Seeing yoga practitioners dedicated to going to class several times a week may make you feel like the one yoga class a week that you can sneak in isn’t worth picking up your mat for. With yoga, more is more, and you’ll feel better and make more progress with every additional class you take. But a class-or-two-a-week practice can still bring you physical and mental benefits.
Pros and Cons
Each class will help you feel less stressed and more flexible, both good things. And a once-weekly session may also fuel your fire to do more yoga. The value of taking time for self-care and to listen to your body cannot be overstated, and yoga is a great way to encourage both.
The downside to practicing yoga once a week, however, is that it’s a bit like starting over each time. You are likely to feel sore after every class, for example. You’ll feel the benefits of an individual session, but it’s hard to truly build your skills, strength, and flexibility this way.
This is especially true when you are new to yoga and learning the different poses. This might make it more challenging for you to motivate yourself to continue, since you may feel stuck in beginner mode.
How to Fit Yoga Into Your Busy Schedule
Yoga is about flexibility. There are lots of ways to work yoga into a loaded schedule. If you’ve already carved out time for exercise, consider dedicating a few of those weekly workout sessions to yoga. If you are starting from scratch, choose a weekend or early morning class to start. You might also try:
- A midday class during your lunch hour
- Doing yoga stretches at your desk
- A quick home stretching sequence, yoga video, or online class in the morning or right after work
- A short evening session before bed
If you are doing other workouts, look for ways to schedule them so they coordinate with a yoga class. Can you run, walk, or bike to yoga class, adding an aerobic workout to your practice? Is yoga offered at the same gym where you do strength or cardio workouts, whether before or after yoga class or on alternate days? See if you can find yoga classes offered close to your workplace, home, or where your kids have sports practice or other activities.
Ask for help from your partner or others in your life so you have time to attend class more frequently in the beginning, which can help you establish a practice. Those who love you might also be glad to see you using your time to work on your mind and body. And once you’ve made room in your life for those classes, you may find that you’re able to add more.
But remember that one of the principles of yoga is truthfulness (satya), or being honest with yourself and others. If you are in a time in your life when you truly cannot make time for more yoga than you already have, accept that and appreciate the benefits you reap from the sessions you can commit to. Add more if you like when you’re able.