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Should You Practise Yoga Everyday? Understanding What is Best for You!


medically reviewed by Dr Valsala

Dr. Bhavya

Updated on August 25, 2023

Yoga has become increasingly popular as a holistic practice that nurtures both the body and mind. With its origins rooted in ancient Indian traditions, Yoga offers numerous benefits, including increased flexibility, improved strength, reduced stress, and enhanced mental well-being.

There are various paths to Yoga. However, most Western yoga classes are body-focused practices under Hatha Yoga’s umbrella.

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Hatha Yoga

So what is Hatha yoga? Hatha yoga is the predominant form of Yoga practised in the West, focusing on physical postures(asanas), breathing exercises(pranayama), relaxation, and sometimes meditation. It combines specific body postures, breath control, and non-judgmental awareness during practice. While other mind-body exercises share some features, Hatha Yoga offers a broader range of practices for overall well-being. It integrates the body and mind, providing physical, mental, and emotional benefits. 

Despite the various paths of Yoga available, hatha Yoga serves as an accessible entry point for individuals seeking the benefits of Yoga.

Regular Yoga practice can bring harmony, balance, and inner peace to our fast-paced modern lives. 

  • Dr Trishna, Yoga expert at Nirva Health

This question always arises among yoga enthusiasts: “How many times a week should you practise yoga?” 

Finding the right balance of yoga practice is essential to reap its full benefits while avoiding the risk of overexertion or burnout. In this article, we will explore various factors to consider when determining the frequency of your yoga sessions, enabling you to find your perfect balance for a sustainable and fulfilling yoga practice.

The heart of Yoga is “Abhyasa “- Steady effort in your desired direction.

  • Sally Kempton, Author and Teacher of Meditation and Spiritual Wisdom.

Yet, let’s see if you can make changes to your schedule. Understanding Your Goals and Preferences

Understanding Your Goals and Preferences

Before determining how frequently you should practise Yoga, clarifying your goals and motivations for engaging in this practice is crucial. Each individual may have different reasons for incorporating Yoga into their routine, such as;

  • Improving physical fitness
  • Managing stress
  • Increasing mindfulness
  • Seeking spiritual growth

Identifying your specific goals will help guide your decision-making process.

Yoga According to Intensity: Discovering the Different Styles of Yoga

Yoga encompasses a wide range of styles, each offering unique benefits and varying levels of intensity.

Some styles, like Power Yoga or Ashtanga Yoga, are more physically demanding and require increased strength and stamina. These intense styles typically involve flowing sequences and challenging poses that build heat and promote cardiovascular fitness. 

On the other hand, restorative or gentle yoga styles, such as Yin Yoga or Hatha Yoga, focus on relaxation, flexibility, and deep stretching.

Determining the Frequency of Your Yoga Practice: Know Your Current Fitness Level and Flexibility

When determining the frequency of your yoga practice, it’s essential to consider your current fitness level and flexibility.

Suppose you are a beginner or have limited physical conditioning. Starting with two to three sessions per week may be more appropriate to allow your body to adapt gradually. As you progress and become more comfortable with the practice, you can gradually increase the frequency.

Additionally, take into account your flexibility levels. More frequent yoga sessions may be beneficial if you’re working on improving your flexibility. 

Regular practice can help lengthen and strengthen muscles, increase joint mobility, and enhance overall flexibility.

Remember, it’s essential to listen to your body and not push beyond your limits. Honour your individual needs and pace yourself accordingly to avoid injuries or burnout.

By understanding your goals, considering the intensity of different yoga styles, and evaluating your fitness level and flexibility, you can determine the frequency that suits you best. Let’s explore some other factors to consider in finding your perfect balance.

Beginner’s Guide: Starting Slow and Building Consistency

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When starting a yoga practice, it’s crucial to begin slowly, especially if you’re new to Yoga or have limited experience. 

Starting with a frequency of 1-2 yoga sessions per week allows your body to adapt gradually and reduces the risk of overexertion or injury. As you become more comfortable and confident, you can gradually increase the frequency of your practice.

Consistency is the Key to Building a Yoga Practice

Consistency is essential in building a sustainable and beneficial yoga practice. Regularly attending yoga sessions, even if it’s just a couple of times a week, helps you establish a routine, develop muscle memory, and deepen your understanding of the practice. Consistent practice allows you to experience the cumulative benefits of Yoga, such as improved flexibility, increased strength, and a calmer mind.

