How Often Should A Beginner Do Yoga
Medically reviewed & fact checked by a board-certified doctor.
I often get asked by people who are new to yoga, how many times a week do I need to do yoga to get the benefits?
Its an interesting question, and the answer, as with most yoga-related questions, is that it depends on you.
If I think back to when I started, I remember attending my first couple of classes more out of duty than because I actually wanted to be there.
I wanted the benefits that Id read about and had grand visions of becoming leaner, more toned, and in tune with myself, but I had no idea how I was going to survive a whole hour of quiet and deep breathing.
Within a couple of weeks, I was hooked!
I could feel the tension melting off me as I walked into the yoga studio, and I was sleeping like a baby on the nights after I attended a class.
I was sitting up straighter, experiencing less back pain, I felt calmer, and my brain seemed to be much sharper than before.
Within a month, I was doing two yoga classes a week, and after two months, I was up to three classes, alternating between Hatha, Bikram, Vinyasa, and restorative yoga.
So, if youre a beginner, you can easily start off as I did with one session a week, and, as you begin doing yoga more regularly, theres a good chance youll be hooked too and wont be able to wait a full week to get your next yoga fix.
What Are The Benefits Of Yoga
If you want to gain the benefits of yoga, you need to make practising a habit. And its much easier to develop a habit when you have;a clear reason for creating it.
The good news is that yoga has plenty of benefits so this isnt difficult!
The most obvious is improved flexibility. Regular practice helps lengthen your muscles and free up tight joints. Over time, this can reduce the chance of injuries or pain.
There are far more benefits to yoga though. Other physical benefits include stronger bones, improve muscle strength and better balance. There is some evidence that yoga can help weight loss too.
Your overall health can also benefit from regular yoga practice. Theres evidence to suggest that yoga may help improve sleep quality, boost your immune system, improve the health of your heart and decrease inflammation. Its also great for reducing stress and anxiety.
The question is, can you gain these benefits from a single weekly class? Or are they reserved for serious yogis who practice for hours each day?
Can I Use A Book Or Yoga Videos Instead Of Going To A Class
It’s better to start with a class to learn the poses and breathing techniques correctly. With a video, there will be nobody to correct your mistakes, which may lead to injury over time.
With some experience of being in a class, a video can then be helpful for keeping up practice.
Page last reviewed: 3 August 2021 Next review due: 3 August 2024
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Yoga And Calorie Burning
While yoga isnt traditionally considered an aerobic exercise, there are certain types of yoga that are more physical than others.
Active, intense styles of yoga help you burn the most calories. This may help prevent weight gain. Ashtanga, vinyasa, and power yoga are examples of more physical types of yoga.
Vinyasa and power yoga are usually offered at hot yoga studios. These types of yoga keep you moving almost constantly, which helps you to burn calories.
Practicing yoga may also help you develop muscle tone and improve your metabolism.
While restorative yoga isnt an especially physical type of yoga, it still helps in weight loss. One study found that restorative yoga was effective in helping overweight women to lose weight, including abdominal fat.
These findings are especially promising for people whose body weight may make more vigorous forms of yoga difficult.
A review of studies from 2013 found that yoga is a promising way to help with behavioral change, weight loss, and maintenance by burning calories, heightening mindfulness, and reducing stress. These factors may help you to reduce food intake and become aware of the effects of overeating.
More in-depth, high-quality studies are needed to expand on these findings.
How Many Times A Week Do You Need To Do Yoga For Results
Everyone knows that yoga is good for you. So how many times a week do you need to do it to make a difference in your life? We sat down with Christian Salton, a Shaman and international yoga teacher with more than 15 years of teaching experience. He currently teaches at;KXU, Equinox, BXR and Annabels as well as running wellness retreats and teacher training abroad
How many times a week do you need to do yoga for results?
When it comes down to it, the optimal amount of days per week to practice yoga will vary from person to person. It all depends on what youre in it for. Some are limited by time or costs, and many simply dont have the motivation or know-how to practice on their own at home. But, in an ideal situation 3 times per week.
What are some of the benefits of yoga well find if we practice more regularly?
The benefits of yoga are numerous. I wouldnt say one benefit is superior to another because we are all unique and have different goals in mind. Most start off just wanting to improve their flexibility, which is a good thing. A less flexible body can mean more strain, less efficiency and an increased risk of injury if you try to move really tight joints through their full range of motion. So, your flexibility will improve with yoga. But with consistent practice, you should also notice your breathing improves, youll have a calmer mind and improved strength. Finally, being more comfortable in your own skin now thats a great benefit.
