One thing I’ve noticed since I returned to yoga is just how much time it takes up. It’s hard to believe that I used to go every single day to a 90-minute class, often fighting my way though thirty minutes of traffic in L.A. just to get to class, and then another thirty minutes to get home! Many adults complain about not having enough time to exercise, and I sometimes wonder about this since you could, say, go for a 3-mile run 5 times a week without putting a dent in your schedule. But yoga is different; it takes up a huge chunk of your day to practice at a yoga studio. How does anyone manage to have a regular practice?
Just practicing twice a week at the local studio, I am devoting 5 hours per week to my yoga practice. It takes about 20 minutes for me to walk to the studio (15 if I really book it), I’m in class for 90 minutes, and then another 20 minutes to walk back home. Add in additional time for chit-chat at the studio, showering, getting changed, and that’s easily another 20 minutes, which brings the total to about 2.5 hours for one yoga class.
Now if you go 7 days a week, as I used to, that’s a whopping 17.5 hours per week devoted to yoga! That’s a full waking day (and then some) for most adults. Spread that out over a year, and you’re looking at some 55-60 waking days spent doing yoga. Or two full months!
This was my yoga schedule when I used to live in L.A. I can’t say that I regret having spent so much time doing yoga. It’s just that now, after having taken some time away from the mat, it seems astounding to me that a human being would ever spend that much time doing yoga. Going twice a week is already a considerable time commitment. Today, I can’t fathom going 7 times a week.
I know, however, that I need to increase the regularity of my practice to really start enjoying the benefits of yoga. So my immediate goal is to increase my practice to 3 times a week, but this has proven challenging. Part of the problem is the lack of weekend classes at the studio where I practice. You pretty much have one class a day you can go to on Saturdays and Sundays. If you miss those classes, you’re out of luck until Monday.
In addition, I’m having trouble justifying the amount of time I’d be spending on yoga if I went 3 times a week. Somehow, I used to have no problem spending hours and hours at the yoga studio. It was my second home. Nowadays, though, I feel like going to the yoga studio is a luxury and an indulgence. When I’m there, I often find myself thinking about all the things I could be doing instead of yoga. I often feel guilty before and after class for “wasting” so much time. I’m not sure how my attitudes changed so much, but they have. Maybe this worrying and anxiety about doing yoga is just further proof that I need to spend more time doing it, not less.