The most valuable investment that you will ever make in your lifetime is that of self-investment.
What better way of investing in yourself than by spending a few minutes per day, or just per week and taking some me-time to practice your favorite asanas.
Or even switching it up with a bunch of different types of yoga. Here’s how:
Time After Time
One of the most frequently asked questions on Google in terms of yoga is what is the frequency that yoga needs to be practiced for, in order to actually achieve results.
Naturally, this is an important question to ask. As much as yoga is known for its relaxation properties, nothing keeps the momentum and level of motivation going than seeing and feeling results from all the sweating and balancing.
Only you alone will know the amount of effort required on your part to see the results that you will be satisfied with. To put it into perspective, if you can invest in one hour a day, you will see results equal to one hour a day. The input will always yield the output in this instance.
Why not challenge yourself for a period of 30 days by engaging in yoga for 40 minutes a day? You have nothing to lose but so much to gain. In as little as 30 days you can expect improvement in the overall appearance of your body. One of the very first noticeable differences will be that you will most definitely sport a more toned physique.
Different types of yoga are geared towards different results. If the task of getting dressed and going to a yoga studio, surrounded by old-school yoga practitioners are daunting, there is a set of specific yoga asanas that you can have in your arsenal for a total body workout,
Results and benefits of regular yoga practice
Your body, mind, and soul are connected with one another. This is called the Trivedi Effect. Therefore, all three of these components will subsequently gain value from yoga practice.
The frequent practice of yoga can render some of the following results and benefits, from a physical perspective:
Your overall strength, awareness of self, and inner harmony will be improved. It can be looked at as a form of preventative medicine. A lot of focus in yoga is placed on meditation and breathing techniques accompanied by poses called asanas in the Sanskrit language.
Many different yoga disciplines of yoga exist, making this the perfect form of exercise and lifestyle to adopt. It is superbly suited for all ages and all fitness levels. It only requires the very basic of equipment, and that would be to invest in a quality yoga mat, that is right for you.
An increase in overall body flexibility will act as a barrier in preventing injury. Frequent practice of yoga will also result in a beautifully toned body and improved muscle strength in the entire body.
You will find that your respiratory health will be enhanced greatly, you will breathe better, feel revitalized, and have more energy.
Yoga assists in restoring the equilibrium of your metabolism. It affects the nervous system by slowing down cortisol production. Cortisol is called the stress hormone that is part of the steroid family.
The regular practice of yoga can assist as a weight-loss technique as it burns calories during the sessions.
Yoga also has great advantages attached in improving the mental physique of the regular yogi. It has properties of deep relaxation and stress relief. Transporting the frequent practitioner to a more chasmic inner connection, it can also improve concentration, clarity, and instill a sense of calm.
If one performs a yoga practice with a set purpose in mind, it is recommended to do this in a set yoga-sequence. Each and every yogi teacher will perform this action, due to the varying levels of the students in their respective classes.
Bikram yoga, for example, has a sequence of 26 asanas in total, that have to be followed in a specific order. The aim of adhering to an actual sequence is that you will achieve a pace and deep connection and focus on your breathing instead of placing too much emphasis on the transitions between the different sets of poses.
Yoga is about self-expression, and therefore everyone’s opinions on the “right” way of doing yoga will be different. That is why you will benefit from engaging with different yogis, and also take in encounters during yoga classes from the teachers. You will then put your own unique spin on it, to elevate your personal experience.
There is a certain theory that makes complete sense. And that is that the sequence is designed as such to avoid injury for one. You will find some poses easier, once your muscles are stretched and warmed up, and you are relaxed and able to focus on the task at hand.
Be that as it may, what is certain is that you should always start off with gentle stretching and sun salutations (Surya namaskara). Lastly, every yoga session should be concluded with savasana.
Foods to incorporate for best results
An eating plan, combined with the frequent practice of yoga, will provide effective results. Some foods that are high on the list include:
Berries. Colorful little bursts of flavor. They are great as a snack and are the perfect partner for a delicious smoothie, and helps to combat hunger pains.
Dark, leafy greens. These are the superfoods of the veggie kind. Enriched with vitamins C, E, and K. They are also excellent sources of iron and calcium. Some examples include kale, spinach, and collards. Try adding them in a delicious salad or tummy-filling smoothie.
Fresh Fruits and Veggies. Support your local greengrocer, by rising early and going on a voyage of discovery. You will be surprised at the variety and cost-effectiveness you will find.
Hot Water. We will be kind. Try combinations containing cinnamon, honey, and lemon for starters. These will boost your metabolism and help fight off diseases.
Lentils. One of the most versatile legumes around. They are high on the list of foods that possess great anti-aging properties. The fountain of youth of the food world.
