The Short Answer:
Rather than doing an hour/90 minutes sporadically – 10 minutes a day is the best.
The Longer Answer:
A lot of different factors come into play here.
Would you stick to a long class? or are you the type to make a lot of excuses, would you excuse yourself because you don’t have time – which results into not doing anything at all?
Are your aims too unrealistic?
“I want to do an hour of Yoga every day to start the day.” It probably won’t happen. Showing up doesn’t look like what everyone thinks it looks like.
“I want to do Yoga to lose weight.”
You’re doing it for the wrong reasons. So, let’s not treat it like a diet plan or something that you fall in and out of – it’s a lifestyle.
It’s to improve your wellbeing not to make you look different.
As a client, the thought of driving to a class to do a 60/90 minute class and then driving home fills me with stress – then I de-stress in Yoga and then get stressed by the time I drive home. And now? I literally don’t have the time… That’s not far from 3 hours out of my day for a Yoga class.
As teachers however, we always feel like we should offer more – more time for the same money – longer classes – more in-depth experiences for our students. It wasn’t until I launched YBL Online and I gave feedback forms that my members stopped me in my tracks and said that they wanted less. Less? Yes. Less. They needed shorter classes, one’s they could fit around work, around family life, classes that weren’t too long (a lot of my clients don’t love yoga yet – so they needed something they literally couldn’t think a=of an excuse not to do).
Basically, they just couldn’t fit in longer classes with their lifestyles or they wouldn’t prioritise them. They said it’s daunting and they feel that same stress that I used to feel. And then the guilt when they missed a class.
What works? Being consistent. No matter what that looks like.
Consistency over everything. And you’ll be more consistent if the class isn’t daunting or if you know it won’t take much time.
How many days a week should I do Yoga?
Yoga isn’t a 6 week programme, it’s not something with an end date, or as structured as people think. It’s not ‘upper body’ Tuesday or cardio Wednesdays, it’s not a goal and then once you’ve reached it, you’re done.
It’s not something you have to do. It’s something you do for yourself. It’s not about being good at something – it’s about being good to yourself.
The best is to not have goals or expectations when it comes to yoga – you can find classes that de-stress you or work on your physical strength – whatever you NEED that day - use it to feel good – use it to move better, to bring some calm to your chaos and to be good to yourself.
If you want a more science based answer - without going into too detail – your entire body needs it – so if your aim is to ‘ease your lower back’ you don’t necessarily only need ‘Yoga for lower back’ like Youtube might suggest – it could be your glutes, hamstrings or hips causing that tightness. It’s better to do little and often, you become a lot more body aware and you become a lot more conscious – physically and mentally.
Consistency over everything.
So after all of that waffle - I would say 10 minutes a day. Some days you might do more, some days you might do less. We all know you might have weeks where that’s impossible. That’s fine – but the more you do the better you will feel – in more than one way. It’s better to do something than nothing at all.
“One push-up is better than not exercising. One minute of guitar practice is better than none at all. One minute of reading is better than never picking up a book. It’s better to do less than you hoped than to do nothing at all.”