When you practice yoga twice a week, many physical, mental, and emotional health changes could happen. In this article, I’ll explain these changes and give you tips on how to find ways to fit yoga into your busy schedule
This is what happens.
You Will Feel Fewer Aches and Pains
There is no doubt yoga can improve strength and flexibility. However, this benefit of yoga comes with something people don’t see but can only feel – fewer pains and aches.
Asanas (physical postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) initiate a relaxation response that reduces muscle tension, production of cortisol (stress hormones that cause pain), manage blood pressure, and lowers the heart rate. This response helps you to deal with the emotional aspects of pain.
You Will Be a Nicer Person
Studies show that yoga can improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of a heart attack. But aside from this health perk, you can also improve your relationship with other people through yoga. According to a study, yogis believed that yoga changed their attitudes and perspective.
It made them more self-aware, kind, and patient. By being nicer, their interpersonal relationships have improved.
Your Sex Life Will Improve
Practicing yoga improves sexual function. A small study in 2010 shows that 40 women who practiced yoga regularly for 12 weeks improved their sex lives. Yoga improved their arousal, desire, lubrication, orgasm, and satisfaction while reducing their pains. While it’s only a sample size, the correlation between yoga and better sex life is strong.
You Will Be More Chill
Mary Beth LaRue, founder of Rock Your Bliss and certified yoga instructor, says practicing yoga a few times a week will change how you handle stress after a month.
“You are not a Buddha—you still get pissed off—but you notice that your shoulders are no longer up by your ears, and your jaw is less tight,” LaRue says, as quoted by Byrdie.
The breathing exercises in yoga, such as Ujjayi breath and Diaphragmatic Breathing, activate your parasympathetic nervous system. Activating this part of the nervous system slows down your heart rate and breathing, which calms you.
Should You Do Yoga Twice a Week?
As someone who has another job while also teaching yoga, I understand when students question if it’s worth it to do yoga twice a week. Many of us don’t have enough time. But my answer will always be yes, you should do yoga twice a week.
Pros of Doing Yoga Twice a Week
Online magazine Greatist quoted William J. Broad, the author of “The Science of Yoga” as saying that “yoga is no different” from exercise. “Practicing once a week is good. Practicing three to four times per week would be better.”
You Can Be a Weekend Warrior
If you can’t commit to doing yoga three to four times a week because of your busy schedule, twice a week is a good start. Then you can schedule it around the weekends when you don’t have work.
DOMS Will Be Limited
Sure, you will feel relaxed and at peace after just a yoga class. That’s enough to convince you to do it once a week. Right? Well, not really. Practicing yoga asanas is much like exercise. It uses your muscles. So you will get Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) after you practice.
DOMS is the stiff or sore feeling you get after a workout. The body does this to protect you from the stress you put in your muscles when you exercise. Once your muscles get used to the stress you give them, you will not get DOMS anymore.
But if you only practice yoga once a week, the muscles will not have much time to get used to the stress you give it. So you will likely get DOMS every week if you practice yoga only once.
It’s Enough Aerobic Exercise
Doing yoga twice a week is enough to hit the 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity recommendations of the Department of Health and Human Services. Of course, this still depends on the style of yoga you practice.
If you join two 75-minute Vinyasa or Power Yoga classes every week, you hit their recommendations. But if you do restorative yoga, that will not be enough since this style of yoga is more for relaxation.
Cons of Doing Yoga Twice a Week
Achieving Your Goal Might Take a While
Is your goal to lose weight, to become stronger, or to be able to do splits in four weeks? If yes, achieving these goals will take a while if you only practice yoga twice a week.
You should at least practice three times a week to achieve your health and fitness goals in a reasonable amount of time on top of staying fit and healthy. Doing yoga only twice a week is a low level of workout. It will take time to see actual results.
You Won’t See Much of a Difference
Practicing yoga twice a week is much like practicing yoga once a week. Doing it once or twice a week is much like starting fresh. You will feel lighter and relaxed after, but you will not likely get more than that.
Reddit user clean_philtrum says, “I would say three times per week is a minimum to see real “gains” both physically and in other areas, from practice. But a lot depends on the length, type, and intensity of the practice you are doing.”
5 Tips to Fit Yoga Into Your Schedule
Consistency is the key to locking in the benefits of yoga for a long time. If you have a hectic busy schedule, here are my top five tips on how to fit yoga into your life.
Do It First Thing in the Morning
Mornings are great because you have more control of your time since many people are still sleeping. So you have fewer distractions. Do yoga first thing in the morning to avoid getting distracted by other people.
Make Every Minute Matter
You don’t have to block off two hours a week to practice yoga only not to end up not doing it because you’re too tired or don’t have the hours. Instead, practice a few minutes a day. It will give you the same benefits. Twenty minutes of yoga a day is equivalent to 140 minutes of physical activity.
Roll Out Your Mat All the Time
Have you ever experienced being so swamped or tired that you cannot do even the most straightforward tasks, such as rolling out your mat? When I can’t roll out my mat, that usually means I can’t do yoga or have the energy to do it. To psyche me to practice, I keep my yoga mat rolled out on my office floor.
By doing this, I can go straight to it whenever I feel the need to do a Downward Facing Dog or a few rounds of Sun Salutation. Keep your mat laid down wherever you usually are, so you can see it all the time.
Do a Few Poses While Doing Another Task
Yoga is about staying in the present moment. But if you have some downtime while doing something, such as waiting for the printer to finish printing your documents, sneak in a few yoga poses. You don’t have to do handstands in these moments. Instead, take a couple of deep breaths or a half-forward fold.
Change Your Mindset about Yoga
Many of us think that we need to do yoga once or twice a week as if yoga only happens when we are doing asanas, pranayama, or meditation. However, yoga is more than that. It is a lifestyle. If you are living at the present moment, you are doing yoga.
The Bottom Line
Just doing one yoga pose can give you physical and mental benefits. Still, to enjoy the benefits of yoga more, it’s better to practice more. Just make sure that you are not hurting yourself when you do it often.