Right now we don’t personally do Yoga everyday. We both do some kind of physical activity almost every day. Some days just walking, other days Yoga plus Pilates or walking plus Yoga. Some days we rest, but even on these days, we might do a relaxing restorative yoga or a leisurely walk.
It’s easy to find a published scientific study proving that we all should be exercising everyday. We know daily movement just makes us feel better and this is why we ensure to tick it off. But not like a chore, really, it’s one of our favourite things to do!
This is why it’s important to find a way of exercise and movement that you love. So, if you hate Yoga, you shouldn’t do it everyday. Actually, you should never do it! Try Pilates (haha).
But if you do love Yoga and you want to make it part of your life it’s important to know that there’s no perfect amount of Yoga that works for everyone. You might love a daily Yoga practice or perhaps 2-3 times a week works for you. You might want to try out all the different types of Yoga, with a class each week. It’s all about tuning in and figuring out what works for you.
We did 50 Days of Yoga in a Row
We did a 50 day Yoga challenge in 2019 and it was a life-changing experience for both of us. We did it for different reasons, for me (Emma) it was to help me through a breakup and for Carla, she wanted to develop her Yoga teacher skills.
You might be wondering how many hours of Yoga a day we did and what style. During this time we did an hour of Yoga most days, mostly Vinyasa Yoga with a weekly Yin yoga. Within that hour we did Yoga Asanas (the movements) at least 5 minutes of Pranayama (breathwork) and of course, Savanasa, one of the most important Yoga poses. We experienced many physical and mental health benefits of Yoga during this Challenge. We may not do Yoga every day now, but we continue to reap the benefits from the practice of Yoga.
Yoga Experiences and Benefits
There are so many amazing benefits to experience from a regular Yoga practice. And you don’t necessarily need to practise Yoga daily to feel them.
Yoga Builds Fitness, Strength and Flexibility
During a Vinyasa Flow you can find yourself moving from pose to pose rather fast! Although Yoga may seem like a relaxing style of exercise it can also be very intense! It all depends on the Yoga instructor and how they teach.
Even when you’re not flowing fast you will feel your heart rate rise. During a Yoga Class you’ll find yourself in poses for several minutes. Just like this Warrior II pose (below). In this pose you are absolutely building strength and fitness. Hello glutes, booty and core! Even your arms will feel it if you hold long enough! Then as you move into planks and up dogs you’re lifting your own body weight, read more about the strength training aspect of Yoga here.
Of course, it’s common knowledge that Yoga increases flexibility. But why is this even important? For us, we want to feel comfort and ease within the body. We don’t care about getting into the splits or folding perfectly in half. We just don’t want to feel tightness and stiffness. You know that feeling where you feel stuck in your shoulders or hips? Yoga helps to make space and create comfort within your body.
Mind Body Connection
When you are doing Yoga, you are moving with your breath. This action helps you to feel present within the body and the mind, it also allows you to feel a deep awareness of the mind body connection. You notice that when you slow the breath, this helps you to hold the pose longer, it helps you to let go of thoughts like “I can not do this”.
Why is this super cool? Because what you learn on the mat you take off the mat.
Next time you are in a stressful situation at work, like an overflowing inbox, instead of stressing out you remember, take a deep breath.
Yoga Reduces Stress
Talking about stress and the breath! Yoga helps you breathe properly, this helps your body get into the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) as opposed to the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). The PNS is where the body can rest and recover. It’s where bodily functions like digestion can happen properly. It’s the optimal state to be in.
Due to the way we’re living today, people are living in the SNS more and more. The SNS is an amazing place to be when you’re face to face with a bear or you see the car in front of you swerve or if there’s an intruder. But you do not need to be in the SNS when you are replying to your 100 emails!
Too much time spent living in the SNS, can lead to anxiety disorder, panic attacks, nervousness, insomnia, breathlessness, palpitations, poor digestion, high blood pressure and poor immune system.
Wow. Motivated to roll out your Yoga mat yet?
What about Weight loss?
If you want to lose weight, Yoga can be a great tool to help you do so. For us, we spent far too long focusing on this goal of weight loss alone, therefore we choose not to focus on it.
If this is a major goal for you, we’d suggest working with an understanding doctor and focusing on daily movement and eating well.
We don’t do diets anymore. We don’t restrict what we eat but this doesn’t mean we eat pizza and chips every day. Sure, we allow and enjoy these foods now BUT if we did that everyday we’d feel sluggish and awful (and we’d put on weight).
We also still make and enjoy many of our old recipes, with less rigidity, less anxiety and stress!
Practising self-acceptance and letting go of diets changed our lives forever, we’d suggest you read more over here.
When to Stop Doing Yoga every day?
There is such a thing as too many Yoga classes. Back to that 50 day challenge, we both did tick off all those days and perhaps we would have still kept going, but I (Emma) actually hurt my shoulder.
One too many downward facing dog Yoga flows!
I had to stop and rest. Just like everything and anything, Yoga can be good for you until it is not!
Yoga is about tuning in and being present, it helps you become more aware of your body. Therefore, you need to listen. Is a certain Yoga pose or Yoga in general, making you feel stressed or causing injury?
Take a break and re-evaluate. Maybe look at trying one of the many other forms of Yoga, something slower and relaxing. Find a balance that works for you.
If you’re ready to practice everyday the best palace to start is to download the MerryBody app, sign up to the 7 day trial and begin our 30 day Yoga progam inside the app!
With MerryBody, you have all the online classes but you also have access to us. This means when you have a question or struggling with something, we are here to help you.
Emma + Carla