How Often Should You Do Yoga?

It’s super common for yogis, especially beginners, to wonder how often they should practice. The good thing is that the answer largely depends on the person practicing and what they want to experience. Since yoga is such a vast practice with hundreds of physical poses, many breathing techniques, chanting, subtle bodywork, meditation, self-study, and so much more – it’s very safe and very beneficial to incorporate it into your everyday life.

Since yoga just as much, if not more, about getting to know yourself as it is about becoming more flexible. So, it’s up to you to try things to see how they resonate. If something doesn’t feel satisfying on some level – emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally, then don’t pressure yourself to keep at it. As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, there are many techniques to choose from and not all of them will be right for you. The ones that do feel right though, the ones that leave you feeling more whole, nourished, satisfied, even a bit more from before you did it, hold on to those.

#yogaeverydamnday is a very popular hashtag on social media and while you certainly can sweat it out on your mat every day for an hour or two or more – many people feel a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment from doing just five to ten minutes each day – especially in the morning or right before bed to help them sleep. And, if a positive outcome can be experienced from such short periods of practice – imagine what adding some longer practices to your week could result in.

Regardless of your yoga intentions, however, your practice will almost always become deeper and more fulfilling the more you practice. As a beginner, this might look like 2 -4 classes a week that are an hour or slightly longer. As you progress through the foundations of yoga you might find that your stamina and desire to learn more has increased. If so, practice more!

Here are a few things to keep in mind to ensure your practice is safe and beneficial.

  • Change things up! There are definitely benefits to revisiting sequences more than once. Often times, you may even find the second time through a series of poses is a little smoother since you kind of know what’s coming. And practicing the same poses until you’ve mastered them can take many years so repeats there are fantastic. Aside from the avoiding the same sequence from day to day, we’d also recommend trying practices that are more intense and strengthing like a vinyasa class, and ones that are slow and gentle, like restorative. Our bodies typically feel much better when we keep them guessing by moving in new ways and yoga has a lot of options to choose from.
  • Find a teacher who is well educated and that you resonate with who you can trust to guide you.
  • Set goals, maybe, and then let them be fluid. Yoga often unveils layers of ourselves that we didn’t know were there. It impacts our lives on and off our mat. So, having goals to help keep you motivated and consistent can be fantastic but be remember to flexible with when they’re attained and how you’ll get there.
  • 5 is better than 0. Even if your day is full, you have at least 5 minutes to focus your mind on mediation, practice belly breathing, or move through some foundational poses. If you’re a yogi who’s just getting started, you might find it fun to do 30 days of yoga. Each day you could do some yoga, maybe 5 minutes, maybe an hour or more. This simple challenge is a great way to create a healthy habit.

So to review, do yoga as often as you like! Listen to the signs your body’s giving you and modify as needed.

Top 10 Yoga Poses For Beginners

There are hundreds of yoga poses available for you to practice and countless variations of those poses to help you achieve wellness of the mind, body, and spirit. With that said, when you’re just getting started with a yoga practice you can narrow things down a lot by using a few foundational poses that can help to build your confidence, strength, balance, increase endurance and prepare you to move through more intermediate and/or advanced yoga poses when you’re ready.

Before we share some of our favorite yoga poses for beginners, let’s review a few other helpful tips to keep in mind when you’re new to yoga.

  • Your pose doesn’t have to look exactly like pictures you see or teachers who lead classes. What’s most important is that you listen to your body and make the pose work for you.
  • The transition into a pose (and into more advanced poses) is just as, if not more important than the final pose itself. Be patient with the process.
  • Always remember to breathe! Pretty much every pose becomes better when we breathe with intention. Use your breath to help bring new energy to your body, to create space, and to help you soften into poses that are challenging.

Now, let’s dig into some great poses for beginner yogis.

Mountain Pose – Tadasana

This pose appears to be simple but when done correctly, requires a great amount of focus and effort to hold the body in such a well-aligned position.

Easy Pose – Sukhasana

This is one of yoga’s most foundational seated poses. If you find it challenging, you’re not alone. Often the tissues around our hips and low back prevent us from feeling comfortable here at first. A great way to modify this pose, as shown in the video, is to lift your hips onto a rolled blanket, yoga bolster, or block.

Downward Dog – Adho Mukha Svanasana

Most beginning yogis have a hard time believing this pose can be used as a resting pose because it is usually pretty challenging at first. If you feel that way have faith that it will change over time with practice.

Low Lunge Pose – Anjaneyasana

Low lunge pose is a great way to lengthen the hip flexor muscles that end up feeling short and tight when we sit for long periods of time – great for people with desk jobs.

Warrior II – Virabhadrasana II

This pose helps build strength through the legs, core, and arms while also lengthening the inner groin muscle and opening the hips.

Tree Pose – Vriksasana

Challenge your balance while opening your hips with this standing tree pose. Remember balancing is more attainable when you’re on a solid, stable surface. It also helps to focus your drishti (find a point to focus your eyes on that isn’t moving).

Standing Half Foward Fold – Ardha Uttanasana

Great for stretching the front of the body, engaging through the core, and strengthening the back of the body.

Plank Pose – Phalakasana

Plank is a great way to build strength throughout the entire body. It also helps increase body awareness as you learn to activate muscles to stay elevated.

Child’s Pose – Balasana

This is a great pose for calming the mind and relieving feelings like anxiety. Beginners can place a block under their forehead if it doesn’t reach the ground – this can help the pose to feel more grounding and supported so you can ease into it more.

Legs Up The Wall – Viparita Karani

One of yoga’s more notorious poses for restoring the body. Some even say this pose can cure any ailments. If you don’t have a wall but need a quick reboot, putting your legs up a chair works well too.

When practiced with some consistency most people will notice great mental and physical benefits. As with all exercise, be mindful of how you move through these poses and consult with a professional in person if you need further guidance.