It is almost January and we all know what that means! A lot of people set those New Year’s Resolutions and often the goal for many is to hit the gym, lose weight, and to live in a more healthy way. So that means there will be new faces in the gym and our fitness classes.
As a yoga instructor, I often get asked quite few questions. A very popular question that is often asked by my new folks is “how many times per week should I practice yoga?” (Newbies are asking about the physical practice as they experience in class). And actually this is an excellent question! Here’s my answer.
It depends on a lot of factors: your lifestyle, your time, your priorities, your goals, how you feel, and your budget. However, if you can “regularly” go to a yoga class or do your own practice (low to no cost) at least once a week, you are going to experience the benefits. Now, if you can go or do a practice a couple of times a week then you’ll experience more benefits and they will find you much more quickly than when you practice less. Again, you need to be consistent! Can you do yoga everyday? Yes, most definitely! Can you practice twice a day? Yes, most definitely!
Typically, most yoga classes at a gym or studio are an hour or 90 minutes in duration. Yoga DVDs or TV programming can be 30, 45, or even 60 minutes in duration. Do you have to go that long? No. If you only have 10 minutes that is OK too. Of course if you only have 10 minutes, you might find a short yoga sequence to follow perhaps something on YouTube. Once you feel comfortable with the yoga poses, try graduating and pursue a flow of your creation on your own. For instance, in 10 minutes time, you can knock out 3 – 4 sets of Sun Salutations or even do 5 – 7 of your favorite yoga poses.
Twice a day or morning vs. night?
Morning Practice Benefits: alleviates stiffness from the night’s sleep, loosens you up, gets the blood moving, quiets the mind, helps with focus and prepares you for the day
Evening Practice Benefits: helps you unwind from the day, improves sleep quality, and decreases mental and physical tension
Earlier I mentioned that if you regularly practiced yoga, you would experience benefits. Well, you just might be wondering what the heck these benefits might be. Check these out.
Benefits:Weight loss, injury relief, calmness and a sense of well being, stress reduction, increased strength and muscle tone, increased flexibility, new friends…
Overall, I’d say if you practice often, you’ll experience some pretty good stuff! Fit in yoga after intense workouts or your cardio class and you’ll eventually notice that it makes a huge difference in how you feel and your performance in physical activities like sports. If you have an injury, you’ll find that a “regular” practice really helps it. Feeling a little depressed, it will help lift your spirits too! Keep your yoga mat in your car so it is available to roll out whenever or wherever you might be. Start out slowly and build up your attendance to whatever is a comfortable level for you!
Final thought: If you practice “regularly” then you can say you do yoga. However; if you go here and there, stop for several months, and then come again sporadically, you can’t say you do yoga. You are fooling around with yoga. There is a difference!
I’ll see you in class!