A question I get a lot as a yoga therapist is: How often should I be doing yoga? The answer isn't black and white, but in this blog I'll discuss what I believe to be the "ideal" amount of time - and why simply showing up to your mat and being consistent is so important in yoga.
Let's get right to it: 45 minutes to an hour of movement, breath, and meditation each day would be wonderful - in an ideal world.
Doing a powerful yoga practice every day for an hour may sound appealing, exciting, and aspirational. However, it's not realistic for most of us. And it can cause feelings of overwhelm and shame when we don't live up to our ideal, leading us to give up the whole thing all together.
Yes, the more you do yoga, the more you'll see and feel the benefits. But consistency over time is more important than a specific duration of practice. I strongly believe that this is the key to success in yoga: Consistency.
“Long-term consistency trumps short-term intensity.“ - Bruce Lee
Consistency over time is the key to progressing in your yoga practice. The more regularly you practice, the more beneficial it will be.
You want to make yoga a daily habit, and when it comes to building a new habit, it’s best to start small. When we start small when trying to incorporate new behaviors, we're more likely to become consistent with them so that they become habits. Shorter yoga sessions are easier to fit into our day and we’re therefore more likely to keep doing them.
This is why I encourage my yoga students to start a home yoga practice of just 15-20 minutes daily. My online yoga studio Lifelong Yoga is built on this principle. The majority of the on-demand classes inside the studio are in the 15 to 25-minute range.
Yes, 15 minutes of yoga each day is enough to see and feel a difference. In fact, you’ll see more progress when practicing 15 minutes every day than two hours once a week.
Research backs this up. This study showed that consistent home yoga practice predicted health better than years of going to a yoga class. "It did not appear to matter how long an individual had practiced yoga. Rather, it appeared to matter how often they practiced." Another study from 2016 found that only 12 minutes of yoga per day reversed bone loss!
“Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally; it comes from what you do consistently.” - Marie Forleo
Consistent yoga practice enhances your strength, mobility, and flexibility, calms your mind, lifts your spirits, and helps you find balance in life. And all you need is 15 minutes.
To sum it all up...the optimal time to practice yoga is whatever you can fit into your schedule and repeat. So ask yourself: What amount of time can you realistically stick with consistently?
Even better, get rid of any time expectations from your yoga practice. And while you're at it, get rid of the thought that you have to work "hard" or exert yourself a certain amount on any given day. Just show up and get on your mat daily. It's the showing up that counts.
This is a NEW 28-day yoga program created to support you as you establish a regular yoga routine. It's free for members of Lifelong Yoga Online.
No previous experience or flexibility is required! I provide safe, gentle modifications to traditional yoga poses to ensure that anyone can do yoga. Even if you can't touch your toes!
We start on Monday, January 30th! Sign up for Lifelong Yoga Online to join us.