How Often Should You Practice Yoga?

Two 30-minute yoga sessions per week is the sweet spot.

In my experience, this is the best yoga is consistent yoga. If your main physical practice is yoga or yoga-based, finding time to do some form of yoga every day probably isn’t a problem.

For athletes, goals are pretty specific and they probably have very little to do with advancing a yoga practice. In their case, yoga is a tool to advance in their sport or non-yoga training, making yoga relevant but not a top priority.

My goal is to help athletes develop the most realistic and beneficial yoga program for their training, and that means being as efficient as possible and making every second of yoga count.

Realistically, an athlete has time commitments to direct training in their sport, which will suck up a lot, if not all, of their free time.

Going to a yoga studio is probably not an option because it adds a commute, parking, interacting with other people (not a bad thing, but it takes time) and the studio class will spend a lot of time addressing things that aren’t immediately beneficial to the athlete.

So, an at-home option is going to be best, but there needs to be enough time spent on the mat to get significant benefit. In my experience, 30 minutes is the perfect amount of time for an athlete’s single yoga session. A lot of teachers will tell you that you need to practice for at least an hour, but they’re also probably not athletes…

By doing two 30-minute sessions per week, you can realistically fit the sessions into your schedule either before or after a training session, on the weekend, at lunch, or in any small pocket of time that makes sense.

Also, doing two sessions per week gives you a chance to work two sides of the yoga spectrum: restorative and active. While one 30-minute session cools your down, stretches you out, and gives you space to relax and find new openings in the body, the other session pushes you and adds a dynamic, full-body workout into your routine.

In my experience, this approach has the most potential for helping you both maintain longevity and become more dynamic as an athlete.

As an athlete myself, I can say that this works for me and for a lot of people I work with.

Ultimately, as with everything in yoga, it comes back to finding balance. Between productivity/unproductivity, training/competing, relaxation/activity, striving/non-striving, and making things happen vs. letting them come to you.

Start using yoga to live athletically:

Yoga for Athletes - The Ultimate Guide

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About the Author:

Joe is the Founder of Icewater Yoga. Fascinated by the intersection of yoga and sport, his goal is to help athletes develop a consistent yoga practice. He lives in Claremont, CA with his wife, Jill.