The Harm of Doing More Than You Can

While it can be tempting to push yourself and do more yoga sessions than your body can handle, it’s essential to be mindful of your limits. Overexertion can lead to physical strain, fatigue, or even injuries. It’s necessary to listen to your body, respect its boundaries, and gradually progress at a comfortable and sustainable pace.

Modifications and Adaptations for Specific Populations

Yoga is a practice that can be modified and adapted to suit various populations, making it inclusive for people of all ages, abilities, and stages of life. 

Special populations such as seniors, children, pregnant individuals, and those with disabilities can benefit from Yoga with appropriate modifications and adaptations.

  • For seniors, gentle yoga styles like Chair Yoga or Restorative Yoga can provide gentle movement, improve balance, and promote relaxation. 
  • Children can engage in playful and age-appropriate yoga classes that enhance flexibility, focus, and self-awareness. 
  • Pregnant individuals can benefit from prenatal yoga classes focusing on gentle movements, breathing techniques, and relaxation. 
  • Individuals with disabilities can explore adaptive yoga classes catering to their needs and abilities.

Consulting with a qualified yoga instructor or seeking out specialised classes can help you practise Yoga safely and effectively based on your unique circumstances.

Regular Yoga Practice: Know How It Helps the Body to Be Your Happy Place

Regular Yoga offers many benefits for the body, mind, and emotions. Numerous research studies have supported the positive impact of Yoga on overall well-being. 

What are the Benefits of Being Regular in Yoga?

Physical Benefits:

  • Improved Flexibility: Yoga postures (asanas) help increase flexibility by gently stretching and lengthening muscles and connective tissues.
  • Increased Strength: Holding yoga poses builds strength in various muscle groups, promoting a toned and balanced physique.
  • Better Balance and Posture: Yoga poses focusing on stability and alignment enhance balance and posture, reducing the risk of falls and injuries.
  • Enhanced Body Awareness: Regular yoga practice cultivates a deeper connection between the mind and body, allowing you to become more attuned to your physical sensations and needs.

Mental and Emotional Benefits:

  • Stress Reduction: Yoga incorporates breath control and mindfulness, promoting relaxation and reducing the effects of stress on the body and mind.
  • Improved Mental Focus: Yoga encourages concentration and present-moment awareness, enhancing mental clarity and focus.
  • Emotional Well-being: Yoga can help regulate emotions, reduce anxiety, and promote a sense of calmness and inner peace.
  • Increased Mindfulness: The meditative aspects of yoga foster mindfulness. They enable you to become more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.

Research studies have consistently demonstrated the positive effects of Yoga on various aspects of well-being. 

For example, a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health showed that regular Yoga improved flexibility, muscular strength, and balance in adults. Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that Yoga reduced perceived stress and improved psychological well-being in individuals with anxiety disorders.

In addition to scientific research, personal testimonials provide insight into the transformative power of Yoga. 

For instance, a Nirva patient shared their experience: “Yoga has not only improved my physical strength and flexibility but has also brought a sense of calmness and balance to my life. It has become my go-to practice for reducing stress and finding inner peace.”

Renowned yogis also emphasise the benefits of regular practice. 

As B.K.S. Iyengar, a well-known yoga teacher, once said, 

Yoga is a light that, once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter your flame.”

Understanding the Frequency of Yoga Practice for Maximum Benefits: Research Evidences

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  • A study found that a 10-session beginner-level hatha yoga training regularly improved balance, flexibility, and core muscle strength. 
  • Studies have reported a decrease in BMI (Body Mass Index ) involving more frequent yoga training, such as daily Yoga for one month or 3-6 times per week for 8 weeks. Additionally, the participants in those studies were typically overweight. 
  • Studies suggest that changes in BMI may require more frequent practice and possibly among obese individuals. A similar pattern was observed for body fat percentage. A body fat percentage decrease might occur with more intense yoga practice or among overweight or older individuals.
  • More frequent or prolonged yoga programs reported improvements in balance. It was seen that 10 weekly sessions of yoga practice are sufficient to improve static balance with open eyes. Still, more intense or prolonged interventions may be needed for balance improvement with closed eyes or functional reach.
  • Even a weekly setting of yoga practice can lead to improvements in flexibility.
  • Core muscle strength increased among yoga participants after yoga interventions of varying intensity.
  • Longer or more frequent yoga interventions may be necessary to affect heart rate and heart rate variability.

