Yoga is an ancient practice that focuses on getting your body and mind in tune.
So, how often should I do yoga to reap its many benefits?
The short answer is this: The frequency of your practice will depend mainly on your goals and physical fitness, as well as your schedule and availability.
Whether that means practicing every day or only once a month, staying consistent and finding a yoga routine that suits your needs is the most important.
- Top Reasons for Doing Yoga
- Top Yoga Practices and How Often You Should Practice Them
- FAQs About Yoga Practice Frequency
- How Often Should I Do Yoga: The Verdict
Top Reasons for Doing Yoga
Understanding the following reasons people choose to practice yoga will help you determine the recommended frequency of your practice:
Improves Strength, Flexibility, and Balance
Some do yoga to improve their physical strength and flexibility, moving through the various poses with ease and grace.
At its essence, yoga works by systematically stretching and strengthening those same muscles through focused poses and movements.
For instance, following weeks of daily practice, athletes found joints and ligaments to have less stress in sports performance and day-to-day activities because of the balanced muscle development promoted by yoga.
You can expect to notice a marked increase in your fitness and overall quality of life through regular practice.
Enhances Mindfulness, Mood, and Energy Levels
All exercises are great for your mood, as they help reduce stress hormones, increase endorphins, and pump more oxygenated blood to your brain.
While essential exercises can have these benefits, yoga may have an even greater impact.
This practice helps to elevate levels of a neurotransmitter called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which has been shown to improve mood and decrease anxiety.
By improving mental health, yoga can help you feel happier, less stressed, and energized daily.
Prevents Injuries and Manages Chronic Pains
For many people, yoga can effectively manage and overcome injuries and chronic pains.
By focusing on different breathing techniques and meditative poses, yoga helps to calm and focus the mind, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety that can trigger painful flare-ups.
Also, by encouraging gentle stretching of muscles and joints, yoga helps to ease physical discomfort caused by constant muscle soreness or illness.
Top Yoga Practices and How Often You Should Practice Them
When it comes to answering the question, “How often should I do yoga?“, a big part of the answer depends on what kind of yoga you want to practice.
While some types of yoga, such as Hatha or gentle flow, are slower-paced and less strenuous, others, like Ashtanga, can be quite intense.
So the frequency with which you do yoga will largely depend on your fitness level and personal goals for your practice.
If you are just starting with yoga and are looking for something relaxing and low-impact, then perhaps just a few times per week would be best.
More frequent practices may be beneficial if you’re looking to deepen your practice or gain more flexibility and strength through more challenging asanas.
There is no one “correct” way to practice yoga. Instead, many different types of yoga practices target various goals.
Some focus on flexibility and strength, while others put more emphasis on meditation and breathing techniques.
One of the most popular categories of yogas is Hatha yoga, a low-impact practice that focuses on executing and holding various postures called asanas with grace and control.
This type of yoga is ideal for beginners and experienced yogis alike, as it helps develop strength and flexibility while cultivating relaxation and inner peace.
Whether you’re working towards achieving more advanced poses like backbends or inversions, or you’re simply looking to unwind after a stressful day, Hatha yoga can help you get in touch with your body and find harmony within yourself.
Duration: 45 to 90 Minutes
Impact on the Body: Low
Recommended frequency: Once a week in the beginning and work your way up to thrice a week
Vinyasa (Flow Yoga)
Vinyasa is a dynamic, flow-style yoga that combines breathing, movement, and concentration, emphasizing strength and flexibility as well as cleansing and purification through flowing sequences of postures.
Practicing Ashtanga regularly can help improve circulation and posture, increase endurance, reduce stress levels, and strengthen all major muscle groups throughout the body.
Unlike other, more traditional styles of yoga that require long, uninterrupted periods of time for yoga, Vinyasa can be done in as little as fifteen to thirty minutes.
It also makes use of short and relatively rapid movements between poses.
Whether you’re pressed for time because of work or family obligations or just like the flexibility of being able to practice whenever the mood strikes you, vinyasa is truly the best yoga practice out there.
Duration: 30 Minutes to One Hour
Impact on the Body: Moderate
Recommended frequency: Three to five classes per week
Ashtanga (Power Yoga)
Both vinyasa and ashtanga styles emphasize fluid movement and the transition between poses.
However, there is one key difference: the duration of each pose. In ashtanga, you must hold each pose for a bit longer than in vinyasa.
