Whether we are thinking of starting yoga, or have already started, it is normal to wonder how often to do yoga to notice results.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer. This is because how often we should do yoga varies from person to person. In addition, we must take into account the goals, the type of yoga, the level of physical condition, how much free time we have and our budget.
That said, we can have an average figure based on the person who practices yoga. If we are in moderate physical condition, without major injuries, and practice the most common types, such as vinyasa, the recommended number of sessions is 3-5 times per week.
Perhaps the most common reason people take up yoga is to improve their flexibility. This is because there are many benefits to improving flexibility, from preventing injuries to improving circulation.
So how often should you do yoga to increase flexibility? If this is the main reason you want to practice then we should try to do 3-5 times a week .
All types of yoga will help improve flexibility, but slower-paced practices like hatha and yin are particularly beneficial, as the slower pace of the class allows you to go deeper into the poses, which will improve your flexibility over time .
However, even if two people have the same goal of improving flexibility, the frequency with which they will need to practice yoga can vary. This is because everyone will have a different starting point when it comes to flexibility, depending on factors like:
- The natural range of motion in the joints. Everyone will naturally have a different range of motion in their joints, which determines how flexible you are in these areas.
- injuries. For example, if we have suffered a knee injury, it can be difficult to develop flexibility around this joint, such as in the hamstrings.
Another great physical reason to do this type of physical activity is that it can help you improve muscle strength. Flexibility and strength go hand in hand in yoga, as most poses require both joint mobility and strength in the surrounding muscles.
In short, it is recommended to practice about 3 times a week to improve strength. If this is our goal, we should try to make the majority of sessions a dynamic type of yoga like Ashtanga.
When we think about how often to do yoga for strength benefits, we’ll remember that rest and recovery are key when it comes to any type of strength training. If we want to build healthy muscles, they also need time to recover.
With this in mind, doing two high-intensity practices on two consecutive days is not a good idea . How often you practice yoga to improve your strength will also depend on whether you are doing any other strength training at the gym.
Depending on the type of yoga
As well as the different styles, yoga varies in terms of the duration of the session and the difficulty. Therefore, these things will affect how often you do yoga per week.
For example, we could do 3-5 times a week. But, if these sessions are only 15 minutes long, you won’t make as much progress compared to if you were doing 3-5 90 minute sessions. Most standard yoga classes in studios, gyms, or online are 60 minutes long. However, some ashtanga classes can last longer than 90 minutes, and many studios even offer 30- or 45-minute ‘express’ classes.
So when determining how many times to do yoga per week, you need to consider the length of the class you’re doing. If you are doing shorter classes, you may want to do 5 classes per week. Whereas if you are doing longer classes then 3 per week may be enough.
In addition to the duration, the difficulty or intensity of the class also affects how often you should do yoga. For example, if we are only doing high intensity yoga classes, like Hot yoga, then 2 or 3 times a week may be enough. Similarly, if you are only doing low intensity classes, like Yin and Nidra, you can do it more frequently, like 5 times a week or even every day.
Depending on fitness level
Another important factor that can determine how often to do yoga is the level from which we start. So how often should you practice yoga for beginners ? In short, we would recommend starting from one to two times a week. At this stage, it is more about forming the habit of including the practice in life. We’re much more likely to stick with it and stay motivated this way than if we forced ourselves to go from being a complete beginner to doing yoga every day.
Once you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, we’ve mastered the basics, and we’ve established what types of yoga we prefer, we’ll try to increase the regularity of your practice to around 3-5 times a week. This allows you to deepen your practice, try a variety of different types of yoga, and maintain your progress.
If we consider ourselves an advanced yogi, we could practice every day. For advanced yogis, this is not just an activity, it is a lifestyle and a part of their daily routine.