Do You Need Rest Days From Yoga? (Answered)

Yoga in itself is a great way to recover and replenish your energy. Often, yoga is used in combination with other physical activities, such as exercise

But can there be times when you need rest days from yoga? It depends on what yoga you do because not all yoga exercises are relaxing. There are some yoga poses that feel just like an intense workout. If you choose a yoga practice that doesn’t have a high intensity, you shouldn’t face this problem. 

Regardless of the guidelines that you read on the ‘best practices, it’s always best to listen to your body. But don’t confuse laziness with needing rest days from yoga. In general, it’s recommended that you practice yoga two to five times a week and on average three

You want to find the balance and sweet spot that makes you feel the best, and many yoga sessions are around one hour. But don’t commit to one hour if you know for sure you won’t be able to stick with it. 

With almost any good habit you adopt, consistency is the most important part. Many confuse intensity with consistency, but it’s better to stick to a consistent 20-minute-a-day yoga exercise than it is to stick to a one-hour yoga exercise that you only do one time. 

Do You Need Rest Days From Yoga
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Yoga and Recovery

Assuming you are not doing a high-intensity yoga exercise, yoga in itself is a form of rest from other exercises you do. 

So in a way, taking rest days from yoga can be the equivalent of needing rest days from rest days but that’s operating on the assumption you do yoga that’s geared specifically towards relaxation and not exercise.

Now, yoga alone can be a form of recovery, even if you don’t combine it with other physical activities. After all, it’s meant to improve circulation and keep your body in certain poses to make you feel at your best. 

Keeping these poses throughout the day is a plus, and in that sense, yoga can serve you for a lifetime, but that’s not to say that you should stop practicing it. It’s a perfect tool for recovery and a great way to level yourself up. 

So instead of seeing yoga as something you need to recover from, as you would from an exercise, see it as a recovery exercise in itself. 

That’s the beauty of yoga, it takes the best of both worlds, and it can keep your mind and body fit but also help you relax. After all, you can do one high-intensity yoga one day and a low-intensity yoga on your rest days. 

But be careful with pushing yourself past your limit, since yoga done wrong can have the opposite effect and make you see the practice in a negative light, propelling you to abandon the practice.

Rest Days: Meditation or Yoga?

If we talk about low-intensity yogas, they are often compared to meditation. Meditation is another great habit that goes hand in hand with yoga and can speed up your recovery, but if having the two would be too much on your plate, you can recover by just doing one of them.

Meditation goes more in-depth into recovery, but for a small percentage of meditation practitioners, it can also backfire, if the mind isn’t used to meditation and if you don’t want to face confrontational thoughts. 

When it comes to recovery, what separates meditation from yoga is that meditation is more geared towards quieting the mind whereas yoga is a way to bring the mind and body together and find balance and peace, but both are efficient tools for rest and recovery.

Now, one advantage yoga has, in this case, is that it’s more likely to do a better job of relaxing your muscles. It can even be more efficient than a warm bath

Should You Do Yoga Daily?

The recommended average would be doing yoga three times a week, but you may get more from yoga if you choose to practice it more often. 

But practicing yoga more often isn’t for everyone, and not everyone has an hour to spare. An hour-long yoga session can be intimidating for those starting out, but eventually, if you reach that point and manage to keep it, you’ll often find yourself not wanting to come back.

But  I recommend starting with a level you’re comfortable with and as you gain traction and get enjoyment from the yoga, adding extra days and increasing the time of yoga will be easier, rather than trying to shoot high right from the start. 

Yoga may not even be for you in the first place, but if your aim is to find the balance between peace of mind and feeling optimal both physically and mentally, yoga is one of the many ways to achieve it. 

Even doing yoga once a week is better than not doing any yoga at all, nothing stops you from gradually increasing as you become more comfortable with the practice and you see the benefits yoga has to offer, even if these are minuscule at first. 

If you notice any form of pain or discomfort during a yoga practice that is supposed to be relaxing, reevaluate the practice you are doing or look over if you are following the yoga exercises as they are meant. 

Yoga is supposed to help you feel recovered and replenished by the end of the session and many times also during the practice, so take any general guidelines with a grain of salt and let your body be the ultimate judge of whether the yoga you are doing is right for you or not. 

Is Yoga Difficult?

Someone could get yoga wrong and as a result, have it yield the opposite effect of relaxation and recovery. As with anything when you are just starting out, it takes time to get a grip of it, but don’t give up on your first attempt. 

If you need to take rest days in order for you to stick with it, do it by all means, but don’t let those rest days turn into stopping the practice altogether unless you’ve found that yoga isn’t for you and isn’t achieving any purpose after you’ve given it a solid try. 

There’s no exact science on yoga and many just see it as a placebo, which can influence the experience you have, especially if you place your expectations a certain way and notice patterns playing out that match your expectations. 

Yoga can feel difficult, and contrary to popular belief, it isn’t always as simple as it’s made out to be. After all, yoga teaches us to be flexible and if you aren’t used to any sort of exercise that’s trained you in flexibility, it can take time for the body to adapt, and it’s only natural. 

What To Expect From Yoga

Expect to find some roadblocks in your journey, but use these roadblocks as stepping stones to build a habit your future self can be proud of, as yoga is one of those practices that can put you ahead of your peers who didn’t pick up the practice in their early years. 

If you do, you’ll often find you have an edge as you age, where decaying is inevitable. But you can certainly delay significantly the effects of the decaying. 

At some point, you might enjoy the yoga practice so much that you won’t want to take rest days, and that’s a point you want to reach with the practice. 

Any hard moment you encounter with yoga is something you should embrace with open arms, assuming it doesn’t cause any harm to you and assuming you don’t have any condition that predisposes you to a risk when doing yoga. What was once hard with yoga will ultimately end up becoming second nature to you. 

The reward you get from the challenge you might encounter with yoga can vary but it’s not limited to a fit mind, a fit physique, and more flexibility, so in that sense, yoga is an underrated habit for longevity.

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