How Long Does It Take To See Results From Yoga?

Although yoga is known for its relaxing, rejuvenating flows, its benefits go far beyond calming the mind and stretching the body. For some, yoga can be the perfect way to build muscle, shed fat, improve sleep, target flexibility, and much more, all with low-impact activity!

Key Points:

  • Yoga can take as little as two weeks to start seeing results.
  • It typically takes 6-8 weeks for strength and muscle improvements and 4-8 weeks for increased muscle definition.
  • To maximize results from a yoga practice, it’s important to have a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and get adequate sleep each night.

So, if you find yourself turning to yoga, how long will you need to wait to see results? It varies based on your expectations and factors specific to you, but most people see results within four to twelve weeks. This article outlines average time frames for various types of results, so continue reading to learn more!

When Will I Start To See Results From Yoga?

On average, it takes individuals about six to eight weeks to begin seeing noticeable results from yoga. However, the time it’ll take to see results from your yoga practice hinges on the type of results you’re hoping to see.

Yoga offers widespread benefits and improvements in various aspects of your life. Depending on the results you expect from your yoga practice, it might take less or more than six to eight weeks to see noticeable results.

Weight Loss

Many individuals turn to yoga as a low-impact form of exercise for weight loss. Unlike action-packed HIIT (high-intensity interval training) featuring intense plyometric training, yoga offers a gentler approach to exercise. Don’t be fooled by the low-impact approach – yoga can be incredibly intense!

So, how long will it take you to lose weight with regular yoga practice? For many folks, the pounds begin to fall off within a couple of weeks! That’s right – it could be as little as two weeks before you start to see the number on the scale drop!

Of course, the rate at which you lose weight will hinge on factors specific to you. For example, if you have a low body fat percentage, it’ll likely take longer to shed those last few pounds. On the flip side, if you have a higher body fat percentage, you might begin to see the results more quickly.

In addition, other aspects of your life will affect your weight loss progress. You need to ensure you get plenty of quality sleep each night, as this can affect your weight loss journey. Prioritize a healthy diet packed with protein and remember to stay hydrated, as a poor diet and dehydration will steal your results.

Strength Improvements

For many folks, yoga offers noticeable strength improvements within eight to twelve weeks. In some cases, it might take a little less or more time, but it depends on the individual and how much they practice.

On average, it takes around 16 workouts to notice strength adaptations. You’ll probably notice certain flows or poses might not be as challenging as they once were. You might notice the differences in your advancements, too. For example, you might struggle to hold the boat pose when you initially start your yoga practice. After several weeks, you might find the boat pose to be too easy, so you advance to the extended boat pose, which challenges your core even more!

As you continue practicing regularly, you’ll begin to notice minor (but exciting!) strength improvements throughout your practice. Challenging your body through muscle-burning poses can be frustrating, especially when you don’t feel up to practicing or feel weaker than usual. However, with regular practice, your hard work will pay off, and you’ll begin to notice improvements throughout your body.

Increased Muscle Definition

Women Doing Yoga

If sleek, defined muscles are your goal, you can expect to wait four to eight weeks before your efforts become visible. Again, it may take more or less time based on factors specific to you, but this is the average range.

For example, if you have a higher body fat percentage, you might need a bit longer to shed extra fat before your hard-earned muscle tone begins to show. Conversely, individuals with lower body fat percentages might see the results of their efforts sooner. It all depends on you!

Remember, to see results in your muscle definition; you must remain dedicated to improving your body in and out of the yoga studio. This means you must prioritize your overall health, so remember to drink plenty of water, prioritize restful sleep, and focus on a healthy diet with adequate protein.

As you continue working toward your muscle-building goals, you’ll begin to notice the effects! Bonus: yoga can actually help build stronger bones, too!

Better Balance

When you start practicing yoga multiple times per week, you might notice you’re particularly wobbly in certain poses. You might struggle to remain balanced in certain postures, so you may need to use a chair (or something similar) for balance. This is entirely normal, especially for newbies.

If your goal is to improve your overall balance, you can expect to see results within four to eight weeks. Balance goes hand-in-hand with strength, mobility, and flexibility, so as you improve in those aspects, your balance should improve.

Everybody is different, so it might take longer to achieve better balance. As you progress through your training, try challenging your body in poses requiring balance.

For example, consider the balancing table pose. If you struggle to balance in this pose, start by keeping your floating arm and leg out, but touching the ground. When you begin, you might need to have some weight in these limbs, but as you practice, try to shift all of your weight out of these limbs.

When you’re ready, lift the floating arm and leg up. Hold them up for a few breaths, then lower them if you begin to wobble. As you build strength and flexibility, challenge yourself to hold the pose longer before resting. Eventually, challenge yourself to hold the pose for five deep, even breaths.

Better Sleep

Perhaps your draw to yoga is better sleep quality. After all, a few nights of poor-quality sleep is enough to cause ripple effects throughout your entire life (poor mood, low energy, etc.), so you might turn to yoga for better sleep.

The effects of a calming yoga practice might kick in immediately, helping you fall asleep quicker than usual. The effects of yoga vary for every individual but can be incredibly beneficial for individuals who struggle with conditions like insomnia or other sleep disorders. Yoga aids in calming the mind and regulating the breath, which may allow you to drift into restful sleep easier.

Numerous studies demonstrate the correlation between yoga and improved sleep quality. For example, a national survey said that over 55% of individuals who practice yoga get better sleep, and over 85% reported that yoga helped reduce stress (which can affect sleep quality).

Of course, you’ll need to choose the right type of yoga to help your body wind down. Harvard Health encourages poses that relieve stress and tension, like wide-knee child’s pose, standing forward bend, and reclining bound angle.

Flexibility Improvements

Yoga Stretching

Like most benefits of yoga, the rate at which you see flexibility results hinges on factors specific to you, like your age, consistency, and frequency of practice. Some folks notice improved flexibility within three to six weeks, while others might need months to see noticeable improvements.

Small improvements, like being able to touch your knees instead of your thighs in a forward fold, usually happen in a few weeks. However, significant improvements, like connecting the forehead to the knee in the Intense Side Stretch, can take years to happen.

So, it depends on the results you hope to see. If you’re hoping to touch your knees instead of your thighs in a forward fold, you might notice results in a month or two. However, if you’re hoping for dramatic improvements, you’ll likely need years of consistent, disciplined practice.

How Often Should I Do Yoga To See Results?

The number of times you practice yoga each week dramatically affects how quickly you see results. So, how many times per week should you roll out your yoga mat? Ideally, you should practice at least three times per week to notice results from your practice. As you build strength, you can increase your practice frequency to five times per week.

Generally, practicing more than five times per week doesn’t reap faster improvements, as the body needs time to recover. If you opt for challenging yoga classes, try to incorporate at least one gentle class (like restorative forms of yoga) each week to facilitate relaxation and recovery.

How Long Should I Practice Yoga Each Day To See Results?

We know you should practice at least three times weekly to see results, but how long does each session need to be? If you have the time, try to practice for 30 to 60 minutes in each session. You don’t need to practice yoga for hours each day to see results.

While a 30 to 60-minute session length is ideal, don’t stress if you don’t have this amount of time to devote to yoga. Even a short, 15-minute session will work! While it might take longer to see results from the shorter practice sessions, you can easily work with the time you have.