Rest days are just as important as training days.
In life we require a certain level of balance, like Yin and Yang– one without the other wouldn’t be much good! A balance is the key to everything things like the type of foods we eat, how much we work and play, hang socially as well as get some alone time, in yoga every practice deserves a shavasana mediation (corpse pose). Exercise is one of the keys to a healthy long life; but in order to replenish the body, it is essential to take rest in order to give the body a chance to recover!
Your body needs a chance to catch up to the stresses you put on it. Rest is essential to replenish fluid loss, repair damaged tissues and restore energy. Just as your body needs a break, your mind also needs a chance to catch up so that you don’t get a mentally burned out or de-motivated.
Over training can leave you depleted! Rest days help to prevent overuse related injuries and without adequate recovery time the body will continue to break down, resulting in decreased performance, increased risk of injury, malaise and even depression.
How often should you rest? This depends on you entirely! My yoga guru taught me one of the greatest pieces of advice… “Listen to your body and where are you today, not yesterday, not 6 months or 6 years ago, but TODAY, with no judgement.” ~ Ganga White
Keep a basic training log or as I call it, my fit diary so that you know what you’ve accomplished!
Training and rest days depend on things like: 1) What your fitness goals are, 2) Your physical condition today, 3) The type of training (restorative yoga vs power/vinyasa flow yoga, walking 4 miles vs a 45 minute spin class), 4) The frequency (how often) 5) Length of training sessions
Adaptation and Change:Once your body adapts to any given physical stress, it requires additional stress to continue to make progress and thus make change happen!! If you want to make positive changes in your body and/or achieve a higher level of fitness, rest is vital so that you can push yourself harder next time. This means you need to pay attention to what’s going on and tune into your body, push your limits and take rest when needed.