If you are new to yoga workouts, you can start from 2-3 sessions a week (30 mins per day). Then slowly increase more practice when your body can handle more challenges. Experienced yogi can practice 5-6 sessions a week (45-60 mins per day) or do yoga every day as the body allows.
However, there are more than just the amount of practices you take.
#1. Consistency is key! Practice 20 mins per day/3 times a week increase benefits far better than do a 1-hour long weekend session.
#2. Follow the rule of thumb, find a good balance that works for you.
#3. How often you practice yoga depends on your personal goals. Do you want to improve physical strength and flexibility, reduce stress, or increase sleep quality? The frequency of certain types of yoga is important.
Keep on reading to find more detail.
#1. Form a habit for consistent practice.
Consistency is key to get the most benefits out of yoga.
Try to focus on creating a habit to commit to your practice. Find a routine that fits with your schedule and stick with it. As you get into your habit, you get stronger over time.
Practicing at a studio can be a good way to ease you into a regular routine. You can get live instruction from experienced teachers and meet friends who can motivate you.
Lack of time? Why not try online yoga classes.
You can do yoga at home with streaming online classes when you are available. The good news is you have a ton of flexibility with your schedule. You can choose how long to stay on the mat and select the class that fits your mood.
If you find it is difficult to roll out your mat on daily basis, try a 30-days yoga challenge to keep up with regular practice. (Free options available for both beginner and intermediate level. You can check this list of best yoga channels on youtube.)
Mix between at-home yoga and studio.
To maximize your practice, incorporate a private session with a teacher who can lead you to archive your yoga goal. Or divide 50/50 between doing your own comfort and joining a studio.
#2. Follow a general rule of thumb.
Keep a balance of frequency and consistency.
A general rule of thumb, if you want to see improvement in physical practice take 3-5 sessions (for 30 mins to 60 mins) a week. But as a beginner it is unrealistic. First, get started with 2-3 times a week for a month. Explore your edge, check again what your body needs then add more sessions and duration to your personal practices. When you get more advanced you can practice 5-6 times a week.
Find a good balance that works for you. You improve over time, just keep your practice consistent, yoga is not a race.
If you just take up a yoga practice, you need more rest between classes.
Experience yogis? One a week take at least one day off to gives your body time to heal. Maintain a sustainable practice for the long run.
There is no minimum of rest day. Take rest whenever your body asks for it. Your muscle needs to rest to recover and regain its strength.
Is it OK to do yoga every day?
Give your body some time to break is recommend but if you want more? Do as much as it feels right for you.
But keep in mind you need to vary your style and your pose.
Because repeat the same pose or same type of yoga too much you can injure yourself. Repetitive strain injury (RSI) can happen to you if you repeat the same practice again and again.
- Vary the style. For example, 3 times Vinyasa, 1 time Power, and 2 times for Restorative and Yin yoga. (Take one or two gentle yoga per week.)
- Vary the pose you do every day. For example Monday you focus on stretch and splits, Tuesday for core, Wednesday for inversion, Thursday for half-moon, and balancing pose.
Don’t overdo or pushing too hard
Build a daily routine to practice yoga is great. but it is important to listen to your body, don’t overdo your practice which may harm you.
Pushing your body too hard can lead to injuries. If you feel pain or discomfort move gently out of the pose or hang out in child’s pose.
Not to let yoga stress you!
Stay safe if you are pregnant
Pregnant women should avoid some poses like deep twists or poses that need to lie down on the belly.
And avoid lying on your back when you feel heavy in later trimester.
#3. Have a clear goal.
Do you only do yoga to stay active? Or you want to incorporate yoga into your routine?
Establish your personal goal and stick to the plan to maximize the benefit. And follow a yoga workout planner to keep you on track with your goal.
Incorporate yoga into your fitness routine.
If you want to add short yoga a session to your workout routine to maximize your main workout.
Recommend 3 times per week (15 to 30 mins per session) for warmup before a heavy workout or cooldown stretching after running.
Reduce stress and anxiety.
You can practice Restorative or Yin yoga daily (morning or bedtime). These relaxation styles of yoga decrease stress and anxiety level, increase sleep quality, and improve overall health.
Try these poses and hold: child’s pose, folded butterfly, reclining pigeon pose, seated one leg forward fold, lying spinal twist, and legs up the wall.
Even a simple 5 mins pranayama breathing practice and meditation is what you need to calm your mind.
If you want to improve flexibility, aim for 2-3 sessions per week. Depend on your body, you may need to focus on a certain muscle group to reach your goal. (Hamstrings, hips, shoulders)
Gentle Hatha, Yin, or Restorative yoga class work best to help stretch out your tight muscle and improve flexibility. It is when you need to hold the pose longer allow your body time to open up.
For some advanced stretching pose need more work: Bird of paradise, drop down into a full split, king pigeon, king dancer.
However, it is safe to keep a balance between getting flexible and getting strong. Focus too much on flexibility result in hypermobility lead to injury.
When it comes to building strength. it is more about the type of class you take than how frequently you hit the mat. Focus more on strength-based sessions like Power Vinyasa, Power Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga. Aim for 3 sessions per week and try to rotate the focus on different muscle groups.
Be sure to give your body the appropriate amount of rest. Your muscle needs time to rest, repair, recover and then it gets stronger.
Losing weight is more about nutrition than the type of workout. If your goal is to lose weight fast rather find another high-intensive workout style.
However, fast-paced yoga like Power, Ashtanga that keep you moving throughout the class can be part of weight management program.
Aim for 3-5 sessions /per week with a rest day to allow the body to recover.
Become a serious yogi.
When you are ready to subscribe to yoga daily, practice physical asana is just part of yoga. Find time to practice breathwork, meditation and move it beyond the yoga studio.
To live a yoga lifestyle on and off the mat.
Start to give yourself some love by eating healthy food.
And practice being kind to others, show them compassion, offer them a smile and kind words.
The bottom line
How often you should practice yoga but depend on your goal.
And remember the key to reach your goal is keeping your practice consistent.