I was an occasional yogi before my full on commitment to daily practice, so I relate really well to those who flirt with yoga. During 2000 – 2007 I practiced vinyasa yoga two or three times per week, to supplement my marathon running, and weight training, before making it a daily practice, and my primary mode of training in 2008. My main goal was to use vinyasa yoga as a recovery tool, and as a means to avoid training injuries. Over time, I grew into a yogi who became devoted to daily practice, after years of using it as a supplemental practice.
The good news is that an occasional or intermittent yoga practice can still bring many of the same benefits as a daily routine, without the commitment.
Think of it as “supplemental yoga practice”
An occasional or intermittent yoga practice refers to a pattern of yoga exercise that is not done daily or regularly, but rather is done sporadically or on an as-needed basis.
In contrast to daily or regular yoga practices, an occasional yoga practice offers more flexibility and adaptability, making it a great option for those who are unable to commit to a daily routine. An occasional yoga practice can be done at home, in a yoga studio, or in a park, depending on the individual’s preferences and resources.
Even with less frequent training, I will recommend scheduling your yoga exercise sessions, and committing to as much as a rhythm as possible. For example, you can take a 90 minute class every Saturday, follow a video on Tuesday and Thursday, or do 20 minutes of sun salutations every weekday. By having it on the calendar, and being rhythmic about your training, you can still gauge your progress, while training. Sporadic training keeps you at the same level, and in a constant plateau.
Yoga aligns the body, mind and spirit. Just a few occasional yoga sessions per week can help to increase flexibility, strength, posture, improve balance, and reduce the risk of injury.
The benefits of yoga
In addition to physical benefits, an occasional yoga practice can also bring significant mental and emotional benefits. Yoga has long been known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus and concentration, and promote feelings of calm and inner peace. The real teacher in yoga practice is the breath. When we coordinate conscious movement with intentional breath regulation, true insight comes to our mind. We are able to witness our own mind work, while maintaining a “wonderful sense of detachment.” This sense of non-attachment lifts the veil of reality so we can perceive the pure witness, or our own soul. We can glimpse the spirit, which opens up a sense of mystery and wonder in our lives.
Yoga Practice can be adapted to different levels of physical ability
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner, yoga can be modified to fit your individual needs and goals. For individuals with limited mobility or physical limitations, gentle or restorative yoga practices can be a great option, while those with more experience or looking for a challenge can engage in more intense practices such as vinyasa or power yoga.In addition, modifications and modifications can also be made to individual poses to accommodate different levels of physical ability. For example, props such as blocks, straps, or blankets can be used to help support the body and make poses more accessible. As you progress in your yoga practice and become more confident and comfortable, you can gradually increase the intensity and complexity of your practice to suit your changing needs and goals.
Be realistic and have fun
It’s important to set achievable goals with intermittent practice, and not overreach. Trying too hard, without the foundation of consistent practice can invite strain or injury. The key is to make time for this really interesting form of self care, which has some incredible benefits.
I recommend focusing on the breath and the mentally soothing effects of the practice. If you want to go deeper, you can always lean towards, and eventually fall into a daily practice, which offers really specific feedback for progressing.
With a little creativity and inspiration anyone can practice yoga, at the level that is appropriate for their current lifestyle life stage, and fitness levels.