One of the most frequently asked questions by beginning yogis is about yoga postures. There is no definitive answer to this, since there are many factors that influence when deciding on the duration. However, let’s ask this question to yourself: How Long Do You Hold A Yoga Pose? Let’s go.
Also, there are many different ways to practice yoga. It all depends on how you feel at the moment and what works best for you . Therefore, this is an issue that can vary from day to day.
In yoga classes, the teacher will establish the ideal duration for each asana. However, doubts may arise when we practice yoga at home. Therefore, in this article we will try to shed some light on this topic.
Factors that determine How Long Do You Hold A Yoga Pose
There is no set number of minutes to maintain a yoga posture. However, it is customary to hold 1 to 2 breaths for more than 5 minutes. But this depends on the type and focus that is given to the practice of yoga.
Some days you may want to do a faster session, in which you only hold the asana during one breath, while others prefer to recreate yourself in a single pose for 5 minutes to achieve a more restful effect .
There are many factors that determine the decision to prolong a certain yoga pose. Ideally, hold it for a minimum of one full inhalation and exhalation.
Keep in mind that each breath should be done slowly , making sure to completely fill your lungs before exhaling.
List of key questions to ask yourself before starting your practice .
- How do you feel today?
Ask yourself this question before starting your session every day , since you can get the answer to your questions from it. Do you feel that your mind is saturated with disordered thoughts? Does your heart beat fast? Do you feel muscles tense somewhere in the body?
If you are tired and need energy or, conversely, you are exalted and looking to calm down, the duration of the asana will vary. If you want to relax, you will have to hold the pose for a longer time .
- Do you suffer any injury?
It is very important that you pay attention and listen to your body so that you do not injure yourself again. Yoga can be very suitable to recover from an injury, since there are so many variations in the poses that you can adopt the one that benefits you the most .
Depending on the type of injury you suffer, it could be beneficial to maintain the postures for a longer time and thus slowly and progressively stretch the affected muscles.
Do not forget, that the most important thing in these cases is to follow the recommendations and obtain the approval of a doctor before getting down to business.
- What are your goals in yoga?
When we go into the practice of yoga, each of us usually has different goals . Some people seek to gain some flexibility, others lose or gain weight, while another group would like to gain muscle mass.
But these are just goals related to the physical benefits that yoga brings. Perhaps what you are looking for is focused on achieving inner well-being, you may want to learn to live consciously or simply breathe correctly .
Therefore, to know how long you should maintain a posture, you have to be clear about your short-term goals.
- What is your intention in this practice?
Whether you want to sweat and do intense exercise or need to relax, the exercise will be tailored to your needs. If you hold the poses for a short time, you will create more energy ; whereas if you do it for a longer time, it will help you to relax before going to bed.
Your long-term intentions are also important. Why have you started with this practice? Many are looking for a change of lifestyle to a healthier one.
Others have heard of the benefits of yoga to control anxiety and depression. You may also want to maintain a healthy weight or prevent injury as you age.
How often do you do yoga? Or put another way, how much time do you have to practice?
It is recommended that you make the effort to dedicate time to yoga at least once a day . You may have an hour and a half free to attend a class or to practice at home.
On the contrary, you may have a very busy day and can only spend a few minutes before going to sleep. Be that as it may, try to dedicate, even if it is only 5 minutes to a pose. Your mind and body will thank you.
Benefits of maintaining a posture for a long time
Staying in one pose for a longer period of time brings many benefits, both physically and mentally. Some of them are:
- Build strength .
While staying in certain yoga poses, such as the Downward Facing Dog or Warrior 1, the muscles work together to hold the asana, making them stronger.
- Create stability and balance
The longer you can breathe in a pose, the more stability and balance you will gain.
- Find the correct alignment for your body
When you hold a pose you have time to build it from the bottom up, and to find the correct alignment.
- It lengthens the muscles
As you hold yourself in positions such as the Pincer or the Pigeon, the muscles and connective tissue begin to stretch and lengthen smoothly. This will keep them in good shape.
- Build flexibility .
Yoga is an exercise that allows you to lengthen and strengthen your muscles, which makes you more flexible while keeping your joints in shape to prevent injuries.
Benefits of maintaining a pose for a short time
Similarly, maintaining a posture for 1 or 2 breaths offers a different set of benefits than the previous ones:
- Improves cardiovascular health
By linking the postures after a few breaths, the heart rate is increased, which could improve heart health.
- Accelerates metabolism
As you move through a fast-paced yoga sequence, your body heats up and your metabolism kicks in.
- Fat is burned
When you continuously move from one pose to another, your body begins to sweat and burn fat.
- Increase resistance
As you flow, you learn to connect your breathing with movement, so more and more you can keep moving for a longer period of time without feeling tired.
How Long Do You Hold A Yoga Pose according to the type of yoga?
