How Often Should I Practice Yoga?

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If you've just started up on a yoga class, you may find yourself asking the question, 'how often should I do yoga'? The great thing about yoga is that there is both intense style of classes as well as more relaxing style of classes so they can easily fit into your workout regardless of what type of plan you are following. There are a few important questions that you should be asking yourself though when trying to determine how often you should be doing yoga, so let's have a quick look so you can see for yourself what the perfect equation will be for you to insert this form of exercise into your workout program.

Your Skill Level

The first thing that you're going to want to consider is what your skill level is. If you're brand new to yoga you want to aim to do it two to three times a week so that your body is doing it frequently enough that it does have a chance to get used to the exercise. If you do it any less than this you won't see many adaptations to the exercise therefore won't experience all that many benefits. On the other hand of the equation though, if you do it much more than this you may be overdoing things when just starting and that could lead to pain or injury. If you're more advanced, then you can consider doing it four or more times a week based on your needs and preferences.

Your Other Activities

Second, also think about any other activities you plan to be doing along with your yoga. If you are doing three or four weight lifting workouts a week along with three of four cardio workouts as well, fitting in another four sessions of yoga could be pushing it. Remember that your body does require time to rest and recover as well and even though yoga can definitely be a relaxation form of exercise, it still may tax the muscles slightly. Always be sure that you have one day off a week for complete rest and then another one to two days per week where it is just light exercise.

The Type Of Yoga Your Doing

The next thing to think about is the type of yoga you're doing. Again this ties directly into the whole rest issue where if you're doing more intense forms of yoga, you'll have to do it less frequently per week unless you are very advanced and yoga is the only form of exercise you are doing. If you are doing gentler forms of yoga, then a higher frequency should work alright provided you aren't seeing any noticeable side effects in terms of decline in performance on your other workouts.

Your Primary Goals

Finally, the last thing to look at is your goal set. Are you mainly looking to increase flexibility? If so, you're going to be performing a lighter form of yoga for the most part anyway that is more focused on stretching and thus should be doing it four to five times a week. Stretching is something you should be working at on a daily basis, so this will definitely be most appropriate. On the other hand, if your primary goal is strength development then doing the workouts two to three times a week is a wiser decision because the muscles do need that time off in order to rest and recover. So keep all of these points in mind when deciding how often to do your yoga. After a few weeks of adding it to the program you should quickly be able to tell if you're working at the ideal frequency for you.