Whether you have been doing yoga for years or are brand new to the practice, you may find yourself wondering, “How often should I do yoga?”
The answer is … there is no single correct answer.
The amount of times per week or even per day you can participate in a yoga session depends on a variety of factors, so let’s explore those together.
• How often a new student should be doing yoga
• How to pick a yoga frequency based on your personal goals
• How to know when you’re doing enough yoga
• And more
• How Often Should You Do Yoga?
• Yoga Frequency Based on Your Personal Goals: 6 Recommendations
• How Long Should You Do Yoga?
• What Should You Do if You Experience Negative Symptoms After Yoga?
• How Do You Know When You Are Doing Enough Yoga?
• Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi Can Help Enhance Your Physical, Mental, and Energetic Well-Being and Meet Your Yoga Goals
Like many other health practices, yoga is not a one-size-fits-all routine. The whole point of yoga is to be mindful of your body’s condition and the experience that is uniquely yours through the practice of yoga.
There isn’t a set number of times per week you should do yoga, and a factor that determines your frequency is how long you’ve been practicing.
If you are just starting out in your yoga practice, doing it two times per week is a perfect starting goal.
Why only twice a week?
As you begin the practice of yoga, your body goes through a “clearing” process, and you want to give it time to adjust and recover.
People who are new to yoga tend to get overly ambitious and think that doing it every day should be a starting goal. But that’s not necessarily true — especially if you're someone who doesn't do much stretching or has never done yoga before.
When you do a yoga session, especially if you are new to yoga, the energies in your body that have been stagnant or dormant for a long time begin to move.
• Feeling fatigued — as your body releases the energies it has been holding on to, they rush through your system and can make you feel extra tired.
• Experiencing an intense emotional release — feelings of deep sadness, anger, or frustration may arise.
• Cold-like symptoms — coughing, stuffy nose, body aches.
When you get to the point that your body isn’t having strong reactions, increase slowly until you’re doing yoga more frequently.
Many people have the ultimate goal of practicing yoga every day, but it’s important to feel how your body reacts to it.
A seasoned yogi knows that all body conditions and types are unique, so you should be in tune with yourself and judge how you are doing.
For some people, practicing once a day every single day works. For others – they love how yoga makes them feel so much that they try to get in two sessions per day.
The point of yoga is not to work out — it’s a personal journey. If you know that yoga is helping you and enriching your life, you can continue to add sessions.
• Connecting to yourself
• Breathing; and
• Staying present
If you are making yoga a task to complete like it’s a chore, you may want to reevaluate the number of times you’re practicing yoga per week. You should never feel preoccupied about getting yoga in each day or anxious if you don’t do it.
As we’ve said before, each individual is different and may need to do yoga at varying intervals.
Another factor in how often one should do yoga is based on why you’re doing it in the first place. Depending on what you are hoping to gain from your yoga practice, you may have different needs for how often you should participate.
No matter what your ultimate goals are, Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi can help you achieve them by offering many online and in-person classes to train your body and center your awareness inside yourself.
Yoga is a fantastic practice to improve your body’s flexibility.
While some people are naturally flexible and can retain their body’s suppleness by doing only one to two yoga classes per week, others may have to practice every day to keep their muscles and joints limber.
A good rule of thumb for the average person seeking to do yoga to improve flexibility is to shoot for 3 to 5 sessions per week.
Yoga isn’t just good for flexibility — since you’re using your body’s weight throughout the movements, it can help you get stronger as well.
If your goal for yoga is to increase strength, you should aim for three sessions per week. Make sure to leave enough time between sessions to give your muscles time to recover.
Stress can be just as harmful to your body as medical conditions such as hypertension or obesity. The practice of yoga is well known as a natural stress reducer — so if you are someone who gets anxious easily, you could benefit from regular yoga practice.
If you are looking for stress relief from your yoga practice, then you should do it as often as you want and can fit it into your schedule.
As we said before, there’s no such thing as too much yoga if done properly. So doing yoga every day or even more than once per day to reduce stress is never a bad idea – as long as your body has adjusted after the beginning phase of implementing yoga.
Remember, yoga sessions don’t have to be an hour long — little bits here and there can be more beneficial to your well-being than lengthy workouts.
Improved balance is another of the top benefits of doing yoga. Good balance is important for everyone to work on, especially as you get older to prevent falls.
Building yoga into your routine in any way is likely to help with balance, but to experience the ultimate rewards of improved balance you should try to practice daily.
People practice yoga for many different reasons, but you may not automatically think of weight loss as one of them. Yoga can be an integral part of a healthy diet and exercise regimen.
But yoga also offers many benefits that may lead to weight loss.
Since you are creating a mind-body connection while practicing yoga, this can lead to more mindful eating which could help you make better food choices and consume fewer calories.
And since yoga helps develop inner awareness, it may also help you to have a better body image — becoming more satisfied with your body and less critical of it. This can lead you to take better care of yourself overall.
Extended yoga practice is also known to help your body feel better, which could lead to being more active in other areas of your life.
To get as many benefits as possible for your weight loss journey, you should do yoga 3 to 6 times per week.
If your goal for practicing yoga is improved sleep, the more important question might be when you should do yoga rather than how often.
A national survey reported that over 55% of people who practice yoga said that it improves their sleep. But to get this specific benefit, you will probably want to schedule your sessions closer to bedtime.
Those who practice yoga daily may reap the most benefits.
The length of your yoga sessions is entirely up to you!
Most people practice yoga for 15-60 minutes at a time. But if you only have a few minutes here and there, squeeze it into your schedule when you can.
Conversely, if extra-long sessions will give you more of the benefits you’re looking for and you have the time and endurance, go for it!
• Relaxed; and
As we discussed previously, it’s common to experience negative physical and emotional symptoms after beginning yoga or starting it back up for the first time.
So why does something that’s so good for you make you feel so bad at first? Think of stretching the body. At first, stretching can feel uncomfortable, as your ligaments are not used to stretching as far. Over time, you are able to stretch farther with ease and don’t experience the same discomfort you did in the beginning. Practicing yoga is very similar.
Think of a body that hasn’t been practicing yoga as an extremely dusty house. To get the house clean, you must attack the dirt, bringing it all to the surface.
This can be overwhelming, but if you stop there, your house will never be free of dust. If you keep moving to push it out, you’ll get past the dusty phase and your house will be clean again.
So it is with yoga — when you try your first session and feel these negative things, you can’t be afraid to continue. That means it’s working! Ultimately, it’s important to listen to your body and practice moderation if you feel yourself getting too overwhelmed with emotion.
If you feel a little worse for wear after your first yoga sessions, don’t freak out! Keep going and continue with your second session later in the week to get through the “clearing” process and you should be feeling better in no time.
When you feel like your yoga classes are a time to recharge — rather than a chore — then you know you are at the right level and doing the optimum number of sessions per week.
When your attitude about yoga shifts to this mindset instead of feeling like it’s something to check off your to-do list, your yoga classes will sustain you through the days, weeks, and months of your life.
At Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi, we offer yoga classes for people of all levels, from beginners to experienced yogis.
We will help you examine your yoga goals and recommend how many classes you should take each week to meet them.
How often should you do yoga? You’ll want to do it every day with the folks at Body & Brain Yoga Tai Chi. Contact us today to find out how to get started!