Nut Butters. Peanut butter, almond butter, you name it. Versatile in nature, this can be added to a bowl of oats, act as a dip for quartered apples. The list of benefits is endless. Try it for yourself.
Porridge. What is better than a bowl full of delicious porridge? It will give a boost to your entire day. Add a little cinnamon or cardamom, to take it up a notch.
Quinoa. This protein-rich source of energy is music to the yogi’s ears. Dubbed the super grain of the future, it’s jam-packed with all 9 essential amino acids.
Raw Cacao. Yes, there are even keto-friendly options available here. Add a teaspoon of raw cacao powder to your bulletproof coffee in the morning, or alternatively, look for a chocolate bar that comprises at least 75% or higher dark chocolate consistency.
Tofu. All yogis following a vegetarian or plant-based diet identify this as the main source of protein. Every 100g of tofu contains almost 18g of protein in total.
Exploring Different Types of Yoga
Many different variants of yoga exist today. Each type of yoga has a specific focus and purpose. The 11 major yoga types are:
Anusara yoga. A deep focus is placed on the mind-body-heart connection in this modernized version of hatha yoga. The teacher will pause during asanas regularly to explain how the different body parts should be moving in achieving success with this yoga.
Ashtanga yoga. It is said that this form of yoga, is the most physically demanding of all the types. This is not suited for the beginner yogi at all. It starts off by engaging in a total of 10 sun salutations, 5 A-types, and 5 -types.
Bikram yoga. Comprises of a set of 26 poses. The practice is normally conducted in a room that has a hot temperature. The set is repeated twice.
Hatha yoga. The practice of this specific type of yoga is excellent for the yogi newb. By attending a hatha yoga class, you will get a solid understanding of the basics of correct breathing techniques and how to perform the asanas correctly.
Jivamukti yoga. Jivamukti yoga focusses on the yogi’s relationship with Earth. Most yoga practitioners that follow this yoga type, are also consumers of a vegetarian or plant-based diet. The key focus is on the alignment of poses, which is preceded by a series of chants.
Kundalini yoga. This unique style of yoga places focus on the energy that is said to be trapped in the lower spine. Classes are fast-paced and intense in nature. The practice requires a lot of meditation and chanting.
Iyengar yoga. Asanas are held for an extended period of time in this yoga type. Teachers also tend to make use of a variety of yoga props in their class structures.
Prenatal yoga. You read right! Moms to be can also engage in yoga before baby is born. The practice also helps mom to prepare for the arrival of the newborn during delivery. It has been proven to be beneficial in the prenatal bonding process as well.
Restorative yoga. Aimed at relaxing the body, mind, and soul. The practice makes use of a variety of different props like eye pillows, and blankets, to assist in achieving a deeper sense of relaxation.
Vinyasa yoga. This variant evolutionized from ashtanga yoga in the 1980s. The term vinyasa means “in a special way”. It is practiced in accordance with your breathing, and the flow is easy and gentle from one asana to the next.
Yin yoga. This yoga type is practiced slowly. Most of the asanas are performed in a seated position, and held in place for prolonged periods of time. Perfect to slow down after an intense day in the rat race.
Different Yoga for Different Results
No conclusive rule of thumb exists to state without a doubt as to how many times a week or for how long yoga needs to be adopted in order to achieve results.
However, some studies suggest that age might in fact play a contributing factor. For example, yogis 18 years of age and younger have advised that after practicing yoga actively for 1 hour a day, over a 5-week period, has yielded improved balance.
Practicing yoga for just once in a working week where you aim to focus on just breathing, and nothing else will afford you valuable me-time. This is where you push away any external factors that are distracting and just spend time with yourself alone.
Studies have proven that a 12-minute yoga session a day helps with strengthening the bones and helps to prevent conditions like osteoporosis. Someone that is younger in age, might not need yoga as often as someone that is older.
When you really want to be the Instagramming yogi, showing off your mountain-top handstand skills, you have to invest in seriously practicing yoga several times a week. Even though that level will take some time to reach, there are some quick wins in that you will experience better sleep, an improved digestive system, and increased flexibility skills.
If you are still finding yourself feeling ambiguous, why not challenge yourself to only one minute of focussed meditation. Especially, when you are feeling irritated, annoyed, or angry, trust us, you will reap the benefits thereof. This is a very powerful art.
about how many times should i do yoga a week
Only one minute of meditation and self-investment can change the mind of even the most hardened yoga critic. Imagine what it can do the more you frequent the practice of yoga.
Experiment with different types of yoga and fun food combinations for effective results. Engage with other yogis on their go-to yoga types and food groups they like to incorporate for an all-encompassing experience. Then take it and make it your own! This is your journey. Namaste!
Quote of the day:
“Letting go is the hardest asana”