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.
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 – 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, your practice will almost always become deeper and more fulfilling the more you practice. As a beginner, this might look like 2-4 classes per 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 strengthening 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 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.
To review – do yoga as often as you like! Listen to the signs your body’s giving you and modify as needed.