How Much Yoga Is Enough Yoga?
I get asked this question frequently - how much yoga is enough yoga? I think first and foremost, you must outline your motivation for practicing as well as your personal goals. Are you a yogi who wants to master Tittibhasana and Kapotasana, then you might consider a longer daily practice to reinforce your commitment and depth of your practice. If those aren’t in your wheel house (pun-intended,) and you’re seeking mental reprieve, then a short daily practice might be just what you need to clear your mind.
I am a big fan of the mindset of tackling a little bit more frequently vs. trying to do long sessions every so often. When I try to do a little bit of something each day, I am way more likely to tackle my goal and I tend to enjoy it more. I always use my book club as an example - I’d rather read a little each and every day, than get to the weekend before and try my best to devour 300-500 pages. Maybe clear out a bit of floor space in your bedroom, connect with your space, throw on a little music, and hit a few down dogs!
Now, if someone is interested in the whole umbrella of yoga (pranayama, asana, chanting, kriyas, meditation), I like to recommend a daily or a regular practice for sure. There is a LOT to learn and most yoga instructors or yogis would tell you the they are always a student. An example that I like to use here is Maclom Gladwell’s book, “Outliers.” In this book, Gladwell discusses his theory that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in anything. I’ve been practicing for over a decade at this point and have been an instructor for about 4 years and certainly don’t consider myself an expert! Think about it this way, if a student practices yoga for 12 hours/week - every week - that adds up to 624 hours/year. It would take someone with that amount of commitment and dedication a little over 16 years to become an “expert” in yoga according to this theory.
So again, determining your what you want out of your practice will help you to outline your goals. You can always incorporate yoga into a sports practice or other workouts, 1-2 times/week on "easy" training days and that may be enough for you. If you're looking to heal a sore back, 2-3 times/week could be the proper prescription. If you’re seeking mental solace, maybe download an app and learn how to do a short meditation each day. However, if you’re trying to be the new Bikram, busting into a studio or working on a home practice every so often isn’t going to get you there. I suggest a few poses everyday, but remember, “everything in moderation…including moderation.”