Thursday, September 29
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How Often Should You Do Yoga?

Man on a yoga mat stretching in a group yoga class
Photo by Anupam Mahapatra on Unsplash

It’s a common scenario. You’re into yoga, and you’re hooked. You want to do the downward dog and warrior poses every day but wonder if it’s okay to do so.

We get it; yoga is super addictive. Indeed, you can feel the benefits of yoga almost immediately, so it’s tempting to have a session as often as possible. But how much yoga per day is safe? And, should you even be doing it every day? Furthermore, how long should yoga last per session?

Very broadly, a beginner should do yoga at least once a week, while true yoga addicts should limit high-intensity yoga to once a day.

Read on, and we’ll explore how often you can and should be doing yoga to achieve the best results while keeping safe.

Let’s go!

How Often Should I Do Yoga?

This is the question on every yoga enthusiast’s lips, but the answer is not so straightforward because it depends on your chosen yoga type and your goals. The amount of yoga you can do is also influenced by whether you’re a complete newbie or an experienced yogi.

People practice yoga for various reasons, including relaxation, flexibility, and strength. These objectives are quite different from each other and therefore require different training plans. So, you can see that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this question.

How Many Times a Week Should I Do Yoga?

Most people divide their training week by week, so this is the timeframe we’ll focus on. Let’s break it down so you can easily see what you should be aiming for in relation to your objectives.

Beginner or Pro? How Often Should You Do Yoga a Week?

No matter what type of yoga you do, if you’re a complete newbie, then your primary focus should be forming the habit of doing yoga regularly. Consistency is key here, so whether you choose to do it once weekly or more, make an effort to show up on your mat each time.

As a beginner, you are best sticking to a moderate amount of yoga until you feel able and strong enough to add more sessions to your routine. Once to three times a week is sufficient for those new to downward dogs. Once you’re into the habit, you can gradually increase the number of weekly sessions; however, take care to factor in some rest days too.

If you’ve been doing yoga for a while and can hold poses in your sleep, then you can pretty much choose how often you practice yoga per week. The average for experience yogis is three to five times weekly though some people can practice daily without issue.

How Many Times a Week Should You Do Yoga According to Your Goals?

You found yoga for a reason, right? Therefore, you likely have a specific goal in mind that you want to achieve eventually. Remember, though, that yoga is a slow and steady process. If you want to see quick results, you may want to try a different type of exercise.

If you’re determined to be in it for the long haul, here’s what you should be aiming for, depending on your goals:

  • Yoga for strength: Power, vinyasa, yin, and ashtanga yoga are the go-to’s for strength building, and you should be aiming for around three times a week. This is because all types of strength training require rest days to let the muscles recover.
  • Yoga for weight loss: Yoga is not as efficient at aiding weight loss as cardio-based exercise, but it can be effective if incorporated into an overall healthy lifestyle. Choose fast-moving yoga like vinyasa and ashtanga and aim for up to five weekly sessions.
  • Yoga for stress relief: If your goal is meditation and stress relief, then your yoga practice will be much more subtle. Asana, Hatha, and pranayama breathwork are both famous for stress relief and gentle enough to practice every day if you wish.
  • Prenatal yoga: When pregnant, yoga is an excellent way to keep the body moving and the mind calm. Always consult your health practitioner first, but prenatal yoga is gentle enough to do up to five times per week if you have an uncomplicated pregnancy.
Two woman talking while doing yoga on yoga mats
Photo by LUNA ACTIVE FITNESS on Unsplash

How Often Should I Do Yoga for Flexibility?

All forms of yoga offer the ability to increase your flexibility; however, the forms of yoga that are most effective in this area tend to be the strength-based ones.

If flexibility is your focus, follow the same guidelines above depending on the type of yoga you choose. Yin yoga is particularly excellent for flexibility as it focuses on long-held poses rather than fast-moving sequences.

How Many Times Can You Do Yoga in a Day?

Once you’ve nailed your weekly yoga routine, it’s common to start asking whether or not you can do yoga more than once a day. Well, it again depends on the type of yoga you’re doing and for how long.

The general rule of thumb is that an hour of vigorous and energetic yoga should only be done once a day. The gentler, more relaxing forms of yoga can be performed twice a day or alongside a more active form of yoga. For example, you could do an hour of power yoga in the morning and then do 20 minutes of asana yoga before you go to bed.

How Long Should I Do Yoga Each Day?

A complete yoga session typically lasts for an hour, which is considered enough time to get the most benefit. However, it is common for sessions to last for less time, particularly if they’re the less vigorous forms of practice.

If you can’t manage to fit an hour into your schedule, then you can break it down into smaller sessions throughout the day. Even 15 or 20 minutes sessions can be beneficial.

How Long Should I Do Yoga if I’m Pregnant?

Prenatal yoga classes typically last for an hour per session. They primarily consist of stretching and gentle poses, which are manageable for most pregnant women.

However, it is crucial to always listen to your body when pregnant. You must alert your yoga teacher if you feel uncomfortable or find it too difficult. Don’t be afraid to cut the lesson short if you need to.

Can I Do Yoga Twice a Day?

If you can perform yoga twice a day, you can, but you need to stay vigilant about your body and its limits.

Energetic forms of yoga are best practiced for up to an hour each day. You can do that hour all at once or split it into smaller chunks of time. Gentle yoga and breathwork can be performed multiple times daily according to how you feel.

A black and white silhouette of a person doing yoga
Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

How Often Should I Do Yoga to See Results?

Results are very much down to the individual and their circumstances. While you can feel good immediately after your first session, long-term benefits come with time.

Remember, yoga is a process – a journey, if you will – and it’s more about developing a consistent habit rather than doing it simply to achieve results. Worry less about the frequency and focus on the regularity of your yoga sessions. The rest will follow in time.

Final Thoughts

No matter which type of yoga you choose and how often you do it, stay aware of your body and how it’s feeling. Don’t be afraid to dial back your sessions if necessary and gradually build them back up again. This will ensure that you remain safe and continue your enjoyment of yoga long-term.

 

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