The Why and How to Do Yoga Twice a Day


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If you’ve ever been on a yoga retreat or even a workshop you’ve probably got first-hand experience of yoga twice a day. It isn’t very common in our more ‘normal’ daily lives. And so it is worth wondering whether we can do yoga twice a day.

Doing yoga twice a day is a personal choice, and as such, there are no counter-indications to practicing yoga this often. Generally, we want our yoga practice to feel good and to fit in with our daily lives and so make sure you listen to your body, rest enough, and eat well to fuel your practice.

I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years. In those years, the only times I practiced yoga twice a day was when I was on a yoga retreat, on a workshop or during my teacher training.

In those settings it made sense. You’re away from your daily life and all your responsibilities, and so you are generally more rested. In these settings, practicing a dynamic Ashtanga practice in the morning and a calming yin practice made total sense.

However, upon returning to ‘normal’ life, keeping up this practice schedule can be challenging.

And so from personal experience, I have found that there is a time and a place to doing yoga this often. It’s all about finding that time and pace in your own life and keeping it up if it feels right for you.

I will discuss the advantages and disadvantages or doing yoga twice a day. I will then discuss whether this is a good option for you given your lifestyle.

The Why and How to Do Yoga Twice a Day

Advantages Of Yoga Twice a Day

Yoga can be many things. It can be a physically demanding practice, it can be a calming and grounding Yin yoga practice, it can be a silent sitting practice and it can also be a pranayama practice. It can be a short 5 minutes and it can also be a long 2 hour session.

And so for this reason alone, yoga can be practiced twice a day. Why? Well because it can be mixed depending on what our needs are and of course, what our energy levels permit.

Increased wellbeing

The primary benefit of practicing yoga twice a day is that it will help increase your well-being. Imagine an energizing morning practice instead of a cup of coffee. And now imaging a grounding evening practice instead of a glass of wine.

These seemingly small changes can make all the difference to your well-being.

Becomes your routine

Doing yoga twice a day doesn’t have to mean long sweaty practices twice a day. It can be a short 10-minute practice in the morning and a short 10-minute evening practice. Think of it as a way of giving yourself some time to yourself.

I have so many mums that come to my classes who find that they don’t have any time for themselves.

And they tell me that it can be hard to find 1 hour each day to come to class. So I tell them to then think of it differently. A yoga session can even be just 5 minutes! Five minutes of sun salutations, of a headstand, or silent sitting really can do wonders compared to nothing at all.

Practice makes perfect

For yoga practitioners who may be working on certain poses, doing yoga twice a day can mean doing our regular daily practice and then working on specific poses in the evening.

For example, my morning practice is a dynamic Ashtanga yoga practice. And so in the evening I like to do some yin yoga to help stretch out certain parts of my body (e.g. hips). This in turn makes my morning practice that much easier.

Alternatively, I may do a practice in the morning (whether Ashtanga or Hatha), and then I may do a short meditation in the evening.

The important thing is to listen to your body and listen to your needs.

The options really are limitless!

Interestingly, I just wrote an article about whether yoga once a week is enough. And so there I was discussing the other end of the spectrum.

When practicing once a week, each time we step onto the mat may feel like the very first time. The reason is that our body may like it needs that much more time to really open up.

The exact opposite is true with yoga twice a day. Especially if we find practices that complement each other, both body and mind. However, it is important to be aware of any signs of fatigue as that may be our body’s way of telling us we’ve gone too far.

The Why and How to Do Yoga Twice a Day

Disadvantages Of Yoga Twice a Day

Interestingly, the same advantages described above can actually be disadvantages if you’re not an experienced yoga practitioner or if you don’t listen to your needs. And I’ll explain this in greater detail below.

Yoga fatigue can set in

I’ve been teaching yoga for 7 years now. In that time I’ve had the opportunity to work with many yoga practitioners, from complete beginners to more experienced yogis. Something many of us may experience during our yoga lifetime is yoga fatigue.

If you’ve never experienced it, it goes something like this: You start yoga and think to yourself “where has this been all my life?” You marvel at the physical and psychological benefits and can’t wait to go back to your next yoga class.

Then with time, your body starts to get used to the practice and you’re not seeing as many benefits. And this is the make-or-break time. This is when most beginners stop coming to class. And the sad thing is, this is when true yoga starts.

And so I have had yoga beginners so in love with the practice, that they came did yoga twice a day. Until they just stopped. Yoga had done its job, it had filled that gap, it had boosted that ego and then it was no longer needed.

As a teacher, it is sad to see this happen.

And so if you are interested in doing yoga twice a day, try to find a routine that you can continue in the long term. That of course, if you want to have a lifetime practice.

You may exhaust yourself

I’ve had students so in love with Ashtanga that they practiced it twice a day. And as expected, with time, they started to feel exhausted.

The advice I gave to these students was to keep us their dynamic ashtanga practice once a day and then try to do a more fascia stretching yin yoga practice in the evening. Or even a meditation so as to have a calming yin evening practice to ground their dynamic morning yang practice.

