Yoga comes in many shapes and forms, all of which make great additions to an exercise routine. But too much of any exercise can cause injury, and it’s important to know what your limits are in order to stay safe and healthy. Is it too much to do yoga twice a day?
You can do yoga twice a day as long as you have at least six hours of rest between sessions and take care of your body while staying hydrated and fed and stopping if you notice signs of overexertion. Some kinds of yoga are also more intense than others, so pay attention to the variety you choose.
This article will cover the kinds of yoga and symptoms of overexercising, as well as ways to take care of yourself, making sure that your exercise is appropriate, safe, and healthy.
Yoga comes in many shapes and forms—from easy, relaxing varieties to more physically demanding practices. In order to know what’s best for your yoga routine, it’s important to know which kind of yoga you’re going to do.
- Vinyasa Yoga: The most athletic style of yoga, also called power yoga. Movements are coordinated with breathing and involve a warmup followed by a sequence of long position holds. Meditative but challenging, Vinyasa is good for those with some experience doing yoga.
- Bikram Yoga: Also called hot yoga, Bikram involves a sauna-like studio and deep stretching. It’s important to avoid eating before Bikram and to stay hydrated before, during, and after the class. Ideal for improving flexibility.
- Ashtanga Yoga: It usually involves 70 poses held over one-and-a-half to two-hour sessions, including backbends, headstands, and other challenging poses. It requires strength and endurance, and best for the very experienced.
- Aerial Yoga: Involves a sequence of yoga poses using silk hammocks and is designed for strength and flexibility. The focus is on the upper body and ab strength.
- Restorative Yoga: It is based on deep relaxation and is meant to guide your body into a resting state. Instructors will often recommend blocks, blankets, and other bolstering devices to ease muscle tension while holding poses.
- Iyengar Yoga: It involves technical holds to correct alignment issues, including blocks, straps, chairs, blankets, and even a ropes wall. Good for those with chronic pain or those who are new to yoga and need to learn the poses but can’t yet keep up with the flow of other yoga sessions.
- Hatha Yoga: The kind of practice that combines poses with breathing techniques, usually designed for beginners. It is aimed at developing balance, flexibility, and good breathing rhythm; it often begins with a simple chant and ends with 5 to 15 minutes of lying flat on your back on the ground.
- Kundalini Yoga: Focused on spiritual development and calming of the mind through movement, breathing, and chanting, it is meant to release energy.
- Yin Yoga: Slow, relaxing, and meditative, poses are held for long periods of up to two minutes.
- Prenatal Yoga: Involves gentle poses designed to reduce pain in the back and hips and promote a wider range of motion.
- Katonah Yoga: This is the kind of workshop meant to help participants learn the basics of yoga poses, also involving meditative elements. Heavy use of props and adjustments.
Of course, the level of challenge you’ll find in a class is all relative. It’s important to know what you’re getting into before signing up for a class, but more importantly, listen to your body all throughout to make sure that you’re not overexerting or putting yourself at risk of injury.
Getting the right amount of exercise has many benefits, including reducing anxiety, getting a better night’s sleep, and generally improving your health and well-being. The amount of exercise you need will depend on how old you are and where you are in your fitness journey.
The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week, plus an active lifestyle that involves movement throughout the day. If your cardio exercise is more vigorous, you’re able to meet good health standards at just 75 minutes per week.
Additionally, it’s good to perform muscle-strengthening exercises at least two days a week, involving all the major muscle groups.
Even more, exercise has additional health benefits, provided that you don’t overexert yourself to the point of injury.
The best way to know that you’re overexercising or pushing too hard is to listen to your body. Rest is important, and your body will tell you when it needs rest. If you ignore these signs, you can injure yourself and even experience exertional rhabdomyolysis, which is a life-threatening condition.
You’ll notice signs of overexertion most immediately after an intense exercise. In addition to weakness and soreness, you may notice a darkening of the urine resulting from changes in your body’s energy balance. Your muscles will begin to break down rather than growing stronger, and you may additionally experience the impacts of heat stress from overheated muscles.
The following conditions put you at more risk of overexertion:
- A sedentary lifestyle
- A history of extreme overexertion
- Muscular disease, like muscular dystrophy
- Old age
If any of the above apply to you, exercise is still an important part of becoming or staying healthy, but you should be sure to prioritize rest, too.
While you’re exercising, your body will send signals that you can learn to interpret to know whether or not it’s safe for you to keep pushing yourself.
It’s normal to feel tired or want to quit while working out, and if you feel a general sluggishness, where your body doesn’t want to cooperate, and you feel in a funk, it’s best to ignore these early signals and push through your body’s desire to avoid exerting energy. Your body may not want to work, but you need to force the extra effort sometimes to get any amount of exercise.
When you start feeling a burning sensation in your muscles, it means that lactic acid is building up. Some people are afraid of this sensation, but feeling this burn means that you’re challenging yourself and exercising at a good level. If you’re here, keep doing what you’re doing instead of pushing yourself harder, unless you are a very experienced exerciser.
If you’ve moved past the muscle burning into an inability to physically do what you’re telling your body to do, slow down. This means that you’ve surpassed your limits and should not keep pushing. You shouldn’t be at this level of challenge for more than a few seconds if you want to stay safe and avoid injury unless you are an elite athlete or have a qualified trainer.
If you’re regularly getting too much exercise, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Needing more rest than usual
- Worse performance
- Mood swings
- Trouble sleeping
- Limbs feeling heavy, sore
- Excessive or rapid weight loss
If you are experiencing these symptoms, be sure to rest for the next week or two to give your body time to recover.
To avoid overexertion, you can take the following steps to take care of your body and make sure that you have the energy necessary to do what you’re demanding of yourself.
- Eat enough calories.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Rest for six hours or more between periods of exercise.
- Once a week, take a full day off from exercise.
- Do not exercise in extreme heat or cold.
- Sleep at least eight hours every night.
- Cut back on exercise when you are sick or very stressed.
- Make sure that your exercise is fun and not taking the place of other important events in your life. Compulsive exercising can be very dangerous, and you should talk to your doctor if you feel that the need to over-exercise is becoming an unhealthy obsession.
If you are performing a more challenging form of yoga, you might find yourself reaching or exceeding your capacity for exercise by performing it two times a day. However, this depends on your fitness level, and you should pay attention to the signs your body is giving you to know what to do. In any case, take at least six hours to rest between sessions.
- Mind Body Green: 11 Types of Yoga
- Prevention: 12 Different Types of Yoga Every Beginner Should Know
- Real Simple: A Guide to 6 Types of Yoga
- MedlinePlus: Are you getting too much exercise?
- CDC: Physical Activity Basics
- CDC: Physical Activity for Adults
- Livestrong: Symptoms of Exercise Overexertion
- FitnessBlender: How to “Listen to Your Body” During a Workout- When to Stop and When to Keep Pushing
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