The combination of scientific evidence, personal testimonials, and the wisdom of experienced yogis underscores the transformative power of Yoga in promoting overall well-being.

Finding Your Optimal Frequency

When determining how often you should practise Yoga, it’s essential to consider expert recommendations while honouring your body’s needs and limitations. 

Here are some general guidelines to help you find your optimal frequency:

Balanced Routine:

Many experts suggest practising Yoga 3-4 times per week for a balanced routine. This frequency allows for consistent progress, gives your body time to rest and recover between sessions, and provides a good balance between building strength and flexibility.

Advantages of Performing Yoga 3-4 Times per Week: 

Practising Yoga 3-4 times per week allows for regular engagement with the practice, helping you maintain and improve flexibility, strength, and balance. It provides an opportunity to deepen your understanding of the poses and their alignment and allows you to experience the mental and emotional benefits of Yoga more consistently.

Daily Practice:

Some individuals may practise Yoga daily for a more intensive experience and faster progress. Daily Yoga can deepen your connection to the practice, enhance mindfulness, and promote a sense of discipline and commitment. It can also help you better understand your body and its needs. However, it’s essential to listen to your body and avoid pushing beyond your limits. Daily practice may require modifications and adjustments to prevent overuse injuries.

Potential Risks of Overdoing It: 

While consistency and regularity are essential for progress, it’s equally important to avoid overdoing it. Pushing yourself too hard or practising Yoga excessively without proper rest can lead to burnout, fatigue, and increased risk of injuries. It’s crucial to listen to your body’s signals, respect your limits, and incorporate rest days into your routine.

Rest and Recovery

These are vital components of any exercise regimen, including Yoga. Rest days allow your body to repair, restore energy levels, and prevent overuse injuries. They also give your mind a break and prevent mental fatigue. Finding a balance between effort and rest is essential, ensuring your Yoga practice supports your overall well-being.

Finding the optimal frequency for your yoga practice depends on your specific goals and preferences. Here are some general recommendations based on different scenarios, but remember to listen to your body and adjust accordingly:

  • Yoga for Beginners: Aim for 2-4 beginner or slow-flow yoga classes per week, each lasting around 60 minutes. This allows you to gradually build strength, flexibility, and familiarity with the practice.
  • Yoga for Weight Loss: For weight loss goals, consider attending 4-5 Vinyasa or Power yoga classes per week, lasting 60-90 minutes each. Combine this with a balanced diet and at least one rest day to allow your body to recover.
  • Yoga for Reduced Stress: Daily yoga sessions of 15-20 minutes, combined with meditation and deep breathing exercises, can effectively reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  • Yoga for Building Strength: Ashtanga or Bikram yoga, practised 3-6 times per week with classes lasting 60-90 minutes, can help you build strength, endurance and improve overall fitness levels.
  • Yoga for Improving Flexibility: Incorporate 1-3 restorative yoga or Yin yoga classes per week, focusing on deep stretching and longer holds to enhance flexibility.
  • Yoga for Chronic Pain: Attend 1-3 gentle flow yoga classes per week, lasting 30-60 minutes each, to help alleviate chronic pain and improve mobility.
  • Yoga for Gym Goers: Include 15-20 minutes of restorative yoga stretching after your weight lifting workout or incorporate 1-2 yoga classes on your rest days to enhance recovery and flexibility.
  • Yoga for Improving Sleep: Dedicate 10-15 minutes each night before bed to relaxation practices, such as gentle stretches and breathing exercises, to promote better sleep quality.
  • Yoga for General Overall Health: Aim for 2-5 weekly Hatha yoga classes, each lasting 30-60 minutes. Hatha yoga provides a balanced practice that combines physical postures, breathwork, and relaxation.

Remember, consistency is critical. Regardless of the frequency, committing to a regular yoga practice will benefit your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Establishing a routine that works for you and prioritising self-care by listening to your body’s needs and adjusting your practice accordingly.

Enhancing Your Yoga Practice: Exploring the Benefits of Combining Yoga with Other Activities

While Yoga offers numerous benefits, incorporating other physical activities into your routine can enhance your overall fitness and well-being. Cross-training, or combining different types of exercises, allows you to engage different muscle groups, prevent boredom, and create a well-rounded fitness regimen. 

