Health Benefits of Yoga: How Long Does It Take to Truly See Results

There are so many claims of miracle transformations through practicing yoga. Sometimes it can seem like you'll have a total body metamorphosis in a week. But yoga isn't just about the results you can see in your physical form.

Key takeaways:
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    Yoga isn't just about the physical benefits.
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    You could notice a change in your well-being after just one class. Consistency is key.
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    You don't have to practice for hours every day to have a positive impact.
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    Online classes and in-person both give great results.

To truly reap the benefits of yoga, you will need consistent practice. You cannot have a healthy diet plan for only two weeks and expect your body to stay in shape. The same is true for yoga practice.

Let's deep dive into what it takes to truly see results and get the health benefits you want from yoga.

How often do I need to practice before seeing results in my body?

The best answer is: it depends. I wish it were possible to give a direct answer, but you must consider many other factors.

An already athletic person with a consistently healthy diet will likely notice the physical results reasonably quickly. With a regular practice of at least three times per week for a duration of 30 minutes minimum, you'd expect to see muscle definition and strength improvement within two to three months.

It may take a little longer if you have been on and off the diet train or are completely new to physical exercise. However, you will still be reaping the health benefits inside before your body begins to change.

So, what are the health benefits of yoga?

The benefits of a steady yoga practice are numerous. And it doesn't take that long to begin to notice the changes. You definitely don't have to be on your mat like it's a full-time job to start seeing the results.

According to acclaimed yoga teacher Heidi Kristoffer, practicing yoga once a week will allow you to focus on your breathing and be present and calm. She adds, "Being in the present moment gives you a total time-out from the rest of the world and resets your system."

Heading to a yoga studio or rolling your mat out at home for just an hour a week is a valuable experience. It's known to help with depression, anxiety and overwhelm.

What does the research tell us?

There is plenty of research to back up yoga's health benefits. A study of 113 psychiatric patients showed that all participants reported a significant improvement in depression, anxiety, anger and fatigue symptoms.

Another study showed that once-weekly yoga could improve your hamstring and spine mobility after only six weeks.

These studies show that even with a few yoga classes, you can begin to see a whole host of health benefits fairly quickly.

Are there any side effects?

Thankfully not! According to Lu, Yi-Hsueh, PhD et al., the only side effects you can expect are greater flexibility, better posture, improved balance, enhanced coordination, greater range of motion, higher strength, reduced levels of anxiety, and better gait.

A twelve-week study in Hong Kong showed that just three months of regular Hatha-style yoga significantly improved muscle density and cardiovascular performance.

If you want to improve in any of these areas, yoga could be a great practice. The health benefits of yoga are clear to see. And the research proves you don't have to wait years to start seeing results.

What are your yoga goals?

This is an essential question for you to consider. If you want to lose weight and tone up quickly, you'll need to commit to regular practice. Roll out that mat at least three times a week for an hour, and you could start to see a difference in as little as 30 days.

If you are looking for a reduction in stress and anxiety symptoms, then a once-weekly practice could be enough to notice an improvement. Hopefully, you'll be so pleased with your results that you'll practice more. The more you show up on your mat and commit to giving yourself that breathing space, the greater the shifts in your well-being will be.

For those who want to kickstart a yoga journey, you could try a 30-day challenge. These challenges will give you an incredible insight into what yoga can do for you - mind, body and spirit. Committing to a daily practice in this way will also help you to solidify a strong routine.

Feel stronger inside and out

Yoga isn't just about the physical results, although they do come in time. You can start to feel the inner benefits with just one yoga class. But don't stop there!

With regular practice, you'll become more attuned to your body's needs. You'll start to feel stronger in your body and mind.

Start gently. If you can't make it to a studio, you can fit your yoga into a busy schedule by taking classes online at home. Find classes that suit your ability. Give yourself time to learn. It won't be long before you begin to notice the results.

With a consistent commitment to your journey, you'll see the long-lasting health benefits of yoga in no time at all.

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