This can be challenging at first, but it helps to improve your strength and flexibility over time.
Ashtanga also requires a specific set of poses, unlike vinyasa’s more free-flowing nature for each yoga class.
This added layer of structure and repetitiveness can introduce a degree of mental quieting that vinyasa’s unpredictable sequences just can’t replicate.
Difficulty: Intermediate to Expert
Duration: At Least 90 Minutes
Impact on the Body: Moderate
Recommended frequency: Six days per week
Bikram (Hot Yoga)
Bikram Yoga is one of the trendiest styles right now, and for a good reason: it offers a wide range of benefits to your body and mind.
This intense form of yoga is performed in a heated room, anywhere from 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit, which helps to loosen your muscles and detoxify your entire body.
Not only does bikram help improve blood circulation, strengthen your core, and increase flexibility, but it also promotes deep relaxation and can even boost your mood.
Difficulty: Intermediate to Expert
Duration: 90 Minutes
Impact on the Body: Moderate
Recommended frequency: Three to six days per week
Restorative (Yin Yoga)
Restorative yoga is a type of practice that has become increasingly popular in recent years.
Unlike more active forms of yoga, a restorative yoga class focuses on gentle movements and poses designed to take advantage of the mental health aspect of yoga.
It’s even encouraged that yogis bring yoga blocks, blankets, and other gear to help them hold a pose more comfortably.
Unlike traditional forms of exercises or physical therapy exercises, restorative yoga helps promote a sense of calm, helping to reduce stress and tension.
As such, many people turn to restorative yoga as a tool for managing anxiety and improving mental health.
Additionally, restorative yoga can positively affect physical health and immune function, as it helps increase blood flow and stimulates the release of feel-good hormones like endorphins.
If done right, this particular practice can be a calming evening yoga routine that can help you get yourself ready for the next day.
Duration: Five to 20 minutes
Impact on the Body: None
Recommended frequency: Once at the end of the work week
FAQs About Yoga Practice Frequency
1. Is it okay to do yoga everyday?
Some argue that all types of physical activity are important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, so there is no reason why practicing yoga should be treated any differently.
Others claim that too much yoga can have undesirable effects on the body, especially if you do intense poses and sequences daily.
While it might be tempting to go to the yoga studio every single morning, it is important to listen to your body and only do as much yoga as feels right for you at any given time.
Ultimately, there is no definitive answer to this question; it depends on your individual goals and needs.
Whether you have a regular yoga practice or save it for special occasions, what’s most important is you always listen to your body and take care of yourself in the best way possible.
2. Does yoga make you toned?
Yoga is actually quite effective at toning and adding some muscle mass to the body through several key benefits.
For one thing, yoga acts as a great low-impact workout, engaging almost every muscle in the body.
By focusing on slow and deliberate movements, yoga forces you to control your breathing, helping to build lung capacity while also improving circulation and strengthening your cardiovascular system.
3. How long does it take to see the results of yoga?
Six to 12 weeks.
4. What are the risks of doing too much yoga?
There are certain risks associated with doing too much yoga. Overstretching, for example, can lead to sprains or even tears in the muscles and tendons.
Additionally, working out too intensely or focusing too much on individual poses can cause joint discomfort or injury.
For this reason, it is important to listen to your body and take breaks when needed, as well as to seek guidance from experienced yoga teachers whenever possible.
5. What if you don’t feel in the mood?
The reality is that yoga can be adapted to suit any mood or level of experience. For example, if you don’t feel like doing a full hour-long asana session, you could focus on meditation instead.
If you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed, you might find relief from just a few minutes of restorative stretching or a soothing bedtime routine.
So don’t let the idea of “feeling in the mood” hold you back from enjoying the many benefits of yoga.
If you’re having trouble getting yourself into the yoga studio, online yoga classes can help you feel more motivated to keep your practice consistent.
How Often Should I Do Yoga: The Verdict
With a bit of knowledge of the types and benefits of yoga, it’s a little easier to answer this question.
For example, if you’re stressed at work, a quick 20-minute restorative yoga session might be all you need at the end of the day.
However, if you want to improve your overall fitness, weight loss, or unlock other more complicated asanas, doing ashtanga six times a week may be the key.
It goes without saying that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Some people find that a daily yoga practice works best for them, while others feel most energized after practicing just once or twice a week.
The key is to discover what works for your body and lifestyle and stick with it.