How often should you do yoga before you see and feel any results? It all depends on what you perceive to be “results” — and what specific goals you’ve set for yourself as part of your yoga practice.
Don’t be disheartened by this less-than-straightforward answer. This simply means yoga can work for you — provided you set clear intentions as to why you’ve chosen to make it a part of your life.
If you’re new to the whole idea of integrating yoga into your fitness routine or mental health support strategies, read on to learn more about the potential benefits of yoga in your daily life. You’ll also learn tips for setting realistic goals when it comes to consistent practice and about the types of yoga you can try to reach your goals.
Potential Benefits Of A Yoga Practice
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, and its positive impact on physical, mental, and spiritual well-being is well-documented. Regular yoga practice helps support:
- Flexibility and mobility
- Muscle strength and range of motion
- Heart and lung health
- Stress relief
- Energy levels and sleep quality
- Weight loss
- Self-awareness and self-care1,2
With the help and counsel of your doctor and a certified yoga instructor, why not start setting some yoga goals to inform and guide your practice?
How To Set Yoga Goals And See Results
Traditionally, yoga was considered a pursuit of personal enlightenment. While many people still subscribe to this lofty ideal, you can and should set your own personal goals for the results you hope to achieve through your yoga practice. A set goal can help you start and maintain regular yoga sessions.
Visualize what you’d like out of your yoga practice. Is it better balance, flexibility, and mobility? Support for strong bones or overall body strength? Or perhaps your goals are geared towards mindfulness. These goals can help inform what style of yoga could help you get there — and how often you should practice.3
The Different Types Of Yoga
There are many different forms of yoga. If you’ve struggled with staying consistent before, you might enjoy practicing a different style of yoga — or a combination. If you’re a beginner, consult with an expert yogi to discuss your options and how they align with your goals. Here are some of the most popular types of yoga offered by instructors and studios:
- Vinyasa Yoga: One of the more dynamic and physically demanding forms of yoga, Vinyasa helps build flow and strength.
- Hatha Yoga: Offering a good grasp of basic yoga poses and breathing techniques, Hatha yoga is a good beginner yoga form to consider.
- Iyengar Yoga: Much slower and alignment-focused, the poses in this form of yoga are especially well-suited for beginners.
- Kundalini Yoga: An energetic and intense type of yoga, Kundalini yoga is good for those looking for a more spiritual or mental workout.
- Yin Yoga: A slower-paced and more meditative form of yoga, this is a good place for beginners to find stress relief.
- Ashtanga Yoga: A leveled-up practice with a set series of postures, this type of yoga is great for more advanced yogis seeking a new challenge.4,5
Make Your Yoga Practice A Healthy Habit
Experienced yogis will attest it isn’t how many minutes of yoga you do on a daily basis or how many times per week you hit the yoga studio. No, it’s how consistently you commit to the practice with the right mindset to help you reach your yoga goals.
Simply put, the best way to see results is to be consistent. It isn’t how much yoga you do in one session, but how often you do it. If you’re only beginning your practice and are daunted by the commitment it takes, think about the best way to fit yoga into your daily life. Instead of marking how many classes you can or should attend in a week, think of how you can feasibly form a consistent pattern. Yoga is a process, and there are no quick, life-changing transformations that happen overnight.
Taking into account your specific goals, as well as your routine or schedule, can give you an idea of how much yoga you can do. Even beginners may already feel good changes with a consistent one-hour yoga class a week. Then, you can adjust and expand your practice to fit your life.6
Yoga As A Lifestyle
In line with your goals, you may want to explore other lifestyle changes you can adapt to support your practice. If you’re hoping to lose weight, think about the correct diet to support your exercise routine. If you’re just starting out with your exercise routine, keep an open line of communication with your doctor.
Create the right mindset about building a habit, set the right goals, and you’re sure to see progress and results at your own pace. Your more intentional and effective yoga journey begins here.