How Often Should You Do Yoga? Weight Loss, Flexibility, & More
Table of Contents
- Achieve Your Health & Fitness Goals With Yoga
- So, How Often Should You Do Yoga? Let’s Look At Your Goals
- Is it OK to do yoga every day?
- Wrapping Up
Yoga is a great discipline to improve your health, as it has many variations, each designed to work on specific components of your fitness. However, consistency and regular practice are essential if you aim to undertake this as your main exercise activity and want to see results.
In this article, we outline how often you should do yoga and which type to choose based on your goals and ability level.
Achieve Your Health & Fitness Goals With Yoga
Yoga is an activity suitable for everyone, as there are many different types of difficulty and intensity, from the more gentle to the more challenging.
However, it can sometimes be confusing to understand which kind of yoga is better suited for your needs if you have a specific objective in mind.
Yoga allows you to work on an array of fitness components, such as balance, muscular and cardiovascular strength, mobility, and flexibility. But it can also be a great discipline to improve mental health and reduce stress.    
So, How Often Should You Do Yoga? Let’s Look At Your Goals
The most common questions people have when taking up yoga as a regular practice to improve their fitness are “How long should I do yoga for?” and “How often should I do yoga for better flexibility or to get stronger?”
There is no straight answer to these questions, as it massively depends on your aims and ability level.  In this section, we discuss the frequency of yoga classes based on your goals to help you understand the ideal interval between classes to attain desired results.
Beginners should start with slow or low-intensity yoga that teaches the basics of Hatha for a minimum of two 60-minute sessions per week.
As your strength improves, you can increase the number of weekly classes to four or start more advanced moves. The timeframe in which you will progress highly depends on your starting fitness level.
To gain strength, you should perform yoga at least three times a week and a maximum of six to allow appropriate recovery, with 60-to-90-minute sessions.
The best yoga types to achieve this goal are Ashtanga or Bikram, as they require a certain level of strength and power. Also, they involve a set number of poses that enable you to see your progress through the weeks.
However, if you also want to increase your muscle mass, you would benefit from pairing this activity with resistance training exercises.
Calm Mind & Reduced Stress Levels
If your goal is to wind down before going to sleep or reduce stress, you can do gentle types of yoga aimed at relaxation and mindfulness, like Yin or Kundalini yoga.
You can practice gentle yoga daily, ideally for 10-20 minutes .
Another option is restorative yoga, like yoga with a bolster or other props like pillows and blankets. While practicing restorative yoga, you are supposed to hold poses longer, up to 10-15 minutes. This means your practice may include only a few deeply relaxing poses.
Flexibility & Balance
How many times a week you should do yoga to improve balance and flexibility depends on your current flexibility and core strength levels.
Ideally, aim for 1-3 weekly sessions of Yin, Hatha, or Iyengar yoga to see more significant results. To improve your flexibility, you could even perform 10-20 minutes of cool-down yoga at the end of a workout.
Ashtanga or Vinyasa classes lasting between 60 and 90 minutes at least 4-5 times a week are ideal for those wanting to lose weight.
These types of yoga require faster movements, so they can be used as a form of strength and cardiovascular training.
Research has shown that pairing these with more gentle yoga may further support weight loss by improving stress responses and mindfulness, leading to healthier food choices .
To achieve a calorie deficit and facilitate the fat-loss process, pair yoga with an appropriate diet plan and other training activities, such as weight lifting.
Pregnancy & Childbirth-preparation
Prenatal yoga can benefit women during gestation and prepare them for childbirth, as long as certain criteria are adhered to and particular poses are avoided  .
Child-bearing women should aim for lower-impact and gentle moves to prevent any inconvenience  . The ideal number and duration of yoga sessions for pregnant women vary and should always be approved by a medical professional.
Prenatal yoga classes usually last 60-90 minutes 2 to 3 times a week.
It is also important to make the instructor aware of your condition before starting the class to enable the adaptation of certain poses.
Is it OK to do yoga every day?
How many yoga classes per week are too many? Well, this very much depends on the duration and intensity of the session, as not all yoga classes require the same level of effort, as well as on one’s level of physical health and strength.
First, it is important to remember that taking rest days from any type of physical activity is crucial to prevent injuries.
Taking a break from yoga is also essential, especially if the aim is to increase strength or achieve weight loss.
This is because yoga sessions focused on strength development or burning calories have higher metabolic and physical demands. For this reason, performing long and more intense yoga classes such as Ashtanga or Vinyasa every day may not be ideal, as it could lead to injuries . Taking rest days from yoga is also important if you perform it alongside other intense physical activities.
However, shorter and more gentle yoga sessions aimed at relaxing and improving mindfulness, like Yin yoga, can be performed on a daily basis with no contraindications.
You can practice yoga as a sole form of exercise or as part of a well-balanced training program. In either case, it is important to manage the frequency and duration of sessions appropriately if you want to see results. An effective way to do this is by using a yoga app to help you schedule yoga sessions and rest days throughout your week.
Yoga is a fantastic way to keep your body and mind healthy. However, the frequency and intensity of this discipline vary based on various factors. Below you can find the key points of this article:
- Yoga is suitable for people of all abilities, as you can choose from a variety of yoga styles with different difficulty and intensity levels.
- With yoga, you can work on losing weight, increasing strength, decreasing stress or improving balance and flexibility.
- The ideal duration and frequency of yoga classes depend on one’s goal and fitness level.
- If you are expecting, you can still benefit from doing yoga, as long as the activity has been approved by a doctor and the instructor has been made aware of your pregnancy so that adaptations to certain poses can be applied.
- You should take rest days between long and intense yoga classes, while shorter and more gentle yoga sessions to relax and destress can be performed daily.