How often should I practice Yoga?
This question is commonly asked of our yoga teachers, by both novice and advanced students. The motivation for this question is usually tied to the physical movement of Yoga, the asanas – what we commonly attribute to a “yoga practice” in the West.
But the physical practice is only a small part of the deeper meaning of Yoga.
Before we answer this question, let’s look at the meaning of the word Yoga: to join, to yoke or to unite. Yoga unites you with a deeper sense of you. The physical practice draws you inward, so that you are connecting to “you.” When you take a moment to investigate your thoughts and behaviors, you gain insight into who you are and develop a deeper sense of self.
Plus, when you have connected more fully with yourself, often you’ll find that you are the cause of your own suffering. This comes from the ego-driven thoughts that you have about yourself. When you engage in self-examination, you discover that you are more than the thoughts and beliefs you identify with “yourself.”
The physical part Yoga links your body and breath to your mind, so you can sit with your inner self. The asanas are great tools for self-discovery and can lead to breakthroughs as you move your focus inward. You can open yourself to unconditional love and allow all the joy, pain, love, light and darkness simply to be.
This is what it means to unite within yourself through a yoga practice.
So, the question remains: How often should I practice yoga?
The answer is: Daily. If the physical aspect is what connects you to self-inquiry, then practice some form of movement every day. If you prefer not to use the asanas daily and instead to simply sit with your breath to inquire within, then practice in that way.
Both avenues can bring you toward your highest, best self and free you from the suffering caused by ego-driven thoughts.
For more guidance connecting to yourself via physical practice, please join us for a Yoga class.
Ladies: The Floating Lotus also offers a monthly women’s gathering. To join, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.