are looking for quick results either physically or mentally, you should look into practicing at least several days per week if not on a daily basis. Beginners should try to attend at least 2-3 classes each week in order to learn proper yoga techniques along with safety tips. You may experience soreness in the beginning from working new muscles and moving your body in unfamiliar ways, so it is wise to not overload yourself with long duration or rigorous classes in the beginning.
Younger individuals or athletes may need to only attend a single class a week as they are staying active and getting exercise by other means. They may wish to simply practice yoga on their light training days or free days in order to work on their mental health, breathing, and flexibility.
Older individuals may need to practice yoga more often than younger and more active individuals in order to stay limber and healthy. It may be easier to do light yoga sessions daily instead of more thorough ones less often. This may also be the best plan of attack for individuals trying to recover from injuries, surgeries or other illness.
Those that are really struggling with mental health issues will probably benefit from practicing on a daily basis and should choose yoga styles specifically designed to relieve stress, depression, and anxiety.
What Is Your Schedule?
You may wish to do yoga all day every day, but your schedule may not be so accommodating. If you find it difficult to find the time to attend scheduled classes, you may discover carrying out your own sessions at home on your own time is more convenient for you. Classes, however, offer skilled teachers where you can be taught many different poses along with providing you with encouragement which can be more beneficial. You may wish to find a balance between the two.
If you can’t find time for a 60-minute yoga session, realize that you can still get many benefits from just a 10-minute session every day. You don’t want to add more stress to yourself trying to find time for sessions or durations that don’t work with your schedule. The key is to be consistent and not fall into the trap of going weeks or even months between your yoga sessions. It is hard to retrain your body and mind to start from scratch each time and the more often you practice yoga, even in short installments, will be much more effective.
Some people enjoy sticking to a strict schedule where they will practice yoga at the same time on the same days. Others may find this stressful to accomplish or may favor the spontaneity of mixing up their yoga times each week. You also may find that you have time to practice every day this week but may only find time for a few days the following week. You should never feel disappointed in yourself if you cannot stick to a schedule or practice every day. The key is simply that you attempt to make yoga a part of your life by making it work with your own personal schedule.
When it comes to finding the ideal frequency you should be practicing yoga, we have shown that it largely depends on your individual needs or desires. Like most things, it is more about quality than quantity. You need to be sure you are practicing yoga correctly and safely so it is recommended to start out by attending beginner classes that will teach you the most effective poses and styles for the benefits you are seeking.
Yoga should be enjoyable. If it becomes unpleasant or stressful, it is probably a sign to scale things back a bit until you reach a level that feels more comfortable. Never try to compare your yoga frequency to anyone else’s as there really is a different recipe that works for each person.