How often should I do yoga? – Consistently.
One of the questions asked a lot in class is: how often should I do yoga? Or, better said, how often should I practice asana’s and come to class?
The answer is easy. And…. not so easy :). ‘Yoga’, as a way of living, can be done at any point in time – always. From simple things like watching the way you breathe when you cycle to work, or being fully present when you eat your meal to really trying to be the best person you can be when you interact with others, its all ‘Yoga’.
And yes, I would definitely say that the physical practice of yoga, asana’s, can be done every day. To me, there is no ‘but’ to practicing yoga every day, neither for your body nor your mind. The system of yoga is designed to help, to work with the body you have, not against it. There are about 8,4 million asana’s practiced all over the world and there are many different styles, there is always something that works for you. The practice is designed work with the mind that you have in every given moment in time, not against it. Its not about forcing. If you work with your body and with your mind, listening and learning to speak their languages, there is no reason not to. Actually, the opposite might be true. The more you practice in this respectful manner, the better you will get to know your body and your mind. A few rounds of Surya Namaskar a day, keeps the doctor away!
Ok, we are no experts at this yet. You Will uncover things. You will uncover parts of your body that need to get stronger, parts that are tight or parts that hurt. You will uncover bits of ego every time, telling you to push further cause your neighbor in class is doing it too. And yes, those things hurt and sometimes we break something. But with an open mind willing to learn and a strong body, we get up again. As Nelson Mandela said:
” Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again “
See yoga as your mirror. The mirror to how you feel, every day. The mirror to the language of your unique body. And get to know yourself. The more often you look in that mirror, the closer you will get.
So, practicing every day is possible. BUT. Yes, there is a but. People differ. Our needs differ. Our bodies differ. Practicing asana’s every day might not be necessary at all! What is it that YOU want from practicing yoga? What is it that YOU need? What is it that YOUR body needs?We all practice for our own reasons and all of them are valid and good. How often you should practice depends on your own reasons.
What I recommend?
Show up to your mat/to class consistently.
Showing up to your mat consistently, working with your body and your mind. Getting to know yourself and allowing your body and your mind to transform, getting closer to yourself. Getting familiar with your practice, with the movements, with the mat. Cause really, the mat will become a trustworthy place to see yourself exactly the way you are. It won’t judge you, it wont change. So, ask yourself what it is you need from the practice and try to commit to doing things consistently, getting to know yourself and allowing the body to get stronger gradually in stead of shocking the system. It is like anything you do in life: practice and all will come
Don’t forget the opposite goes as well for most of us: anything done sporadicly, will be like ‘waking up’ the system every time. If you go for a run sporadicly, chances are very high that you will encounter great physical difficulties and a big mental challenge every single time. Seeing yourself and who you are sporadicly only, can be a shocking experience. Also, I have heard classes at Abyasa can be quite challenging… , so you might have to keep a little system going ;).
I hope this has answered your question.
Keep practicing. Abyasa Yoga.