In the West we often think of yoga as the physical practice of yoga. The asana, or poses. When in fact this is just one portion of a yoga practice. So when discussing the question of “how often should I do yoga” or “can I do yoga every day”? people are really asking “How often should I get on my mat and do a physical yoga practice”?
Because true yoga practice is constant, it should be with each living breath, thought, spoken word and action. Because yoga is a practice of life not just physical movement. As such I’ve split the answer into on and off the yoga mat.
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How often should I do yoga on the mat?
Honestly, the major factor as to how often you should do yoga is your goal. Is yoga simply a part of your weekly workout schedule? Perhaps you’re a beginner starting a home yoga practice? Are you aiming for strength or improving flexibility? Perhaps if you are intermediate or advanced then working towards a particular pose might be a goal. Are you simply looking to reduce stress and anxiety?
Regardless of your goal, the more you do yoga the more you’ll improve. Consistency in physical practice is key to gaining strength, flexibility, or improvement in balance or health. In general, I’d advise that a good frequency for physical yoga practice is 3-5 times a week.
Having said that, it’s perfectly ok to do yoga once a week. If that’s all the time you have. Something is better than nothing. And remember that the practice does NOT have to be a full hour-long practice. Find ways to work yoga into your schedule.
Is is ok to do a daily yoga practice?
Yes! Absolutely it’s ok to yoga every day. However, there are a couple of things I’d suggest if you are doing a daily yoga practice.
- Do different styles of yoga. Instead of doing a vinyasa flow every day, switch it up. Maybe a yoga vinyasa Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. But Tuesday and Thursday you practice Yin or Restorative.
- Don’t do the same poses every day. Just like you wouldn’t go into a gym and do bicep curls every day, avoid doing the same focus poses every day. Eg: If half-moon is your focus Monday, then Tuesday try a revolved triangle, Wednesday might be boat pose, Thursday Wall Yoga, and Friday Chair Yoga.
Yoga off the mat
In future posts, I really want to start diving into yoga off the mat. If yoga as a self-growth and spiritual practice is something you are interested in I highly suggest looking at the following books: Disclosure: These are affiliate links. But I own each one of these books and highly recommend them
These make great gifts for the aspiring yogi. And they will help open up the mind and heart to a practice of yoga beyond the physical asana. Building a practice of yoga on and off the mat.
- How often do you do yoga?
- What is the goal of your yoga practice?
- Do you practice yoga OFF the mat?