How Often Should You Include Yoga in Your Schedule?
Maintaining a regular workout schedule is the key to maximizing the benefits of yoga or any form of exercise. Of course, the definition of "regular" can vary from person to person. Deciding how often and when you'll practice yoga will help you ensure that you meet your personal goals.
Consistency is the Key to Yoga
Mastering any skill takes consistent practice, whether you're learning to drive or want to improve your yoga abilities. The more often you perform poses and movements, the more natural and fluid they'll become. Eventually, you won't have to even think about the steps to perform downward facing dog or the warrior pose. As you move from pose to pose, you'll be able to focus on perfecting your form and synchronizing your breathing with your movements.
Practicing yoga seven days per week just isn't realistic for many of us. Work and family obligations may make it difficult to set aside time for daily yoga sessions. Once you miss a few sessions, it can be difficult to get back on schedule.
Daily yoga sessions may also lead to burnout, at least for yoga novices. For many people, three to five one-hour yoga sessions per week are ideal. The schedule allows flexibility for other things and gives your muscles ample time to rest and recover.
Things to Keep in Mind When Planning Your Yoga Schedule
Yoga is a very individual, personal practice. A schedule that works for your friend may not be perfect for you. When you create your schedule, think about:
- Your Commitments: When is the best time to practice yoga? Although performing your asanas as the sun rises over your backyard may sound appealing, chances are that won't happen if mornings at your house tend to be hectic. Choose a time when you know you'll have a little quiet time to yourself, whether that's first thing in the morning, during your lunch hour or after dinner.
- The Importance of Flexibility: Some days you may only have 30 minutes free, while 60 minutes just may not seem long enough other days. Your yoga schedule doesn't have to be perfectly regimented. It can and should change depending on your responsibilities and needs.
- Is Longer Better?: If one-hour sessions are good, four-hour sessions are even better, right? Unfortunately, pushing yourself to practice for hours at a time can backfire. Marathon yoga sessions can cause overuse injuries that keep you sidelined for weeks or months.
- The Benefits of Yoga Minutes: Did you ever decide to skip yoga because you didn't have a full hour to devote to your practice session? Mini-sessions can help you relax or work the kinks in your muscles. If you don't have time for an hour-long session, consider scheduling a few 10-minute-long sessions throughout the day.
- Practicing with a Friend: Some days, binge-watching the latest Netflix series may sound like a better idea than perfecting your yoga poses. You may have more incentive to get off the couch if you practice yoga with a friend, whether on your own or at a yoga studio. Working out with others also adds an important social component to your practice. You'll enjoy the support and camaraderie of friends and classmates and will be less likely to skip a yoga session when you know that your friends are expecting you to participate.
Have you been thinking about taking a yoga class but aren't sure where to start? We offer a variety of classes for all levels. Contact us for more information about class times.
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