How Often Should You Do Yoga To See Benefits?
What if we told you yoga could be the key to your wellness goals? Yup, it’s true. Yoga is one of the best exercise habits you can start and maintain throughout your life. Yoga is great for both men and women as it improves core strength, tones muscles, and boosts flexibility for both sexes. Plus, a lot of people have fun doing yoga with others by joining yoga classes or practices in town. But if you want to do yoga for the physical benefits, such as increased flexibility, how often should you do yoga? Do you need to practice yoga once a week? Once a month? Something else?
In truth, there’s no set routine or frequency perfect for everyone. Let’s take a look at how often you should do yoga to see the benefits and explore the factors that may affect your results now.
Yoga Benefits Explained
Simply put, yoga can provide lots of physical and mental benefits when practiced regularly, especially when mastered. Some of the scientifically-backed benefits of yoga include:
- Better core strength. Lots of yoga exercises and routines require you to exercise your core muscles along your abdomen and back. These core muscles provide strength and wellness boosts across the board. On top of that, they may help your posture improve as a side effect!
- Better flexibility, especially in men. Flexibility is related to better bone health and wellness, especially at a later age. Being more flexible means you’ll be less likely to injure yourself while performing other exercises, too.
- Improved mental health. For many, yoga is a chance to relax and unwind at the beginning or end of the day. As a physical activity, yoga also helps to burn off cortisol stress hormones to some extent.
- Improved emotional health. Thanks to the relaxing and calming effects of yoga practices, many people practice yoga entirely for emotional benefits. They feel more centered, less frustrated, and see other positive results.
Anyone can see the above benefits if they practice yoga frequently enough. But that’s the million-dollar question: just how often should you practice yoga to see these improvements?
Yoga Is Like Other Exercise
When it comes to determining how often you’ll practice yoga, remember this key fact: it’s just like any other type of exercise. If you don’t practice yoga often enough, you’ll barely see any benefits at all. If you practice yoga very frequently, you’ll see results faster than otherwise.
In other words, if you only practice yoga once a month, don’t expect to see many, if any, of the above physical benefits. If you practice yoga once every day, you’ll see physical and mental benefits faster and more intensely.
Therefore, it might be wise to incorporate yoga into your other exercise routines. For instance, if you already exercise three times a week, simply fit a short yoga session before or after your exercise on each of those days.
That way, you keep up with yoga the same way you keep up with lifting weights or cardio exercises, such as running. However, others may prefer to do yoga on their “off days” or the days of the week when they don’t lift weights. This is a good method to ensure you get a little physical exercise each day without overdoing it for any specific muscle group.
Doing Yoga Rarely
“Doing yoga” rarely means practicing yoga once per month or even more infrequently. Under this frequency, you’ll only see very small benefits from your yoga practice. The body needs repetition and practice to get good at yoga poses and routines.
This is why stopping and starting yoga exercise isn’t a good idea. If you start a yoga routine, stick with it as best as you can. Doing yoga once a month won’t result in meaningfully better core strength or flexibility. Furthermore, any mental health or emotional health benefits you see will be minor at best.
Doing Yoga Once or Twice Per Week
Practicing yoga once or twice per week is much better, especially for beginners who aren’t comfortable doing a lot of the poses quite yet. When you do yoga once or twice per week, your body starts to get used to the different poses and routines. This, in turn, makes it easier for you to stick with yoga over the long term.
Plus, doing yoga once or twice per week means you’ll see moderate improvements in your muscle mass and tone in key areas. Don’t expect to get ripped quickly, but a few months of doing yoga once or twice per week should see your arms and core holding you up more easily than before.
Doing Yoga Every Day
Doing yoga every day is, by far, the best way to see fast and significant exercise results. When you do yoga every single day, even for 15 minutes:
- Your body becomes used to yoga movements and poses
- Your flexibility increases since you move your limbs and body in important ways every 24 hours
- Your strength improves as you moderately strain your muscles each day. This requires your body to synthesize new muscle tissues, growing your muscles over time.
On top of the physical benefits, doing yoga every day means you’ll get the mental and emotional health benefits mentioned above as well.
What better way to start your day than relaxing and calming yourself to face the challenges ahead thanks to a short yoga session?
Generally, you should do yoga either every day or a few times every week to see the benefits. These frequencies of the best means to ensure your body gets all the advantages that consistent yoga routines produce.
Age and Fitness Factors
Of course, you should consider your age and fitness level when determining how often to practice yoga. Older people need to practice yoga more often to see major benefits. Younger people in their 20s or 30s can practice yoga more infrequently and may still see improvements in muscle mass or flexibility. That’s because their metabolisms and bodies are more adaptable, so they can grow muscle more quickly.
You might see yoga benefits more rapidly if you’re already fit, since your body will take to the flexibility and movement requirements easier.
Those looking to lose weight with yoga should start with doing yoga a few times a week to burn a few extra calories and gradually get their bodies used to the physical demands of typical yoga routines. As you lose weight and become more physically capable, you can and should ramp up your yoga frequency.
Yoga is a great exercise routine for losing weight, in conjunction with cardio exercises like running or swimming. That’s because yoga improves your flexibility and leads to you gaining greater control over your body in a real, tangible way. This can complement your mental dieting efforts.
Don’t Forget Technique
All of this discussion about yoga practice frequency is irrelevant if you don’t do the poses and movements with the right technique. Remember, exercising with bad technique can cause you to build your muscles improperly or even lead to injuries.
The same is true for practicing yoga without focusing on form and technique to the appropriate extent. This is especially true for beginners, who are more likely to unconsciously cheat their way through yoga poses since their bodies aren’t used to them.
As you start practicing yoga consistently, make sure to get a good technique down so your body benefits from the physical strain as much as possible. Yoga is supposed to be a bit uncomfortable and difficult at first. As you become more used to it and master yoga routines, you’ll see even more benefits in both the physical and mental arenas.
Yoga is a great exercise habit to start ASAP. Yoga provides physical benefits, and mental health improvements and can bolster your bodily wellness for years to come, especially if you stick with a good routine.
If you’re not sure where to start, 1AND1 Life may be able to help. Our blog includes lots of resources on yoga and other healthy physical activities and exercise philosophies. Alternatively, you can check out our online shop to find the right workout clothes and supplements for your needs. If you’re ready to get started with yoga in your daily life, check out our yoga mat and get your sweat on.
With 1AND1 Life, you can get 1% better every day with yoga, dieting, and more. Join the club and visit 1AND1 Life today!
Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life | NCBI
Effects of yoga on well-being and healthy ageing: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial (FitForAge) – PMC | NCBI