There’s no doubt that yoga can tone your muscles and help you lose weight, eventually transforming your body, but what does “eventually” actually mean in terms of real-time?
While yoga can indeed be intense, it’s seen as a low dynamism, low impact form of exercise that can offer mental gains almost immediately, but physical ones… not so much, or not as swiftly as more intensive workouts anyway.
Generally speaking, you’re looking at about 6–12 weeks before you start noticing a difference in your physique, but a more accurate answer specific to you depends on a few different factors.
Variables That Affect The Physical Results Of Yoga
The truth of the matter is that the physical benefits of yoga can come quite swiftly, not for a while, or somewhere in between. Which category you fall into depends on the following variables.
Yoga isn’t a rigid exercise that everybody does in exactly the same way. Rather, yoga is an incredibly broad pursuit that you can approach uniquely.
This means that if multiple people started their yoga adventures at the same time, they’d start seeing the physical benefits of their exercise at different junctures.
The two biggest factors pertaining to the speed of your physical transformation are…
- Intensity — One of the best things about yoga is that it’s welcoming of all body types. It can be made nice and easy for those who aren’t that active, and it can be made intensive for those who already have a degree of fitness and flexibility.
The more intensive the yoga, the faster the practitioner will start seeing results. The milder the yoga is, the longer it will be before your body begins to change.
Having said that, if even the low intensity classes are immensely challenging to you, you’re going to start noticing some gains almost as quickly as those smashing out intensive sessions.
- Consistency/Frequency — Intensity is neither here nor there if you don’t practice yoga regularly. In fact, you’re much better off doing a few mild yoga classes a week than you are doing one intense yoga session every two weeks.
Body transformations aren’t about doing anything drastic, they’re about making sustainable changes in lifestyle, otherwise, you’re in danger of letting things slide back to the way they were.
So, if you want swift, lasting results, consistency is key. But if you’re able, cranking the consistency and intensity in tandem will get you to where you want to be much faster. Be careful, though; the last thing you want to do is push yourself too hard and burn out.
A popular phrase amongst fitness enthusiasts is that you can’t out-train a bad diet, and they’re absolutely right. If you want your body to change, you have to start feeding it the right proportions of the right kind of fuel.
The healthier your diet is, the faster yoga will transform your body, which is why some instructors will provide dietary guidance that has particular synergy with the classes they lead.
Everyone is different, and our bodies don’t all respond identically to exercise — Yoga may visually alter someone’s body much faster than someone else, even if they’re doing exactly the same classes with the same consistency.
With that said, don’t give up hope if someone you know seems to be making faster progress than you. It doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong, that yoga isn’t right for you, or that you’re not making gains; it likely just means that their genetics are beneficial in this regard.
Body Transformation Vs Results
It’s important to note that when we say results, we don’t mean a complete bodily transformation. Results simply means you’ll start seeing aspects of your body change because of your practicing yoga.
This might be a slight reduction in body fat, more flexibility in the joints, or greater endurance. Complete body transformation using just yoga can take years depending on your physique and fitness level when you started out.
There’s also the matter of perception to account for here… What are your fitness goals and what do you consider physically transformative?
For instance, if transformation for you means dropping a few lbs, as long as you stick to a healthy diet and do yoga consistently, you won’t be waiting all that long.
On the other hand, if your idea of transformation is from zero muscle definition to six-pack, you’re in for a much longer wait. That said, once yoga has you feeling energized, you could intersperse your sessions with more rigorous, targeted workouts, which will expedite the process exponentially.
What’s The Minimum Yoga Class Frequency To See Results?
As mentioned earlier, frequency and consistency play a pivotal role in the speed of your physical development when doing yoga.
Doing more yoga in shorter amounts of time consistently will have astonishing results, but spreading sessions out too much will guarantee you’re not ever going to see any results.
For example, if you went to a yoga class once a month, no matter how intense it is, physically speaking, it’ll be like starting from square one every time you hit the mat.
That’s not to say that if you can only fit yoga in on a monthly basis that you shouldn’t. Please do attend one class a month, as it still stands to improve your mental health, but if you want to see a visual improvement in your physique, attending classes more frequently is essential.
Yoga once a week is probably the minimum if you’re trying to transform your body, but this is going to take a fair amount of time. Try and fit in multiple sessions a week to speed things up, even if some days you only have 10 minutes free.
Collectively, those 10 minutes will work wonders if you keep up your practice.
Try and get out of the headspace that you have to be in the studio to get your pose on, as this may become an excuse not to keep up with your regiment.
Yoga can be performed anywhere, so why not unroll the mat at home and get some vital minutes of exercise in between other engagements.
What’s The Best Type Of Yoga For Physical Fitness?
Power yoga is the most athletic form of yoga. Based on Ashtanga yoga, which is intensive in its own right, power yoga utilizes complicated, challenging postures and shifts between them at an incredible pace, providing an awesome physical workout.
This form of yoga can increase muscular strength and improve cardiovascular endurance a great deal, and due to the intensity of power yoga, physical transformations are accelerated. It’s tough though, so be prepared when you hit your first class.
Physical transformations take time, no matter what sort of exercise you do, and as yoga is quite relaxed, you might be waiting a while before you start noticing a difference in your body.
Then again, if you do yoga frequently and consistently, stick to a healthy diet, and build the intensity of your classes incrementally, you’ll reach your fitness goals much faster.
And the fantastic news is that while you’re waiting on that sculpted body, yoga will be sculpting your mind the whole time!