Feels like its all about yoga

Doing yoga twice a day requires significant dedication. It’s not easy to step on your mat twice per day, even if it’s only a few minutes each day. While I don’t think this would actually stop any yoga practitioner from doing this, it can be a burden on your general attitude about your practice.

Additionally, keep in mind that especially if you are found physical yoga practices twice a day you will have to space out your meals, so you are practicing on an empty stomach each time.

As a side note, I wrote an article on what to eat before and after yoga, so if you are looking for any ideas and inspiration, check it out!

The Why and How to Do Yoga Twice a Day

How To Do Yoga Twice A Day

When thinking about doing yoga twice a day, what to keep in mind is to consider your lifestyle. Think about the type of yoga you like to practice and take it from there.

Ideally, you will be matching a yin with a yang practice.

Yin practiceYang practice
Yin yogaAshtanga yoga
Restorative yogaVinyasa flow
Silent sittingPower yoga
PranayamaHatha yoga
Study

If you are interested in finding out more about these different types of yoga, make sure you check out the article I wrote: Beginner’s Guide To The Popular Types Of Yoga And Their Benefits.

When first considering doing yoga twice a day have a look at what interests you the most. If you have a dynamic practice that you love, then have a look at how to can add in a more calming yin practice to help complement it.

Alternatively, if you like grounding restorative-type practices, then consider adding a more dynamic practice so as to help you build some strength.

Additionally, consider what practices you are most drawn to.

For example, do you like more dynamic practices in the morning to help wake you and energize you for the rest of the day? Or do you prefer a dynamic afternoon class so as to breathe and sweat all the day’s stress away?

I’ve experienced both.

There was a time in my life when I wanted to do my Ashtanga practice in the afternoon as that is when my energy levels were at their highest. Now I prefer a late morning Ashtanga practice and a grounding meditation in the evening.

Here are some potential practices to try out:

MorningEvening
Option 1Ashtanga / Vinyasa flowYin yoga / Restorative yoga
Option 2Morning HathaMeditation / silent sitting
Option 3Meditation / silent sittingHatha / Vinyasa flow
Option 4Meditation / silent sittingYin yoga / Restorative yoga

Click on the links to take you to my Youtube practice videos that you can try out.

Give yourself enough time in between your yoga practices. You will not experience all the benefits of doing yoga twice a day if it starts to feel like a burden.

And so my advice to everyone is always to listen to their bodies and their needs. Is this something that makes you feel good and you feel you can keep it up? Great! Go for it! Are you feeling tired and really can’t be bothered? Well then give your body and mind a rest and return to any frequency of practice that feels right for you.

I hope this article will help answer any questions you may have about the potential benefits and disadvantages, as well as shed light on when you start to consider doing yoga twice a day.

What Does The Science Say?

When preparing this article I did some research to find any academic studies which had examined the effects of yoga twice a day.

I was able to find two studies!

Unfortunately, they didn’t research the effectiveness of yoga twice a day. However, it was interesting to see that yoga twice a day has been used in research.

The first study examined group vs individual yoga practices for patients with MS. Participants practiced yoga twice a day for 10-15 minutes for a total of 6 weeks.

The second study examined yoga as a treatment for hypertension. “The intervention group was instructed to perform a short home-based Kundalini-inspired yoga program for 15 min twice daily (just before getting out of bed in the morning and just before going to bed in the evening) during the 12-week intervention period.”

In both studies, they found these short yoga practices twice a day to have helped participants. And so from this, I hope you can see that a yoga practice can still be a practice even if it is just 10-15 minutes!

Conclusion

There really is no right or wrong answer here. It all depends on you and what feels good for you. Listen to your body, and to your needs, consult with a yoga teacher if you have one, and enjoy the journey. I really hope it is a long one!

Can we do yoga morning and evening?

As a general rule, you can do yoga in the morning and the evening, and as such, there are specialized morning and evening yoga practices. Morning yoga tends to be energizing, while evening yoga tends to be grounding. Generally, yoga can be practiced twice a day as long as it feels good.

How many times a day should you do yoga?

As a general rule, you can do yoga twice a day, as long as it feels good and fits into your lifestyle. Generally, morning practices tend to be more dynamic, so as to help wake you up end get you ready for the day ahead, while evening practices may be more grounding.

Can you do too much yoga?

You can indeed do too much yoga. This generally occurs when we stop listening to our bodies and strive to achieve poses. Soon enough fatigue and injuries appear and this is our body’s way of telling us we have gone too far. Aim to listen to your body and only do as much as feels right.

Is 2 hours of yoga a day too much?

Two hours of yoga a day is considered to be a long practice, and as such, this may be too long for most yoga beginners. Generally, more advanced yoga practitioners build up their endurance and may in fact crave a long 2 hour practice, whether it be a sweaty Ashtanga practice or a calming yin practice.

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Alexia Koletsou

Alexia Koletsou is a Level 1 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher with a Ph.D. in Science Communication. She received her blessing to teach Ashtanga Yoga in 2019, from the Sri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India, where she has had the honor of practicing with R. Sharath Jois multiple times over the years. She is the owner of her own Shala in Greece and now shares her knowledge on yogamyoldfriend.com and her YouTube channel Alexia K Yoga.

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