2 Hours Of Yoga A Day (Everything you need to know)


I’ve just finished my yoga session, made myself a cup of coffee, and I’m about to write an article to help you understand can you do yoga for 2 hours per day?

You can do 2 hours of yoga per day, as long as you have some previous experience with yoga. People who are just getting started may find it difficult to do 2 hours of yoga in one session because it requires a tremendous amount of strength, stamina, and flexibility.

But at the same time, it will depend on several factors like your energy levels, the intensity of the class, time of the day, and your overall fitness level.

Two Hours Of Yoga Daily

Make no mistake, doing 2 hours of yoga per day is a challenging task. Even if you’re experienced in doing yoga. Because it means you need to either repeat the whole class or you simply spend extra time on some individual asanas.

Who can do 2 hours of yoga a day? People who are already experienced can benefit from doing 2 hours of yoga per day. After few months of practice, the body gets used to biomechanical adaptations that happen after the yoga session. It improves the clearance of lactic acid and can recover quicker.

On the other hand, beginners will respond differently to the same duration of the class. For people who are just getting used to yoga, the body takes longer to clear out all the pro-inflammatory compounds like myoglobin and creatine kinase that cause muscle soreness.

How many hours should I do yoga a day? In general, you should do a minimum of 30 minutes to one hour of yoga per day to see good results. People who are new to yoga should start by doing a 30-minute session. However, people who are already experienced can do even up to 1 to 2 hours per day.

Naturally, if you’ve done yoga for a while you need some ways to step up, make it more intense, and create a progressive overload. Otherwise, you won’t be getting stronger or more flexible.

What is Progressive Overload?

Progressive overload is the way to gradually increase the effort of the workouts over a period of time to stimulate training adaptations. This can be done by increasing the intensity, volume, number of repetitions, number of sets, or duration of a workout.

Progressive overload is been used in all types of sports (running, weight lifting). In yoga, there are several ways to create a progressive overload. This means you can:

  • Increase the time in which you hold the asana. This is typically done by the number of deep breaths you take while you stay in the pose (5, 10, even 20 or more breaths).
  • Increase the total duration of the session. Instead of doing 1 hours session, you can progress to doing 2 hours of yoga a day.
  • Increase the total frequency of the sessions. Instead of doing 1 single session per week, you increase into 3-4 sessions per week.
  • Introduce new and more challenging versions of the poses. For example, switching from doing a crane pose where you place both knees outside of the triceps into a one-legged crane pose where you keep one leg straight and hold your weight on just one side.
  • Completing the whole sequence in a shorter period of time. If your yoga program involves 50 poses that you normally do in 60 minutes, then finishing the whole sequence in just under 45 minutes is also progression.
  • Completing the whole sequence at the same time but with more poses. If your yoga program involves 60 asanas that you normally do in 60 minutes, then adding extra 10-15 poses to your program and finishing the whole sequence in 60 minutes.

Is it OK to do yoga 2 hours a day? In general, it is ok to do 2 hours of yoga a day because it is one of the ways to implement progression and make the current regular yoga practice more intense. Extending the duration of a session is one of the many ways to get better results.

Is It Safe To Do 2 Hours Of Yoga A Day?

It is safe to do two hours of yoga per day. People who are ready to progress from the current duration they are already doing, usually know their body and their limits. However, for beginners, it is not recommended to start doing a 2-hour session right from the start.

This recommendation comes from experience. I still remember when I was brand new to yoga and couldn’t even keep my legs straight when doing downward facing dog. I also remember that a 45-minute yoga session was more than enough for my body.

Over time, the same amount of work was getting easier and easier so I was confident to progress and increase the duration.

In fact, that is what I always recommend to my clients. I work with many people who have several mobility restrictions and almost always yoga is the first choice of exercise. Most of my clients have never done yoga before. I can see that immediately just from looking at their range of motion.

Is 2 Hours of Yoga Too Much?

In general, doing 2 hours of yoga isn’t too much because it’s a way of progressing the intensity of the session. Also, each pose in yoga can be adjusted and modified, so depending on how you feel, you can either increase the intensity or down-regulate when needed.

There are several ways how you can do a two-hour-a-day yoga session, depending on which component of the class you want to focus on. In the typical yoga class, you have breathing practice (pranayama), yoga poses (asanas), or meditation practice (savasana).

  • Breathing practice. On some days you can use extra time not to go all out for the physical aspects of the class but to relax and focus on the breathing practice. Studies have shown that regular practice of pranayama can enhance ventilatory functions, decrease blood pressure and reduce anxiety (source).
  • Meditation practice. Another way of progressing into 2 hours a day is by spending additional time for meditation. The practice of meditation has become more and more popular, especially in the US. Meditation simply means coming to awareness of the present moment.
  • Splitting session into two. Instead of doing one 2 hour a day yoga session, you can break it down and divide it into two separate workouts done on the same day. I won’t be covering here the benefits of doing two yoga sessions a day. I’ve already done that in “Yoga Twice A Day“, which I suggest you read.

So as you can see, doing two hour yoga session can be done in many different ways.

How Many Calories I Burn During 2 Hours Of Yoga

In two hours of yoga, you can burn between 260 to 760 calories, depending on the type of yoga, intensity, and your current body weight. People who weigh 140 lbs will burn anywhere from 260 – 535 kcal, where people who weigh 200 lbs can burn between 38 – 764 kcal.

For more details, please have a look at the table below where I’ve included all the breakdown for calories burned in 2 hours during different component of yoga session.

Part of yoga140 LBS170 LBS200 LBS
Pranayama267325382
Hatha yoga334406477
Sun salutation441535630
Power yoga535649764
Comparison of calories burned during 2 hours of different elements of yoga (source)

So basically depending on how you spend your time will impact on your calories. As you can see from the table above, a 170-pound person, who is doing Power yoga will burn 240 kcal more, comparing to do Hatha yoga.

In Power yoga, you have more advanced and more challenging poses which all call for greater energy demand and effort.

What Results Can I Expect From 2 Hours Of Yoga?

In general, from doing 2 hours of yoga a day you can expect to see better energy levels, increased metabolic rate, improved strength and flexibility, reduced stress, and better overall well-being. How much results you get will depend on your consistency and the style of yoga you do.

If you keep intensity too low then even doing 2 hours may not be enough to see some decent results. In fact, I know people who do more than that but struggle to get better because they don’t go hard enough.

On the other hand, I know people who do 2-hours of yoga as a way to “deload” from other forms of training (long-distance running, cycling, triathlon, gymnastics). In that case, sometimes 2 hours of yoga maybe not enough.

Is 2 hours of yoga a day enough? For most people doing 2 hours of yoga a day is more than enough. People who practice yoga with medium to high intensity get a lot of results from even 60 minutes. However, people who don’t keep their intensity high enough probably won’t see any more results from extra time.

Conclusion

People who are new to yoga may find that doing 2 hours a day is too much. However, if you have some experience behind your belt, and you feel confident in designing your own yoga routine, then you can definitively add extra time as a way of creating progressive overload.

In summary, doing 2 hours a day yoga isn’t the only way to make your workouts more challenging. There are many ways to skin the cat and the duration of the session is just one variation.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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