Doing yoga comes with a long list of benefits that affect your body, mind, and soul. From reduced stress levels and improved concentration, all the way to better sleep and higher confidence, the changes you can get from yoga are truly remarkable.
New yogis are mostly aware of what they can achieve by practicing yoga, but something they frequently ask is – how often should a beginner practice yoga. In this article, we’re setting out to give you a full, comprehensive answer to this question.
Know What You’re Asking
If you expected a straightforward answer to such a question, then you’re in for a surprise. After all, a mere answer like “every day” would really cut this post short, wouldn’t it?
See, it’s not that there isn’t a good brief answer to such an inquiry, but it’s rather the fact that the answer could vary depending on what you mean by your question. Allow us to elaborate.
If you want an actual satisfying answer, try to pinpoint what you need to find out.
For example, are you asking how often you should take a yoga class? Or how often should you practice the physical aspect of yoga to benefit from it?
Maybe what you’re wondering is if you’ll “get better” faster by practicing yoga more frequently, or how often should you practice yoga to avoid injury.
As you can tell, there are many forms of the same question, so knowing exactly what you’re asking can help you end up with the best result.
How Many Times Should You Practice Yoga A Week?
So let’s start out with a general answer. How many times can practice yoga within a safe limit? – as a general rule of thumb, a healthy practice of yoga falls somewhere between 3 and 5 times a week.
This frequency is ideal since it gives your body enough time to rest. Yes, rest is indeed a crucial factor to let your body recover and get stronger, all the while maintaining your health.
In fact, it’s a good idea to take a whole week off of the physical practice of yoga from time to time. You may find yourself coming back feeling stronger on multiple levels.
Does this mean that doing yoga less frequently, say once a week, is useless? That would be a no.
In this aspect, experts believe that doing a bit of yoga is better than doing no yoga at all. So if you can practice yoga only once every week, then so be it.
Don’t worry, you’ll still benefit from such a practice, but not the same extent.
That being said, you should keep in mind that it’s also possible to do too much yoga. Granted, many people find this a bit hard to believe, especially since yoga is known to be a highly peaceful practice.
But just because you’re not running around or doing kicks and flips, doesn’t mean there is no risk of injury. People do get injured doing yoga, and it happens a whole lot more than you think for the simple reason that you can injure yourself in any type of exercise.
When you put your body through repetitive tasks over and over again trying to go all “no pain, no gain”, you may develop repetitive strain injury (RSI), also known as repetitive stress injury, cumulative trauma disorder, and overuse syndrome.
The typical treatment for such a condition involves rest with or without strengthening exercise. This could last for a few months, so why not save yourself the inconvenience by avoiding working out in a strenuous manner.
The next time you start pushing way too hard in a pose, remind yourself to pull back. Listen to your body and tone things down if it feels like you’re doing too much.
How Often Should A Beginner Practice Yoga?
Yogis who are just getting started should follow the same general outline we discussed above, with a few suggestions and some emphasis on certain points.
First of all, you should really stick to listening to your body – it actually knows what’s right for you. Another good idea is to start with one session or class per week. This way, you can become more familiar with the new postures and movements.
Once you’re confident enough in your abilities and feel like your body needs something more challenging, you can begin to incorporate harder poses or prolong the duration of your practice.
Over time, you’ll find yourself falling in the healthy pattern of 3 to 5 weekly yoga sessions.
However, you must be careful not to overload your body. This is a common happening among beginners as they go hard and fast for the first few months only to burn out shortly after. Here is where “listening to your body” really shows its benefits.
If you feel like your body is asking for time to rest between yoga sessions, then just let it. If a certain pose or movement makes you feel pain or discomfort, then modify it or cut it out altogether.
This stands applicable even if another person doesn’t feel the same way in the same way. Their body is simply different from yours, and pain is the body’s signal that something isn’t working all that well for it.
What type of yoga is best for beginners?
If you’re still undecided about the style of yoga you should be doing, there are a couple of basic types you could try.
You can opt for a vinyasa flow class where you get to explore the fundamental principles and poses of yoga.
This type of class is probably what most of your yogi friends are doing, and it’s great for beginners looking to improve their strength. Vinyasa involves moving your body in time with your breath, often done in a physically challenging sequence that’ll have to break a sweat.
Hatha yoga is another popular style that’s widely taught in the United States.
In this class, you’ll have the opportunity to explore holding postures and working with your breath. It’ll give you a great stretch, and you’ll leave feeling looser yet more concentrated in your mind, soul, and body.
One more yoga style that’s perfect for beginners is restorative yoga. If your goal for practicing yoga is to release stress and access a meditative state without breaking a sweat, then you should definitely give this type a try.
Restorative yoga is a meditative practice that utilizes props like sandbags, straps, blocks, and blankets to promote a passive release of tension in the mind and body. It aims to blow off deep tension passively, without active stretch.
Not only is restorative yoga great for beginners, but it’s also very good for yogis suffering from injuries or chronic pain.
As for the matter of practicing with a yoga instructor or doing yoga at home, we say that each has its pros and cons.
On one hand, a teacher can help you learn how to do different poses and movements in a safe way, which is always a plus for beginners. They can also take advantage of the instructor’s professional insight into the style of yoga that fits them best.
On the other hand, practicing yoga at home gives you a lot of flexibility with your schedule. Signing up for an online class can bring you the best of both worlds.
How Long Does it Take to See Results?
As we mentioned above, 3 to 5 yoga sessions per week is a good frequency to practice. However, there are definitely people who practice 6 or 7 days per week, without any issues at that. So is this okay? Absolutely.
There are even yogis who practice twice in the same day, which obviously begs the question, who is right here?
Well, no one is wrong that’s for sure – as long as it feels balanced. See, the frequency of doing yoga is best set by you.
How often you should do yoga depends on many factors including how much time you got on your hands, your fitness level, your ability to commit financially, as well as what you’re aiming to achieve through yoga.
Your purpose for practicing yoga can actually be a major deciding factor for your workout schedule, so you’ll need to figure this one out before setting the pace of your sessions.
Are you looking to lose weight faster? Build up flexibility and strength? Or perhaps you’re trying to work on your stress and concentration?
With so many possibilities floating around, you can see why there’s isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It’s because yoga doesn’t come in a pill.
It takes time and dedication to truly witness the effects you’re out to receive, and this time isn’t set in stone.
This is why commitment is key, whether your goal is to develop strength, flexibility, calmness, or any other benefit associated with yoga.
How often should a beginner practice yoga? The answer isn’t set in stone – it’s all about finding the right amount of practice that feels balanced. It can be every day or once a week, as long as you listen to your body and let it guide you through the process. Also check out our guide on what to bring to your first yoga class. You may also like some of the best yoga blocks from our list, so be sure to check them out.
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