You might be wondering, how often should you be going to hot yoga? Or maybe you don’t wonder this anymore, but maybe you hear people asking this question. It’s a common question for people who are new to the practice or want to step it up a bit.
The response I typically hear is that you should go to class three times a week to maintain where you are and four or more times a week to grow/push your practice. And that’s fine advice.
But I’m hear to tell you to consider tossing it out the window.
Because your practice is going to evolve in its own natural way. When I began my practice, I went one day a week and sometimes two. Eventually (after a year) I got up to four days a week. The amount of time I spent at the studio grew until I hit the point where I am at as of today. Today, my goal is to go to class everyday that I can go to class. I do this even if it means I have to go to class at a time I don’t like (and borrow a truck to get there).
Anyways, I was thinking about this whole how many times a week should I go to yoga thing after a recent conversation I had with someone at my studio. Last year, I went to class 280 times. This person asked me if I was going to match or beat that number. And you know what? I don’t know, and I don’t care. Getting hung up on if I go 280+ times is not healthy for me. 280 trips to the yoga studio is a lot of trips, and it’s a thing I can be proud of, but if I get caught up in topping myself in terms of numbers, well, at some point this is going to cause me more stress than anything else.
And really, what’s the point? If I go to class 300 times this year, good for me. If I got 260 times, good for me. If I go 100 times, good for me (yes, you read that right. good for me! I probably had a lot going on and had to really work to get my butt to class).
Now, on the other hand sometimes it is good to set specific goals for yourself. For example, when I started going 3-4 times per week, I needed to explicitly remind myself of this AND I had to mark out class time on my calendar. However, I was in the process of forming a habit. At the time, focusing on numbers in this manner worked for me. So this isn’t an either/or thing, but I do think the notion of numbers is something to be mindful about.
So at the end of all this, here’s what I say about how often you should be going to class:
- when you don’t go to class, evaluate why you are not going. is it because class is hard and you are in avoidance mode (been there!) or is it because you have a family event or want to go for a hike? Avoiding class just to avoid it vs. engaging with life are two different things
- can you go to class? then perhaps you should just go to class. we all have days where we hate dragging ourselves to class, but have you ever regretted showing up? I haven’t – not even when the class was a bad one.
- let your practice evolve. push yourself, but do so in a manner that works for you.
In the end, no one can tell you how often you should really be going to class. You just have to go and figure it out for yourself. Be open to the fact that there is no one right answer, and your answer to this question today could change next week, next month, and next year.