One of the first questions beginner yogis tend to have when they start yoga is, ‘how long should a yoga session be?’
This question tends to arise out of a desire to do yoga ‘correctly’. However, rest assured that there’s no one way to do yoga right, and that includes the length of your sessions.
How long your yoga sessions should be is entirely personal to you. It depends on your goals, what kinds of sessions you enjoy, your schedule, and a variety of other factors.
With that being said, here are some general guidelines around how long a yoga session should be.
Yoga Session Length For Beginners (And Busy People)
If you are asking how long a yoga session should be, it is likely that you are a beginner. Either that, or you have a busy schedule and are concerned that you can’t fit longer sessions into your day.
Luckily, the answer to ‘how long should a yoga session be?’ for beginners and busy people is: ‘as long as feels right for you’.
This is also the answer for basically anyone practicing yoga, but it especially applies if you’re at the start of your yoga journey or don’t have a lot of time to practice.
When you first start practicing yoga, you may encounter some challenges.
You’ll be doing movements that may feel unfamiliar to you, and you’ll also be doing your best to focus on your breath and allow thoughts unrelated to your practice to gently pass by.
Both of these things can be hard for beginners, and if you try to force yourself to do longer sessions from the start, you may find yourself feeling frustrated.
Listen to your body, and if you feel any discomfort or simply feel that you have reached a natural stopping point in your session, it’s perfectly fine to stop, no matter how much time has passed.
Similarly, if you start to feel frustrated and defeated, it can be helpful to take a break. Maybe once you have centered yourself again, you’ll feel like trying again that day, or maybe you’ll feel best starting again tomorrow.
If time is your main concern, your yoga session should simply be as long as you can get into your schedule. If that’s 30 minutes, fantastic! If it’s just 5 or 10 minutes, that’s totally okay, too!
A little yoga is always better than none at all, and you can experience the mental and physical benefits of yoga from short sessions.
How Long Should Yoga Sessions Be For Weight Loss?
If you’re practicing yoga primarily because you want to lose weight, you’re more likely to see results if you practice yoga for at least 30 minutes a day.
Many sources suggest that weight loss results will be optimal if you practice yoga for 3 to 5 hours per week. Practicing for 30 minutes every day should land you within this threshold.
With that being said, if you are really enjoying your practice, feel free to make your sessions even longer or more frequent. You can practice for an hour or more a day, as long as you have the time and aren’t putting yourself at risk of any injuries.
Although yoga is a low-impact activity, it is possible to put unnecessary pressure on your joints if poses are executed incorrectly, and trying to force certain poses can lead to muscle injuries.
Therefore, if you’re a beginner starting yoga for weight loss, it might be beneficial to ease yourself into the practice at the start, beginning with 30-minute, beginner-friendly sessions and gradually working your way up in terms of both session length and advanced poses.
If you simply don’t have time to practice yoga for 30 minutes a day, or 3 hours a week, there are still ways to achieve weight loss through yoga.
Even if you practice for 15 minutes every day, that’s still over 1.5 hours of yoga per week. If you live a mostly sedentary lifestyle, even this may be enough for you to see some gradual results.
Ideal Yoga Time For Advanced Yogis
If you’re more advanced in your yoga journey and want to challenge yourself to progress further, it is a good idea to try to practice for 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.
Of course, this kind of time commitment can be tricky depending on your schedule.
However, longer yoga sessions around the 1-hour mark are helpful for building strength and endurance, and both of these things will enable you to progress onto more advanced yoga poses.
However, you can still make amazing progress with shorter sessions by focusing on more challenging, strength-based poses, such as the side plank, chair pose, and warrior variations.
There is no one-size-fits-all session length for yoga. Beginners and busy people may prefer shorter sessions of anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes.
Advanced yogis may want to practice for anywhere up to 1.5 hours. Yoga for weight loss tends to be most effective when practiced at least 30 minutes per day.
The most important thing is to listen to your body, be gentle with yourself, and enjoy the process!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can definitely enjoy the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of yoga practicing for 20 minutes per day.
If you are pushing yourself in your yoga practice and find that your muscles are feeling sore after a session, you may want to take at least one rest day per week to make sure your muscles have time to repair and grow.
Some yoga poses can be quite physically challenging, so it’s normal to feel tired after yoga. Yoga is also an emotional and spiritual experience, so you might also feel a little emotionally drained.
This is why it’s important to listen to your body and take your emotional state into account when deciding the length of your yoga sessions.