Here are some suggestions on how to strike a balance between Yoga and other activities:

Cardiovascular Exercise: Including cardio activities such as running, swimming, cycling, or dancing alongside your yoga practice can improve cardiovascular health, endurance, and stamina. Aim for 2-3 weekly cardio sessions, ranging from 20-60 minutes, depending on your fitness level and preferences.

Strength Training: Yoga builds strength, but incorporating additional strength training exercises like weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or Pilates can further enhance muscle tone, bone density, and overall strength. Aim for 2-3 weekly strength training sessions, targeting different muscle groups.

Meditation and Mindfulness: While Yoga incorporates elements of meditation and mindfulness, you can also include dedicated meditation sessions to deepen your practice. Explore different meditation techniques, such as mindfulness meditation, guided visualisation, or loving-kindness meditation, for 5-15 minutes daily.

Flexibility-Focused Activities: To complement your yoga practice and improve flexibility, consider activities like Pilates, tai chi, or gymnastics. These exercises focus on dynamic stretching, core strength, and body control, enhancing your overall range of motion.

Restorative Practices: Besides physical activities, it’s essential to incorporate healthy practices such as gentle stretching, foam rolling, or restorative Yoga. These activities promote relaxation, release muscle tension, and support recovery.

When incorporating other activities into your routine, striking a balance is crucial. Here are a few tips to help you find that balance:

  • Listen to Your Body so that you don’t harm yourself 
  • Plan Your Schedule and adjust your timings 
  • Adjust intensity according to your body strength 
  • Join a yoga or women’s community that pushes you to good
  • Seek Professional Guidance to prevent any injury

Remember, the goal is to create a well-rounded fitness routine supporting your overall health and aligning with your goals and preferences. Incorporating other activities alongside your yoga practice can enhance your physical fitness, maintain motivation, and discover new ways to nourish your body and mind.

Adapting to Life’s Demands: Adjusting Your Yoga Routine

Maintaining a consistent yoga practice can be challenging, especially when life gets busy. However, it’s important to prioritise self-care and find ways to adapt your yoga routine to fit your lifestyle. 

Here are some tips to help you navigate these challenges:

Shorter Yoga Sessions: If finding longer chunks of time for Yoga seems impossible, break your practice into shorter sessions throughout the day. Even 10-15 minutes of Yoga can provide benefits. Sneak in a few poses or a quick meditation during breaks or in the morning and evening.

Pockets of Time: Look for pockets of time in your schedule where you can fit in Yoga. It could be during lunch breaks while waiting for appointments or between tasks. Prioritise your well-being by making Yoga a non-negotiable part of your routine.

Early Mornings or Late Evenings: Consider adjusting your sleep schedule to include early or late evening yoga sessions. These quiet moments can be a peaceful way to start or end your day, providing a sense of calm and grounding.

Mindful Movement: Incorporate mindful movement throughout your day. Practice conscious breathing, gentle stretches, or simple Yoga poses whenever you have a moment. This cultivates mindfulness and helps you stay connected to your body even when not on the mat.

Flexibility and Adaptability: Be willing to adapt your yoga routine to fit your changing schedule. On some days, a shorter session may be all you can manage; on others, you may have the luxury of more extended practice. Embrace flexibility and adjust your expectations accordingly.

The Path to Wellness

Adapting your yoga routine to fit your lifestyle and addressing the challenges of maintaining a consistent practice amidst a busy schedule is essential. You can do this by integrating shorter yoga sessions, finding pockets of time, and adjusting your practice to accommodate life’s demands.

It’s important to remember that the frequency and duration of your yoga practice should be tailored to your individual needs and circumstances. Experiment with different approaches and listen to your body for optimal frequency. The journey of self-discovery in Yoga is not about perfection or adhering to strict rules but rather about finding what works best for you.

As you navigate the ups and downs of life, embrace the process and enjoy the benefits Yoga brings to your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Whether it’s a few minutes of mindful movement or a more extended session on the mat, every moment you spend with Yoga is an opportunity to nurture yourself and cultivate a sense of balance and harmony. 

So, find your rhythm, adapt as needed, and make your Yoga practice a joyful and fulfilling part of your journey.

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