Yoga: How Much is Enough?

Last week I had a student ask me if he was doing “enough” yoga. That’s a really difficult question to answer, and the only real answer I could give is that it depends.

There is no measuring stick for yoga. You can’t fill up your yoga-bottle and then be done. You could keep doing yoga until you run out of minutes in the day, and even then it could not be “enough”. Or it could be too much – it’s all too possible to OD on yoga.

If you’re asking this question of yourself or an instructor, the next question you should be asking, however, is why you’re doing yoga in the first place: what are you trying to get out of it? Spiritual enlightenment? Strength? Physical or emotional healing? A moment of peace in your day?

The follow-up question to this is to ask yourself how important the goal is to you, or how driven you are to get there. If you’re looking for a general improvement to your mental and physical well-being, you won’t necessarily need to practice as often (or as intensely) as someone who wants to drastically increase their strength or who is intentionally seeking enlightenment.

As a rule, the more time you invest into something, the better you will get at it. So regardless of your goal, it boils more or less down to doing yoga as often as you can realistically fit it into your schedule. Knowing what your end-goal is and how important it is to you, however, will help you be more intentional about how you do this: is it essential to do at least an hour of practice every morning or can you fit 20 minutes in here and there? Do you need an instructor guiding you in your practice, or will you get where you need to go with a solid home practice? On days where you just don’t have time, will you push yourself to do it anyways, or give yourself a break? It all depends on what you want in the end.

This student, for example, started practicing yoga so that he could add some variety into his overall physical exercise routine. For him then, taking one class a week probably is “enough”.

What is enough for you?