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If your goal is to get stronger, Id recommend going through a strength-building yoga sequence 3 times a week. I strongly recommend making sure you build strength throughout your body: arms, chest and shoulders, core, hips and glutes, quads, calves and shins, ankles, and feet. There are yoga poses to help you build up strength in all of these areas, and many poses will do double or even triple duty and help you strengthen multiple parts of your body.
If you want to get more flexible, I recommend doing at least a little yoga every single day. When you run, your muscles, tendons, and ligaments tighten. If you really want to see progress with your flexibility, you need to do a little bit of yoga and stretching every day. Focus on finding a nice, comfortable stretch, which will actually help you build flexibility faster than pushing your body farther than it wants to go.
How Often Should You Work Out Each Week
Like we said, there’s no simple formula that’s right for everyone. If you’re looking to amp up your fitness level, your magic number of days depends on how active you already are.
For example, you’ll probably see physical results from one day a week if you don’t already work out at all, Noam Tamir, C.S.C.S., founder and CEO of TS Fitness in New York City, tells SELF. But if you’re used to multiple workout days a week, one day probably won’t challenge your body enough to maintain your fitness or make progress.
The breakdown varies depending on your specific goals, but in general, four to five days a week will do the trick if you’re aiming to improve or maintain your fitness.
Of course, if youre just getting started and dont exercise currently, that might be too big of a jump at first, says ACE-certified trainer Sivan Fagan, owner of Strong With Sivan in Baltimore. And that can turn you off completely from working out. Instead, try starting with two workouts a week, which you can increase gradually.
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How Long Does It Take To Master Yoga
Part of the beauty of yoga is that its a practicenever-ending and always evolving. There will never be a day when youre able to say, okay, thats it. Im done! Ive done everything I can do.
Of course, the goal for many monks and religious practitioners is to reach enlightenment or liberation through yoga, but you typically wont find this through practicing a couple of times a week with the intent to get toned.
Working your way up to more advanced classes doesnt take quite as long as it would to reach enlightenment.
Depending on your physical capabilities, you might work your way up to these classes in just around a month of regular practice. Regular practice for most is considered to be at least a few times a week, though many seasoned practitioners will get on their mat every day.
While advanced classes may be accessible to practitioners after a few weeks or a couple of months of regular practice, again depending on where your body is physically, there are many advanced postures that may take years to become available to you.
Finding arm balances, handstands and other inversions typically takes years of intense dedication to the practice.
More Frequent Vigorous Yoga Practice For Weight Loss
Yoga can be part of a healthy weight loss plan, but depending on Downward-Facing Dog to peel off pounds could disappoint you. Weight loss requires the expenditure of more calories than you consume, and a balanced program of aerobic exercise and strength training, plus a nutritious, low-fat diet, will lower the numbers on the scale. But a regular yoga practice can contribute to weight loss. Dr. Baxter Bell, an M.D. and therapeutic yoga practitioner, notes that asanas tone, lengthen and strengthen muscles so you look sleeker and more sculpted. Stronger muscles have denser fiber and muscle mass burns calories, even when you are at rest. Several sessions a week of a vigorous style of yoga, like vinyasa or hot yoga, will complement aerobics workouts with increased cardiovascular challenge that costs you calories — and maybe a few inches.
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How Often Should You Do Yoga A Week
When people kick off their practice sessions, they do it 5 to 7 times a week due to the novelty of the fitness form. It makes them feel lighter and even helps them lose some weight initially. However, as they get comfortable with the practice, laziness creeps in, cutting down the frequency of practice. So, how often should you do yoga to enjoy its benefits? Well, my response is that it depends on their goals of doing yoga. The goals vary with persons. Along with that your yoga style, the diet you are following, other fitness styles, injuries, health issues, etc also play important roles in determining the frequency of your practice.
Here is a short write-up that will give you a brief idea about how to plan your yoga sessions.
How To Determine Yoga Practice Frequency
1. The Yoga Goals
you are aiming for weight loss, then I would say do yoga, 4 times a week bundling it with a good cardiovascular routine 3 to 4 times a week. You wouldnt need the weights here as yoga offers a good level of stretch and toning. If your goal is stress busting, then a yoga class focusing on a mix of asanas, pranayamas, and meditation techniques would be the best bet. 3 60 minute sessions of core-focusing yoga plus 2 60 minute advanced hatha yoga sessions plus one 60 minute asana, Pranayama, meditation session do this continuously for 3 weeks and you will see the difference!
