Ask the Expert: Short Daily Practice vs Longer Sessions?

By 7. August, 2015Yoga

Answers to your questions about practice frequency, pain management, vegetarian “bone” broth, and more.

Is it better to do a short yoga practice daily or an extended session less frequently?

Daily, shorter yoga sessions yield greater muscle flexibility and strength than longer, 
less frequent yoga sessions. When you practice yoga (or do any exercise), your muscles experience tiny tears that may cause temporary soreness, but that then repair themselves within a day or two. This is a healthy process—it helps your muscles lengthen and adapt so they’re prepared for another workout, and become strong and flexible enough to stave off injuries like pulls, strains, and sprains. But muscles make only small gains during each workout—no matter the duration—so it’s better to practice more frequently if you want to build strength and flexibility more quickly.

READ MORE 7 Steps to a Legit Home Practice

To train your muscles, aim for 15 to 30 minutes of asana every day (or an hour as often as you can). Any yoga series will work, but great poses for strengthening and lengthening leg, shoulder, and back muscles include Sun Salutations, Warrior I Pose, 
Warrior II Pose, Warrior III Pose, and Supine Spinal Twist.

—Melissa Nordin, eRYT
Clinical exercise physiologist at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Tampa

How Can You Make Exercise a Regular Habit?

Be mindful. People who intentionally feel their movements and surroundings find workouts more satisfying, and thus may be more motivated to repeat them, according 
to a recent study in the Journal of Health Psychology.

READ MORE 4 Ways to Practice Mindfulness in Motion

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