When I do yoga it's usually for 10-20 minutes and with YouTube classes. Will this way of practicing yoga actually have any effect? Christina R.
I think people have an incorrect assumption of what “yoga” is. There always seems to be “not enough time” or “not enough money,” but you, Christina, help me to illustrate that those excuses are pretty poor, because as long as you can breathe and have a body, you’re ready to do yoga.
Whether you’re going to a 90-minute advanced class at a local studio or loading up YouTube to do a 15-minute flow, you are doing yoga. As far as I’m concerned, there aren’t any rules as to how long you must practice or what kind of clothes you’re wearing or whether you’re alone or with a group of people. If you are dedicating even just a minute of your time, space, energy, and breath to yourself (your body, your movement, your spirit), you’re doing yoga.
As for what is “enough,” that question is completely situational and dependent upon who you are and what your intents are when you roll out your mat. In my opinion, that short time in your day that you are promising to sit, relax, and breathe can certainly be enough, because you are deliberately feeding yourself with these delicious tools to help center your own being.
Now, if you’re looking to be able to touch your toes to your head while standing on your hands, you might need to dedicate some more time to your practice (and I highly suggest going to a studio to work with a licensed teacher to do such a thing!).
There are so many different levels we can reach with our yoga practice, but, as I’ve mentioned, even just a few intentional breaths to attain calmness and stillness is going to positively impact your life. Christina, I’m sure that you can attest to the fact that even those 10-20 minutes of a YouTube yoga class help to brighten you up and make you feel better, right? So how could you be doing any harm at all? You are allowing yourself to be effected by this time you’re dedicating, so keep it up. If you’re able to up your time on your mat each day, do it! Figure out what makes you feel good, and make it an ever-going journey and gift to unwrap every time you begin your practice.
Remember that yoga doesn’t just mean getting on a mat and stretching into downdog. Your practice could be a daily meditation, or deep breathing in the car on your way to work. Don’t be harsh on yourself because you’re not able to slip into tight pants and touch your toes on a long piece of rubber. Explore what your yoga means to you, (practicing nonviolence, doing a good deed, etc.), and bathe in it!