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How many days a week should you practice yoga?
You can read articles, books, or listen to some of the most influential yoga gurus that will all tell you the same thing: to get the most out of yoga, you should practice daily.
But this then draws the questions: how long should I practice for and what is entailed in your "practice"? Most assume that practicing daily requires you to roll out your mat and be in attendance at local yoga studio, however this is not entirely the case. I have learned that once you start making yoga a requirement and something you "have to do", the purity and peacefulness slips away and it just becomes another thing on your long list of things to do on a daily basis (along with the laundry, cleaning your house and paying bills...something we turn to yoga to get away from).
The daily practice of yoga can be many different things, not just an hour to an hour and a half of heart pumping sequence of asanas, or poses. Practicing daily may mean sitting and meditating for 20 minutes on a Monday morning or practicing your breathing techniques with deep ujjiayi breathing over your lunch break. It may mean doing 4-5 Sun Salutations before you leave for work in the morning, or following a restorative yoga sequence before you go to bed at night. Practicing may mean turning inward and recognizing the need for a mood booster and doing Natarajasana (Dancers Pose) in your kitchen while making dinner. Or even spending 15-20 minutes working on your headstand or crow pose or another pose you are currently working through the process on.
There are times I let life get in the way and I feel guilty for not going to the studio and practicing or I feel guilty for not wanting to go to the studio and practice. On those days, I find ways incorporate yoga in my daily routine without doing a single pose. Through being grateful for what I have, by being kind and respect to my body, and staying true and honest to myself and others around me.
Once you fall in love with yoga, it becomes a relationship like any other: full of ups and downs. Turning to yoga for all that it can offer means you trust the journey it will take you on, each and every day.