Yoga provides a host of benefits to those who practice the discipline. Yoga can strengthen a person’s mind and body in a way that other types of exercise do not. The workout that you get at a traditional gym is one thing, but a yoga workout can be just as, if not more, intense than standard ways of exercising.
As a general rule, it is okay for you to do yoga every day, but you should not do the same yoga routine every day. Continuous repetitive movements in a short amount of time can put excessive strain on your body, leading to pain and long-lasting damage. Mentally, switching up your yoga routine keeps your mind fresh. Plus, sometimes, you need a different kind of yoga routine, like a meditative practice instead of a typical power flow.
The notion of switching your yoga routine as you practice every day is similar to how people in a gym will focus one day on legs and another on arms. Different routines of yoga lend your body different benefits, and you do not want to limit yourself to the same practice every day.
Why You Should Not Do the Same Yoga Routine Every Day
The human body is powerful, and yoga is a great teacher for that idea. Yoga has minimal equipment outside of the body; most often, the only other objects are a mat, block, or yoga strap. Yoga deals with the weight and movement of the body in a unique way.
Beginning to practice, yoga can immediately become an addictive routine because of the physical and mental benefits it brings. These benefits are great, and you should certainly try to regularly improve upon your strength, but it is not a good idea to do so by doing only one yoga routine.
Too Much Stress on Your Body
While it is important to focus on improving your strength by building the muscles you need in your yoga routine, you need to be careful to not overwork your muscles. This is not to say that your body being sore after a yoga practice is bad, but you need to be careful with how hard you work your muscles.
The human body is strong, but it is not indestructible. When you use the same muscles or joints frequently in a given period, you run the risk of causing repetitive stress injury (sometimes referred to as RSI).
For instance, you might be trying to master your Chaturanga push-ups. You will likely get stronger by doing Chaturangas every day, but only in moderation. Doing twenty Chaturangas in a row when your muscles are not ready can cause repetitive stress injury. The same is true for any pose that you do during yoga.
Missing Out on Other Benefits of Yoga
It is really difficult to find one single yoga routine that has everything your body needs from the practice, and it is especially hard to find such a routine that you can use every day. Simply put, your body is always a little bit different when you practice yoga, so your routine should adjust accordingly.
It is completely natural for you to need something different from your yoga practice one day compared to another. You could be holding a lot of tension in your body from life’s stressors, or you could feel loose and flexible. Each practice is like working with a different body.
Having a yoga routine to do every single day that has all the poses you need would be a long, taxing routine. While there is not necessarily anything wrong with a long practice, you miss out on the benefits of holding poses that you sometimes do not do.
For instance, in a yoga routine that is heavily focused on Sun Salutations A through C, you will have lots of time to work on your forward fold and downward-facing dog. You will not, however, have many opportunities to work on arm-balance poses like crow.
The intensity of a hot power yoga routine is not always what your body needs the most. You may find that you need a slow practice that focuses on stretching and holding poses for longer than usual. This variety in your practices makes you stronger.
Your Mind Needs More
There is a time and a place for a yoga routine that you know so well. That kind of practice can be just what you need when your mind needs a break, and you want your muscle memory to take over.
Unfortunately, our mental comfort can limit our capabilities. If you spend every day doing the same poses in the same order, it will be much more difficult for you to perform the poses in another order. The transitions from pose to pose will feel awkward and difficult because you have relied too much on one sequence.
Yoga is a great way to relax your mind, but you do not want to become so comfortable that you stop pushing yourself for greater growth. If you do not like a certain routine, then you can do something else, but limiting yourself to one routine puts your mind in a place of complacency.
Benefits of Varying Your Yoga Routine
For those truly devoted to their practice of yoga, the goal is to become as well-rounded within the discipline as possible. It is about embracing all aspects of yoga, whether they are meditative, pose-centered, or breathing techniques.
Unfortunately, this really cannot be achieved by only practicing one yoga routine or even one type of yoga. In a yoga routine or class that is centered on stretching and holding poses for a long time, you are unlikely to be able to work on controlling your breath when increasingly exerted the same way that you would in an intense power flow.
Different yoga routines have different focuses, which means that they have different impacts on the body. If you vary your yoga routine instead of doing the same process every day, you will be able to improve many aspects of your body and practice instead of just one.
You will likely find that your flexibility improves when you mix stretching routines in with a more intense practice. It changes the way you do yoga overall, not just in a particular routine.
Most yogis find that they enjoy a certain yoga routine or that they dislike another. By no means does varying your daily routine imply that you have to do all the poses you hate. It simply means that you change enough aspects of your routine to keep yourself from repetitive stress injury.
If there is a yoga flow that you enjoy and find benefits from, try practicing it two or three times a week. On the other days that you practice, try a different routine. This is especially helpful if you always do high-intensity routines.
Add a couple of restorative practices throughout the week to break up your more intense routines. You are able to work different parts of your body and mind while giving others time to heal.
The important thing to take away is that you can and should regularly practice yoga. You should work on increasing your strength and skill at certain poses to improve your muscles. What you should not do is overwork specific muscles by constantly doing the same routine.
Be careful to not mistake regular practice of a yoga sequence with overexertion of that sequence. Your body and mind need variety to keep them sharp and strong.
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