Yoga is much more than just a physical exercise, but practicing poses is where the whole journey begins. And after practicing for a while, it’s normal to start wondering how long should you do yoga daily.
This is a tricky question and there’s no single answer - it all depends on your experience level, goals, and the style of yoga you’re practicing. However, various studies over the years have shown that you can enjoy the benefits of yoga even if practicing for only 10 to 20 minutes every day. These benefits include weight loss and strength building, as well as increased energy, improved flexibility, and reduced stress.
The most important thing when you’re just starting off is to sit on your mat every day. If it’s easier for you, you can always practice at the same time. But that isn’t necessary - if you’re practicing at home, you can decide every day when and how long you want to practice.
As a beginner, don’t focus as much on the length of a class or fast results. Think about forming a habit. When building a habit, it’s important you don’t force it. If you’re feeling tired or sore, it’s completely fine to take a day off. Although yoga is considered a low-impact practice, it can still cause discomfort and muscle soreness.
Soreness isn’t a bad thing - once you recover, you’ll feel stronger and will be able to do more. However, don’t strain your body over its limits - neither during the practice nor after, during your recovery. To heal faster, make sure you drink plenty of water, get good sleep, and eat a balanced diet. All these factors will help you recover and repair your muscles quicker, so you will soon be able to get back on the mat.
If you have only mild soreness, you don’t have to stop exercising all together. Research has shown that doing a more gentle version of the same activity that caused muscle ache can actually help relax muscles and build their range of motion.
When it comes to yoga, you can switch your Vinyasa class for a short stretching routine. Don’t force deep stretches or long static holds. Stretch upon a point that feels good to you - a great style of yoga to teach you that is Restorative yoga. This gentle, approachable style relieves muscle tension and improves flexibility.
Mixing up your yoga practice with both different styles and different lengths will not only heal soreness - it will help you to avoid feeling pain altogether. Doing a variety of different poses and sequences will also keep you excited, and will help you to maintain a healthy balance of flexibility and strength.
Stay aware of your body and don’t continue with a pose or practice that causes too much discomfort or pain. Also, don’t feel bad if you stop the class before the ending. Make yoga something you look forward to - a pleasurable experience, that you love getting back to. 10 minutes - or 2 hours per day - it doesn’t matter, as long as you’re consistent and enjoy the process.