2. The Yoga Style
3. The Yoga Diet
4. Your Fitness Regimen
5. Your Medical History
What Feels Right For You
When Im helping a friend or student get started with their online practice, I usually point them in the direction of a selection of my favorite categories and let them know what they can expect from them. In time, these categories become like your favorite studio there when you need them and with those special teachers you love dearly.
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Can You Get Injured By Doing Yoga Too Much Or Too Little
As with most everything in life, balance is key. Both too much and too little movement can be detrimental to health, and this holds true for yoga, too.
Our muscles become achy and imbalanced when we dont move enough, Hughes says. Our cultural habit of sitting for hours every day really harms our body and often contributes to pain we experience. Adding some yoga into your routine is a great way to help you move more throughout your week.
As to the reverse, its also possible to do too much yoga. You can injure yourself in any type of exercise, Brooks says. I see students pushing way too hard in poses and I remind them to pull back. Instead of thinking that more is always better, listen to your body and slow down if it feels like youre doing too much.
Yoga Is Not Just Another Workout
This is according to many yogis. There are reams upon reams of ancient texts that explore yogas many aspects. The physical elements make up a relatively minute part of the discussion. In addition to this, scientific studies have increasingly shown yogas positive role in keeping a persons mental and physical health in tip top shape.
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What Does Om Mean
Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. It is said to be the sound of the universe. What does that mean?
Somehow the ancient yogis knew what scientists today are telling usthat the entire universe is moving. Nothing is ever solid or still. Everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Om. We may not always be aware of this sound in our daily lives, but we can hear it in the rustling of the autumn leaves, the waves on the shore, the inside of a seashell.
Chanting Om allows us to recognize our experience as a reflection of how the whole universe movesthe setting sun, the rising moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, the beating of our hearts. As we chant Om, it takes us for a ride on this universal movement, through our breath, our awareness, and our physical energy, and we begin to sense a bigger connection that is both uplifting and soothing.
Little Things Are A Big Deal
The little moments made these 30 days great. The warm daily welcome from the people at the studios front desk. The friendly doorman who waved and smiled as I headed to the studio. The daily selfie I sent my parents as proof that Id gotten up every morning. Ultimately, it was how this experience cleared my mind and made me look at my life with new eyes.
My 30 days are over, but my practice isnt. This wasnt a binge or a phase Im going through. Its my way of integrating this practice into my life. I hit the mat every day not for the physical benefits, but in pursuit of clarity. Im sure obstacles will come up sometimes, but I would be stupid to let go of something thats given me so much happiness.
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A Few Weeks Ago I Had A Great Question From Kat
Hello Melissa,Im loving your videos and am particularly enjoying the restorative and yin ones you have.I am currently enjoying doing a yin yoga practise every day. I was really wondering what the best would be, alternating yin with more yang yoga like vinyasa/hatha. Im relatively new to the yin yoga but enjoy it a lot, its just about wondering how much of the different yoga styles to incorporate into my week. I love doing yoga at home and because I am full time looking after my autistic 6 year old daughter, the benefits for me are so good after a big day. I would love to hear from you on how often to incorporate a yin yoga session into the week. I do yoga every day, even if sometimes only 15 mins, but I need my yoga fix, it is so healing. Thanks so much for all you share,love Kat
So the answer to this question is multi-layered and multi-faceted. My daughter loves when I say that, I get the sighs and rolly eyes when I say multi-layers and it isnt a simple answer. Both she and my husband love simple answers.
From the perspective of your physical body and your connective tissue , yes you can practice yin yoga everyday.
When you are practicing yang styles of yoga where your muscles are tearing and breaking down and they need time to recover between the strain of exercise or even intense flexibility training.
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My Recommendation: Add Specific Resistance Training
To those only doing yoga, I strongly encourage you incorporate strength training into your weekly routine. These exercises are what you should be doing at a minimum if you want to continue doing yoga and avoid injury:
- Vertical Rows Builds strength in arms , back and shoulders
- Horizontal Rows Builds strength in scapular stabilizers , arms
- Hammer Curls, Biceps Curls, or Grip Strengthening ExercisesBuilds grip strength, strengthens wrists, prevents wrist injury, increases life expectancy
I also recommend that you also incorporate strength training focusing on compound movements into your training routine, but this is not absolutely necessary unless you want to build more muscle, lose weight, or improve your functional fitness. You can get by with yoga and the resistance training exercises mentioned above, but for best results, you should incorporate yoga with resistance training.
I understand that you many have had issues with resistance training in the past.
Trust me, I was one of those people. But that was because I wasnt following a balanced training plan, and I didnt have the necessary mobility, core strength, and body awareness to do the exercises properly.
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