A couple weeks ago I got a great email from someone asking me how many times a week they should do yoga to get results.
First, thanks for the email!
I’m going to keep this as simple as possible.
TWICE. You should do yoga two times a week, on non-consecutive days, to feel measurable results.
But now, because this is fitness and as an industry we like to make things a little complicated, I’m going to do just that and add some caveats.
- If the yoga (or, in the writer’s case, the Les Mills’ class BodyFlow) workouts are your only form of strength/functional workout and you’re looking for improved results for building strength and muscle, you can do it more often — say every other day, or depending on the type of yoga you’re doing, maybe even four or five times a week.
- HOWEVER, if you’re also doing weight-training workouts like BodyPump or strength training in the gym, it’s important to carefully layer in the yoga.
Why? Because yoga workouts can be very demanding on the shoulders. Have you ever noticed the gorgeous shoulders on yoga instructors? That’s from all the work the shoulders receive during their practice.
When I taught BodyFlow regularly, I had to be pretty strategic when it came to scheduling my workouts in order to avoid overtraining the shoulders.
- Adding some cardio or high-intensity interval training to the mix is important for cardiovascular conditioning.
- If weight loss is a goal, then you need to look closely at your nutrition because most yoga classes aren’t necessarily major calorie burners. That said, yoga is great for mindfulness and body awareness, which might help you change your eating habits in a way that helps with fat loss.
Have a question? Email me at fitnesswriter (at) gmail.com!