If you’ve started practicing yoga, one of the important things to figure out is how regularly it’s safe to do it. Generally, sticking to between two and five yoga sessions per week is considered safe and sufficient to help you achieve your goals.
Can you increase your weekly yoga sessions? As you progress in your yoga journey, you might find that you can tolerate more yoga sessions per week, but it’s important to check in with your body so you don’t overdo it.
With this in mind, let’s explore how often you should do yoga, focusing on what’s safe for your body. We’ll also look at the benefits of doing yoga three, four, and five times per week.
Can You Do Too Much Yoga?
There is such a thing as doing too much yoga. Although yoga is a low-impact exercise, doing too much of it can cause you to be at greater risk of injury.
This is why it’s recommended that you only do a maximum of four or sessions of yoga per week. If you are engaging in intense yoga sessions every day, these can wear out your muscles.
If you work out with fatigued muscles, this can result in injuries, so it’s essential to pay attention to your body.
Signs you’re doing too much yoga include:
- Your joints, bones, tendons, or muscles feel painful. This is a sign you’ve been exerting your body too much.
- Your joints are swollen. This is another sign that you’re pushing your body too hard and it’s resulting in inflammation.
- Your muscles are sore for longer than a few days. While experiencing some muscle soreness after an intense yoga session is normal, if it persists for longer than a few days it’s a red flag that you need a rest day or two.
- Your breathing is labored. Checking your breath during yoga is a good way to gauge if you’re doing too much of it or exerting yourself. If your breathing is labored or you’re holding it in, you could be pushing yourself too much.
- You’re a beginner but not taking entry-level classes. If you’re starting out with yoga, avoid advanced classes such as those described as “core power yoga” or “power vinyasa” as you want to get used to yoga before you take on anything too advanced.
What Happens When You Do Yoga Once A Week
While it’s often assumed that doing yoga only once a week won’t be enough to allow you to reap its benefits, the truth is that however much you can squeeze into your schedule is beneficial!
Doing one session of yoga per week will help you to take time out of your stressful schedule, helping you focus on your wellbeing and relax your body.
There are also other benefits you can gain from once-a-week yoga.
A study found that when 18 people who suffered from chronic neck pain practiced Iyengar yoga once a week for nine weeks, they had increased perceived control over their health as well as greater emotional acceptance of their pain.
However, a potential drawback of only practicing yoga once a week is that your muscles will experience pain after every session because you won’t be building tolerance and strength from more regular practice.
What Happens When You Do Yoga Three Times A Week
Doing yoga three times per week is considered to be the average recommended amount to which you should strive.
There are many benefits to sticking to this commitment, such as that you will have enough rest days per week and you’ll be able to build muscle strength and fitness.
Doing yoga three times per week will also be enough for you to tone your body if that’s one of your goals.
However, bear in mind that if you’re doing 15 minutes of gentle yoga stretches three times a week, you’ll require extra exercise in your schedule to stay fit.
What Happens When You Do Yoga Five Times A Week
If you want to progress with yoga and improve your flexibility, stability, and strength, doing it between three to five times per week is sufficient.
Practicing yoga a minimum of five times a week ensures that you’ll bolster your general wellbeing, reduce fatigue, and have healthier sleep, as a study found.
You’ll also achieve greater flexibility, which in turn can help to reduce muscle soreness and injury.
Can You Do Yoga Every Day?
Although you can do yoga every day, you should try to limit your sessions to between 15 and 30 minutes. You should also take a rest day if you feel that your muscles or joints are sore, or you’re feeling exhausted.
There are other important tips to bear in mind if you want to practice yoga daily, such as the following:
- Vary your yoga schedule. This will ensure that you don’t put too much stress on certain joints or muscles. You should also add gentle yoga stretches to your practice.
- Build up gradually. Don’t do too much yoga, such as advanced poses, right off the bat. If you’re just starting out, take your time to progress, as this will prevent injury.
- Fit yoga into your schedule and lifestyle. How much does yoga make your body feel good? You should experiment as you continue practicing yoga to discover how regularly you should do yoga so that it works for you and your lifestyle. This will also ensure that you commit to the right amount that allows you to reap the benefits without it becoming stressful.
- Don’t forget about the emotional aspect of yoga. Instead of focusing so much on how regularly you should do yoga, a better question to ask yourself is: “How often should you do yoga for a calmer mind?”
How Long Should Your Yoga Sessions Be?
Keeping your yoga sessions short when you’re a beginner is essential to prevent you from overdoing it, so stick to sessions that are around 15 to 20 minutes in length.
The great thing about yoga is that it’s beneficial even if the session is short. This is good to remember if you battle to find an hour to practice yoga because of a hectic or busy lifestyle.
A study found that practicing yoga for just 15 minutes per day had a favorable effect on blood pressure – it decreased it by up to 10 percent!
Other benefits of short yoga sessions include a boost to your mood. A study found that one session of yoga which is under an hour boosts the body’s amount of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).
This is a neurotransmitter that decreases activity in the nervous system by around 27 percent.
Ideally, it’s good to work your way up to longer yoga sessions that are around 35 to 45 minutes in length.
This is useful to help you get used to a standard yoga class length without feeling overwhelmed, and it’s also a good amount of time to get you into a steady habit of practicing yoga.
What are the most common yoga injuries?
A study found that the most common yoga-related injuries that caused people to go to the doctor included strains and sprains to the chest, shoulders, back, and abdomen.
Can beginners do hot yoga?
Although it might take you a few sessions to get used to the hot environment, beginners can practice this type of yoga and should get used to it within two sessions.
How many rest days do you need for yoga?
Generally, the rule for rest days for yoga is that you should let muscles you’ve worked rest for a day or two before working them out again.
Rest days enable your muscles to recover so you have energy for your next yoga session. They can also help you calm your mind.
If you love yoga or you’re interested in starting yoga classes, it’s natural to wonder about how much you should do in order to be able to reap the benefits.
In this article, we’ve looked at what you stand to gain from doing yoga once, three, or five times per week.
However many sessions you can squeeze into your schedule is worth it, and better than nothing. As we’ve outlined, even shorter yoga sessions are beneficial to the body and mind.