Can I Benefit from a 20 Minute Yoga Practice?

20 Minutes of Yoga a Day Benefits

I’m excited to write about this topic mostly because of initial resistance I had to such short yoga classes and the fact that I now so appreciate them. I want to address these 20 minute power yoga classes or for that matter any short class.

My initial resistance came from two places. The first place it came from was “dogma.” I had been initiated into yoga in a certain way and I felt the way I was initiated was best and all else inferior. Obviously, this mentality pervades most dogma whether it’s religious, or otherwise, and might actually be what “dogma” is. I am pretty open-minded and it didn’t take me long to notice that dogma and let it go. 

The other reason I resisted yoga for 20 minutes class was more practical, yet still ill-conceived. This reason had to do with what I just said--practicality. I came from a tradition of completeness. In other words, the Ashtanga yoga sequences I had originally learned and practiced were complete sequences in the sense that most all body parts and ranges of motion were addressed in each sequence. When the sequence was complete, I would be hard-pressed to imagine a body part or range of motion that wasn’t touched and cared for. This is something undoable within a 20 minute yoga stretch class or flow. My mentality was “why would I want to partake in a practice that wasn’t complete, that didn’t address everything?”

I do believe most all of us would like or appreciate the most complete and efficient type of exercise. Why would one want to partake in two, three or four different activities or what some might call cross training when you can accomplish it all in one activity? If nothing else, it certainly will save a lot of time! Well, firstly you can accomplish everything in a yoga flow for 20 minutes, and I know that seems to contradict all I just said but I will explain that in a moment. What you cannot do in these very short classes is touch all body parts and all ranges of motion, but what you can do is touch the five pillars of physical fitness. These five pillars are strength (tone), flexibility (suppleness), cardio, stamina and balance. 

You heard the old saying “you cannot care for something you do not touch.” So it is very important to touch it all if you want all to be well and as far as ranges of motion and body parts, you cannot fit all that into a 20 min. yoga routine. Yet, your short routine can include strength, stamina, flexibility, cardio, and balance. So, yes, in one way it’s complete but not the other way. 

So, being incomplete in at least the aspect of touching it all, how did I change my mind about my yoga for 20 min. being good enough for me? This was my epiphany: First and foremost a short class is better that no class, agreed? There is some benefit from short classes regardless of whether it is less thorough than a long class. It’s better to get some benefit than no benefit right? The truth is, sometimes there is just not enough time or energy to do a longer class. Yet, who said that my complete or my completely thorough yoga routine can’t be divided into two, three, four, or five yoga in 20 minutes for beginners (or any level) classes throughout the week? Who said you have to touch everything every day? That may actually be overkill.

So, now you can see how I have been able to broaden my perspective on these 20 minute yoga flow intermediate classes, beginner classes, or advanced (mature) classes.

Welcome to Bryan Kest Power Yoga where an open mind is even more important than an open body!