How Often Should you do Yoga & Meditate?
Before we start – I am no ‘guru’ nor a spiritual expert. I just enjoy Meditation and Yoga and wanted to start a blog from my perspective of trying to create a daily routine that allows me a glimpse of the stillness they can bring. I try to link out to as many reputable sources within these posts as I can, some of these external links enable me to earn a commission which helps towards the running of the blog.
Goal setting is a term frequently used in both our professional and personal lives to achieve desired objectives. Whether we are performing tasks at the office, at home, undergoing medical treatment, planning a trip or doing a workout, it is more than likely you will always have some sort of goal in mind, otherwise, why else do would you be doing it?
Yoga can be done with this same purpose and people usually practice yoga for a specific reason. Surprisingly, these reasons can vary quite considerably, and weight loss, stress reduction, calmness, physical and mental balance are just some of the benefits of yoga. Because of these many benefits, yoga practitioners always get a curious question- “How often should I perform yoga to see the results?”
Yoga doesn’t come with a set of finite steps, and one really needs to practice constantly without questioning its efficiency. Physical benefits are just part of the discussion. There is more to experience, and one has to practice with a belief to keep the momentum going.
Yoga means ‘unite’- Let us unite our body and soul! Human body and soul perform at a different pace and yoga helps to bridge the gap between them. It helps us to balance our physical and emotional health. This is achieved by practicing physical exercises (‘Asanas’ in Yoga dictionary) along with developing control over the mind. It is both these physical and mental elements why yoga has been compared to a sport.
How Long Should You Practice Yoga For?
Yoga takes its own sweet little time to produce results. This differs from other physical exercises where a finite number of sessions would bring the necessary outcome. Yoga is not just about physical strength; mental focus is the key requirement. When both combined together we are able to see quicker and longer-lasting results.
Many yoga instructors believe that short sessions (15-30 minutes) are more powerful than long ones and that you will see results fast when performed on a regular basis. However, it all depends on what ‘results’ you are intending to see, meditation is still a key element of yoga and it is very hard to track progress as such.
However, some signs of improvement you may notice when practicing yoga often include:
- Better posture
- Improved flexibility
- Peaceful mind
To see some of these outcomes we recommended practicing for at least three times a week for 30 minutes each session.
However, if you just don’t have the time in your busy schedule to fit three sessions in then, practicing once a week will suffice. As the saying goes, “Something is better than nothing”; and there is nothing wrong with practicing just once a week if that is all you can manage.
Yoga is taught in different ways across the world. Differing styles consist of Dynamic Postures, Restorative Yoga, and Meditative practices.
Yoga is not a religion but the teachings originate from the different sects. ‘Buddhism’,’ Vinyasa Yoga’,’ Kundalini Yoga’, Hatha Yoga’ are the common forms practiced everywhere. We learn more when we incorporate the best practices into our training. We shall keep our eyes and ears open to let the universe offer us the best it can. Together we will expand our knowledge, and we shall see the fruits ripening soon. The teachings of yoga are just limited by our imagination. If we try to explore more, we will find innumerable volumes of ancient teachings. A great way to learn more about the different styles is through our reviews of some of the best yoga books.
No matter which form we practice, the ultimate aim of Yoga is the same, to experience our essential nature by completely transcending our mind. Through Yoga, we will discover new ways to learn, grow, seek happiness and eventually remain dedicated to our overall wellbeing.
Methods of Obtaining Yoga Training
With the ever-increasing popularity of yoga, we now see yoga studios popping up in every corner of the glove. Gyms, spas, wellness centers, sports clubs, and private yoga studios provide the necessary training. Additionally, there are services (online classes) that offer training to people who do not have enough time in obtaining physical training regularly. There are two ways of gaining this holistic knowledge:
Online Tutorials/Videos – With the advanced technologies and the rapid growth of the internet, getting training in any field is within our limits.
Yoga online classes are the easiest ways of acquiring knowledge, and this method is highly beneficial for the people who cannot spend sufficient time daily. We can practice at our own convenience and still see maximum benefit. However, let us research and watch the videos, instead of directly performing based on the information provided on the net. The aim is to be on the right track to see the correct end-result.
Yoga classes – This is the best way of being trained because we need someone who is experienced enough to guide us and keep us encouraged.
Joining the class would bring the seriousness and commitment that one needs for any practice. Moreover, here comes the question of money. When we pay for something, we make every effort to benefit the most. Self-motivation is the key factor, and a yoga instructor can help us maintain our discipline. We need someone who can point out our faults, and guide us in following the right path.
It is recommended to join yoga classes initially to learn the right techniques. Once you’re are experienced enough you can try performing without an instructor.
There are also yoga institutes that offer grants to provide free training to the people who do not have access to local yoga services.
Setting Goals for Your Yoga Practice
Before committing to any practice, it is recommended to set goals. Identify the reasons that made you take up yoga in the first place. Sometimes it is advised that yoga should be tried only when people are depressed or sick. However, this is not the case at all. We don’t have to fall sick to perform yoga, and the benefits are available to all. If you are currently in a good phase of life, we would still suggest you practice regularly. Let us practice for avoiding physical and emotional disturbances in the near future. Additionally, we can think of starting a career in Yoga. Yoga is in great demand because of its bright future, and it would definitely help you shine.
Yoga teaches the techniques of controlling the mind. Focussing on the breaths is the principle followed in every pose. This is done to increase the concentration of power. Yoga trains us to believe in our self and live in the present. We begin to love our self. We also have love for the person we are, and without our authority, no power in the world would be able to gain control over us. The results turn out to be quick when performed with the intention of being attentive throughout. Following the right approach intensifies our loyalty towards the practice.
Yoga doesn’t need any pre-requisites
The best part of yoga is that it can be practiced anywhere and with any attire as long as we are comfortable. Ideally, practicing on an empty stomach in the early morning hours is good. However, due to time constraints if you are not able to, practicing anytime you can.
Considering other factors, some people prefer yoga towels over mats because towels provide extra grip. This helps in balancing your body. A variety of yoga accessories also are available to ease you into the different posture, the most helpful of which is yoga blocks.
How Often Should You Meditate?
Everybody’s daily routine is different. We also understand that the fast-paced lives people live nowadays can make it hard to establish a consistent meditation routine. In many ways, meditation is connected with yoga; when you’re performing your favorite yoga routine, it is likely you will also be focusing on your breath, your posture, and nothing else. As a result, this means if you feel you don’t have time for both, you can start to incorporate meditation within your yoga routine as well.
Having said that, we do recommend a standalone meditation routine, and the more often you’re able to sit and meditate for the better. Sitting daily can have the most benefits, ideally for 20 minutes a day.
Your heart is the best teacher
The best answer we can give to the question of “How often should I do yoga” is to practice whenever you’re are content and comfortable.
Unfortunately, it feels like today people are busier than ever, however, making time for yoga within your weekly schedule cannot be understated.