Ask the Yogi: How often should I do yoga?

girl in yoga pose

Q: I work out at the gym with weights a couple of times a week. I know I need to rest in between for harder exercise but is it okay to do yoga every day?

A: You are wise to take a couple of days of in between harder exercise sessions. This gives your muscles time to recover and makes the most out of your intense workouts. Studies have shown those who workout intensely without enough rest time in between are at a greater risk of getting injured.

Your question seems to indicate that your yoga is not as intense as your other exercise. Each of us has a personal experience when it comes to exercise intensity. What one person may feel is a light workout, another person may feel is a hard workout. If you feel the yoga you do is a light exercise then you are perfectly fine doing it each day.

Gentle forms of yoga can be great as daily exercise and benefit the body by activating muscles we seldom use at other times as well as helping to lengthen the muscles we use all the time. Those who practice daily gentle yoga are typically more flexible and have better muscular balance in their joints.

Some yoga classes are not of the gentle variety. If you are working out hard, breaking a sweat or struggling with poses, then that is an intense workout and you need to take some time before you do the next session. An intense yoga class should be treated like a hard workout. The good news is that in between hard workouts, gentle yoga is an excellent routine. You can ease some of the exercise induced soreness and coax your muscles to relax more.

So, yes, you can do yoga every day. If your yoga is a more intense variety, then after that session workout with gentle yoga routines for a couple of days to let you body recover and then have a more intense routine again. Whatever workout you are doing make sure to mix and match your intense day followed by less intense days for the greatest benefit and the lowest risk of injury.

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