This is a question a lot of people want to know the answer to, yet I’m afraid there is no definitive answer. There isn’t a standardised answer that fits everyone….but….I’m here to help you break the question down so you can make an educated decision for your own body.
Let’s start with the controversial bit
Some people might say that you can’t be a yogi without doing a physical practise every day, however, I don’t agree with that at all. Yoga is more than just the physical movement (asana) it is also how we treat ourselves and others and how we view the world and what happens, and therefore you can still do yoga everyday even if you don’t roll out your mat.
Deciding how often to do yoga asana depends on your goals and your lifestyle.
Find a Balance In the sports and fitness world it has now become common knowledge that we need to do multiple types of movement to protect our bodies from injury, and this applies to yoga asana too. If the only movement practice you do is yoga asana and you do this every day for the rest of your life, you will undoubtedly run into problems. It may be in your joints, or perhaps an imbalance of strength and flexibility. So what you really want to do is make sure you do other movement too and therefore if you are making sure you have the time for other movement you may not be able to fit in daily yoga asana.
What is your goal?
If your goal is to become more flexible, then there is no doubt you need to be doing yoga stretches consistently and possibly frequently. But why is that you want to become more flexible? Asking yourself why you are doing yoga asana is a good question to help you decide how often you should be doing it. For example, if you are doing yoga to balance out another physical activity like running, then you want to keep up the consistency to see results, a little and often would be ideal. If you do yoga for the calming effects, then perhaps you set yourself aside time for fewer but predominantly longer sessions so you can really settle into it.
What is the function of your practice? Then there is the question of what type of yoga you should do, and really that is a whole topic in itself, but you do want to make sure you are finding the right style, or even better a balance of styles to help you achieve your goal. So, say you are doing yoga for mental release and gentle stretch, you would probably be better doing Hatha yoga rather than power yoga.
So really there is no straight answer to ‘how often should I do yoga’, but hopefully this has helped you realise that you should practise yoga at a frequency that is good for your mind, body and lifestyle. And also, that you don’t have to set aside an hour a day for yoga asana to be a yogi. It is about finding the balance that truly works for you and your body.