Many people practice yoga daily, and depending on your goals, creating a daily yoga practice may be right for you too. On the other hand, varying your training to include other activities might service your body better and help you be more mindful of yoga safety during your practice. The key is to listen to your body and to determine what it needs given your health and fitness goals.
Your health and fitness goals
First: understand your specific goals.
- Is your yoga practice in addition to another fitness routine or does it serve as your primary active practice?
- Does your practice focus more on physical gain or spiritual gain, or do you look for a balanced mind/body connection?
- Are you looking to master advanced poses, inversions, or deeper ranges of flexibility?
These questions will help guide you with how or if a daily yoga practice would serve you best.
Second: ask an expert. Whether that is a trusted yoga instructor, a personal trainer, or your healthcare provider, getting an objective and professional opinion can help narrow your goals and provide insight on how to achieve them. Most professionals will advise you to vary your fitness routine as often as it makes sense for you. If you are not seeing the results you want, if you are getting bored with the same routine, or if you get injured, you may want to consider adding some variety to your daily practice.
Our bodies thrive on variety. There is nothing wrong with a daily yoga practice, but you will want to vary the poses and the type of yoga you practice every day.
As stated by yoga teacher and movement specialist Ariana Rabinovitch:
“If you do a ton of yoga then you need to balance it with some strength work. If you lift weights all the time, then you probably need to incorporate yoga into your routine. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) it is ideal to have a balance of cardiorespiratory, resistance, flexibility, and neuromotor exercises.”
If you are serious about creating a daily yoga practice, you want to make sure you do so safely. An amazing benefit of practicing yoga is growing your mind-body connection; be sure to listen to your body as to not overwork your muscles. Breaking Muscle provides some great tips on how to practice yoga safely:
Find the right teacher or coach
Find a coach who is uplifting but who also watches your form meticulously and offers detailed instruction on how to correct your poses. You want to find a coach who can help you grow and expand your practice regardless of what level you are at.
Remember to breathe
At Cody, many of our coaches will tell you that they have spent entire yoga classes in child’s pose, breathing and taking in the energy from the room. While yoga is a physical practice, it is rare to go through a class without your instructor mentioning the importance of your breath. Our breath connects us to our movement in yoga. You need to listen to your body to understand and accept its limitations. As you go further in your yoga practice you will likely learn about the benefits of pranayama breathing and how it can enhance your yoga practice.
Accept your body
When you embark on any type of regular health and fitness routine, your risk of injury increases and safety becomes more important. Honor your body by acknowledging and accepting any previous injuries while growing your practice. Yoga is a personal journey, not a competition: no need to worry about your neighbor in class who can bend a little further or reach a little farther. Focus on your own journey and be patient with your practice. You will be amazed at the progress your body will make when you pay attention to and address its needs.
Creating a daily practice is a fun and healthy way to focus on your health and fitness. We encourage you to get creative and explore different training options. While a daily yoga practice might be exactly what you are looking for, do not be afraid to experiment with different options like yoga mixed with high-intensity interval training, calisthenics, or strength training. Regardless of what you chose, be sure to honor your body and its capabilities.