Depending on the type of yoga you practice, there is a customary period of time during which you are supposed to hold each pose to reap the full benefits.
Although each practice can be modified , these are just some guidelines that can serve as a guide for the practice:
- Ashtanga yoga: 5 breaths per asana
Ashtanga is another type of yoga that focuses on breathing and movement . It is a very disciplined practice in which there are 5 series. All practitioners must master each pose in one set before moving on to the next.
This practice improves concentration and endurance, while reducing stress and anxiety. It also strengthens muscles and reduces blood pressure .
- Vinyasa yoga: 1 to 5 breaths per posture
Vinyasa yoga focuses on connecting breathing with movement and targeting large muscle groups . Among its benefits, we found that it could increase heart rate and improve cardiovascular health, which can sometimes lead to weight loss.
Vinyasa yoga also helps transport energy throughout the body. Connects the mind and body, improves concentration, increases strength and endurance .
- Yin Yoga: 5 minutes per asana
Yin yoga focuses on the deep connective tissue and fascia, as well as the joints . The poses are practiced almost exclusively on the floor and focus on the hips, pelvis, inner thighs, and lower spine.
This type of yoga goes deep into the muscle tissue, so it can improve range of motion and circulation . It also serves to calm anxiety, decrease stress and balance body and mind.
- Restorative yoga: 5-20 minutes per asana
Restorative yoga is a relaxation class made up of passive stretches . This type of yoga uses accessories and offers deep relaxation throughout the body and muscles.
With this practice you will learn to calm your mind and reduce stress and anxiety, while promoting deep relaxation and preparing you for meditation . It also relaxes the joints and muscles, improves flexibility and range of motion.
As you have been able to verify, it is best to listen to your body, because your needs can change every day. The most important thing is to take note of what is happening in your mind and body.
Also, the more styles of yoga you practice, the more mental and physical benefits you will experience.
Therefore, the duration of the asana depends on what your body is looking for and the type of yoga you practice. That is, there is no right or wrong number of breaths you have to do, just listen to your body .
Final Advices and Summary
Here are some useful tips to make your yoga practice a pleasant experience. Many Hatha Yoga practitioners often wonder how long each posture should be held?
During the process of maintaining yoga poses, there really isn’t a definite time for each movement. The posture should be maintained as long as you are comfortable and do not cause any pain or discomfort.
Also, it should be fairly easy to breathe deeply and completely while holding each yoga pose.
There is a misconception that pain can be felt during a pose; However, it is best for the person who is practicing yoga, just hold the position as long as there is no pain, and feel completely comfortable.
If so, you can hold the pose for a few minutes. In fact, for restoration purposes , it is recommended to hold the postures at 60 second intervals , while practicing deep breathing. Deep breathing helps open nerves and stretch the spine.
Another way to determine how long the position should be maintained is to inhale and exhale, up to five times during the process of maintaining a posture , but only if the position can be maintained without discomfort.
Remember, the main goal is to be able to achieve the pose, while maintaining a comfortable position. Understanding safety during the practice of physical yoga is vital to achieve these postures, so as not to cause any harm to the body.
It is crucial to understand that Hatha Yoga is not a race, and taking the time to do the poses correctly is much more important than maintaining a pose for a long period of time.
There are some asanas that are not meant to be held for several minutes . It is not always true that holding a pose for an extended amount of time is better.
For example, the Peacock Pose (Mayurasana) , the Eagle Pose (Garudasana) , and the Raven Pose (Kakasana) , are the asanas that should not be performed for a long time, due to their ability to cause internal tension or external.
All meditative postures, however, can be maintained for long periods of time , without any complications. For these types of postures, it is actually beneficial to maintain them without taking a break.
These poses are the Easy Pose (Sukhasana) , the Pose of the Dead (Shavasana) , and The Lightning Pose (Vajrasana) .
These asanas are intended to strengthen the mind and spirit, while toning the body, progressively and safely.
If you are not present in the pose long enough, the mind does not evolve in yoga poses and we will be practicing gymnastics instead of receiving the benefits of practicing yoga. So the only part of our body that is going to be working is the external one.
Average times of 30 seconds to 1 minute are initially recommended . But as the body responds without violating it, they must remain a little longer in the positions, in order to breathe in the position, perceive themselves and balance.
And make the mind in its deepest layers begin to surface in the posture. That is why the permanence cap is measured rather by the state of the body and the state of mind of the practitioner , but they are not barriers that do not have to be passed.
In summary, when to unhold a yoga posture?
By following these tips, you can see that in most asanas, you can be guided by your comfort, avoiding pain. There are others that are not meant to be done for several minutes.
The last group called meditation or rest can be done for long periods of time. As an important additional recommendation, always follow the advice of a qualified yoga instructor; what will make your yoga practice a safe experience, thus maximizing its benefits.