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Ask a Yogi: How often should I practice yoga?

Posted on November 14 2016

When you are first starting yoga, it may be difficult to commit to a regular practice...

I've witnessed many beginners get frustrated with their yoga practice and quit, because they don't see progress from week to week.

However to reap the full benefits of yoga, practicing as often as possible is key! If you are not practicing daily, chances are your body will edge back to your natural state in no time. 

Practicing yoga regularly can:

increase flexibility, increase muscle tone, improve respiration, energy. mental clarity, reduce stress... the list goes on. 

Can't commit to an hour long practice each day? Neither can I.

Our lives are busy and free time is precious. Spend time with your family and friends when you can, don't commit 2 hours a day on your yoga mat!

I find that the best way to practice yoga is using quick and consistent principles. Here are some tips that have helped me develop a realistic, regular practice:

 

    • Schedule a regular practice time that works.
Night owl or early bird? Typically, yoga is best practiced on an empty stomach. If you like waking up early, like me, practice first thing after your morning trip to the bathroom. If you're more of a night person, practice after work or before dinner. Schedule an hour long practice at least once every week.


    • No studio, no problem.
Online classes can be a great resource to begin a regular practice and most are F R E E. My favorites: Ali Kamenova Yoga, Do Yoga With Me, Yoga by Candace, The Offbeat Yogi :)


    • Ten minutes, twice a day. 
I recommend practicing twice every day for just ten minutes each in between long yoga practice days. By doubling up on your practice even for a few minutes, can lead to dramatic gains in flexibility and lowered stress levels. Don't think you can remember to squeeze in that stretch? Knock off ten minutes from your morning workout to include a quick yoga practice of stretching and breathing deeply. Before you go to bed, practice those same poses. Which leads to...


    • Stick with the same poses. 
      After your weekly yoga class or online class, try writing down a couple poses you remember. Sink into these poses during your 10 minute yoga sessions. Whenever I'm teaching, I keep the same sequence for a week. By the end of the week, I've stretched the same muscle groups so often that I see a noticeable ease in my poses.

 

 

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