How Much Is Too Much Yoga

Is there really such as thing as too much yoga? Yes.

Like a good beer, or reality television, enjoy in moderation.

In order to pay the bills, most of us have to work in either physically demanding, or mentally draining environments. Thus, we’re thrilled to find a great way to release all the negativity, stress, and tension in the mind and body through yoga. It’s in this release that the seed of obsession lies. “If it feels this good, I should do it as often as possible, right?”….Not exactly.

“Too much of something is bad enough…”

If you are familiar with the Spice Girls (admit it, you are), then you have probably heard that line. Don’t worry, I wont tell anyone that you just shook your head “yes” to knowing the lyric. It might sound counterintuitive, but yes, too much yoga has the potential to bring injury to your body.

It’s no secret that overeating can give you medical problems like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. And though it is less likely that you get these medical problems from overdoing yoga, you must still be aware that the effects of too much yoga do exist, and that there is a happy medium for everyone out there. The question remains: “How much is too much yoga?”. The answer is simple and your body will tell you, loud and clear. People have different tolerances when it comes to discomfort, which goes without saying. That said, the line between discomfort and pain often gets blurred by our desire to push to the next level, even if our body isn’t ready for it. Discomfort and pain both have simple solutions. Discomfort: breath and be present in the pose. Pain: stop immediately.

Admittedly, the health benefits of yoga may have an addictive quality to them, but pushing yourself to do more than what your body can take for a day just so you can get quick results can do more harm than good. Aside from that, it also violates ahimsa, the yoga philosophy that means the practice of non-violence and to not cause harm to self or others. Sorry, had to throw in some yoga woo-woo.

Be Mindful of Your Body Before Your Physical Practice

Too much yoga can distract the mind and can possibly lead to physical injuries and internal imbalances. The practice of yoga follows a mind-body approach, so when the mind gets distracted, it impacts the practice by affecting the breathing, alignment, and focus, making it harder to achieve your personal appropriate expression of the pose. In short, it’s not about sticking your foot in your ear; it’s about doing what is right for your body at that given moment.

Set Yourself Up For An Optimal Regular Practice

  • Set and maintain a regular yoga schedule and stick to it. Don’t go overboard just because you think you should.
  • Beginners can start yoga at 2-3 times per week and can add more days as the body adapts.
  • NEVER skip a warm up session before anything else.
  • Start with a gentle yoga form and build your way up.
  • Eat healthy foods at the right time and keep yourself hydrated.
  • Learn to listen to your body and know when to STOP when it starts to get painful.
  • Pay attention to your breathing as it can be a great indicator that you are overexerting yourself. Make sure that you are not holding or catching your breath.

Always, and I mean always, give yourself adequate rest in between practices. As you get stronger and more flexible, your body will let you know when it’s the right time to add more to your routine. Until then, just be happy where you are and enjoy the process of growth.

Be light my friends,

Kyle Weiger

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