The short answer is: as much as you want. Daily if you can.
The longer answer follows.
Knowing how illuminating yoga practice can be, in any state you’re in, and how much deeper and more TRANSFORMATIVE the practice will be if you do it often. I say:
PRACTICE through good and through bad, when you feel stressed, when you feel relaxed, when you feel numb, when you feel vulnerable, when you’re tired, when you’re confused, when you’re focused, when you’re happy, when you’re sad, when you feel STRONG, when you feel WEAK.
Don’t let your mind fool you with EXCUSES not to practice.
Every day, or as regularly as you can make it, return to your practice. Go back to practice. Stay with your practice.
Through the CHANGING STATES and moods of your body-mind, there’s always something you can OBSERVE, and maybe CONDUCT (keep your eyes open for my guide on how to conduct emotions in the body).
Sometimes it will be CONSCIOUS, sometimes it happens in the SUBCONSCIOUS and you’ll notice the difference later; issues in your life dissolved.
Seems like MAGIC. It’s the SCIENCE of yoga.
What does it look like?
Your practice may look different from time to time. It can be a strong and sweaty physical asana practice. Sometimes it’s lying completely still for 40 minutes. Another time 3 minutes breathing exercise.
Choose the practice you feel motivated and inclined to do.
If you don’t know, just pick one and try it out consciously.
When you feel like it; practice.
When you don’t feel like it; practice.
But NEVER FORCE yourself, always practice with non-violence and compassion (ahimsa in sanskrit). RESPECT your journey.
Why such dedicated practice? WHY practice when you already feel complete/flexible/calm/whatever enough and think yoga won’t do much difference?
Unless you’ve already attained samadhi (sanskrit for the highest state of meditative consciousness that can be obtained in the human body-mind), there’s always another layer of tension in the body – mind to let go of.
Your EGO (your conditioning and psychological defense mechanisms) wants to maintain status quo and stay in the familiar, even if it’s not serving you at all!
Yoga is a practice of SELF-INQUIRY. To know who you are underneath your ego, underneath your conditioning. To come back to yourself.
You do what you want and not as I say. You won’t do anything until you’re ready anyway (it took me several years to get into a steady, dedicated yoga practice).
And then still, in the words of K. Pattabhi Jois, the founder of ashtanga vinyasa yoga:
“Each morning wake up. Do as much yoga as you want. Maybe you’ll eat, maybe you’ll fast. Maybe you’ll sleep indoors, maybe you’ll sleep outdoors. The next morning, wake up. Do as much yoga as you want. Maybe you’ll eat, maybe you’ll fast. Maybe you’ll sleep indoors, maybe you’ll sleep outdoors. Practice yoga, and all is coming!”
Photo by istolethetv