How long should you hold a yoga pose?

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Two women's are holding long yoga pose

How Long Should You Hold A Yoga Pose?

Yoga is a peaceful relaxing practice that is beneficial not only for our body but your minds as well. It will protect you from a lot of diseases and keep you active and fresh. But this practice of yoga can turn into a nightmare if you are holding a pose for more than normal time and getting your bodies exhausted. It just defeats the purpose of this whole ordeal.

On the other hand, you do not want to be the one that is holding a 10-minute pose for 40 seconds only. So, the question arises, how long should you hold a yoga pose? Well, let me answer this question for you.

Table of Contents

Factors Influencing the duration of your yoga pose

A lot of factors can influence the duration of your yoga pose. Some of the major physiological determinants are:

1. YOUR AGE AND HEALTH STATUS

The human body is at the peak of its performance in its youth. So, if you are at extremes of age i.e. too old or too young then your ability to hold a yoga pose will be less than a young adult.

Similarly, your health status can affect the timing of your pose to a great extent. For example, if you are ill then definitely your energy will be down and you would not be able to indulge in yoga for much longer.

2. YOUR STAMINA

Everyone has different bodily strength and capabilities. That is why it takes some people more time to do something than others of the same age and physique. It all comes down to individual stamina, which can be increased by practice and motivation.

3. YOUR MENTAL STATE

Believe it or not, but your mental health has a lot of influence on your ability to hold a yoga pose. If you are mentally healthy and tension-free, you can hold a pose for more duration as compared to when you are mentally disturbed and distracted.

4. YOUR MOTIVATION

Last but not least, your motivation behind doing yoga is very important. If you are focused on your goal then nothing can budge you and you can do yoga more profoundly. So, dig that motivation of yours and channel your inner strength.

Normal Duration of a yoga pose

There is no hard and fast rule here. The normal duration of a yoga pose varies from individual to individual and pose to pose.

  • Yes, not every yoga pose has the same duration for one person.
  •  Similarly, not every person has to hold the same yoga pose for the same amount of time.
  • But still, if you want to learn an optimum value then most of the experts recommend that one should hold a yoga pose for at least 2 to 4 breaths or thirty seconds minimum.

Advantages of holding yoga pose for a long time:

When you hold a pose for a long time, it builds patience as
well as muscle strength. You get to work on your balance and alignment when you
are holding a pose for more than a minute. Surely, it can be a little tiring
but it helps in lengthening your muscles and creating flexibility. When you are
in a long yoga pose, you go into a meditation state that helps get a perfect
calmness and self-awareness. 

Advantages of holding a yoga pose for a short time

Some yoga poses are meant to be held for a brief time because they are more fruitful in that manner. Not only do they improve your heart and muscles but you can burn some fat in this way as well. If you do not exert yourself and just focus on living the moment, you will not get bored and will look forward to your yoga time.

It is also good for your stamina and internal metabolism. 

More is not always better

More might be better in case of money or food etc. But that is not the case with yoga. The main purpose of yoga is to get in touch with your inner self and get peace and calmness. So, if you try to overdo yourself, then that completely defeats the purpose of the whole practice. Do try to reach excellence, but as long as it is comfortable and peaceful. Do not overexert yourself. 

Moreover, just like we discussed that sometimes holding a pose for a short amount of time can be more beneficial for you. So, keep that in mind as well.

Some famous yoga styles and their optimum timing

Since I am advocating that each yoga pose is meant to be held for a different period. So, I thought why not provide you with a short manual that can help you in knowing the exact timing for each yoga pose.

1. BIKRAM YOGA

26 poses, 108 degrees temperature, and a 90-minute class, all these go for this amazing yoga practice introduced by an Indian American yogi named Bikram. His yoga is famous for its hot environment and consistent poses. This yoga is extremely beneficial for weight loss and detoxification purposes. It also increases your endurance level.

  • The optimum time for Bikram yoga is 1 minute dedicated to each pose. But there are 26 poses, let me break down the time for each one of them.
  • 1 minute to inhale and 1 minute for exhaling, that’s what you are supposed to do for the initial 13 poses.
  • For the next few poses involving forward bending, you need to dedicate thirty seconds to padahastaasana and twenty for the eagle one.
  • The next three standing poses are supposed to last for 10 to sixty seconds each,
  • The longest pose is the corpse pose that is for 2 minutes
  • The next three poses are for 10 seconds each. While, the ending poses floor bow and fixed firm, which are supposed to last for 20 and 40 seconds respectively.
  • You do all these poses for exactly 90 minutes.

2. YIN YOGA

If you want to have a flexible body with an excellent circulation then this yoga is for you. According to experts, you need to spend at least five minutes for each of the poses included in yin yoga. Of course, if you can spend more than five minutes without tiring yourself, then it is even better in the case of this exquisite yoga. But the minimum limit for these stretches is five minutes.

3. VINYASA YOGA

This yoga is structured around changing your pose with each breath so that you can increase your stamina and strength. It also helps in weight loss and detoxification of your body. So, to answer the question, how long should you hold a yoga pose in Vinyasa yoga, I will say that do not hold your pose. But if you are new to this, then you can take 1 to five breaths for one pose.

4. IYENGAR

This yoga practice revolves around increasing your concentration and reducing your stress levels. So, each yoga pose is highly detailed and proper. Alignment is very important for the followers of this yoga. So, you need to hold a pose, until your alignment is proper. So, you can take approximately 1 to five minutes for each pose.

5. ASHTANGA YOGA

If you want to reduce body fats along with building endurance and strength, then the only yoga that you need is Ashtanga yoga. In this yoga, you need to master one pose to move onto the next one. So, at the start, you might need more time for a pose. But once you get perfection in that pose, you only need to do that pose for five breaths and you can move onto the next one.

6. RESTORATIVE YOGA

If you are concerned to meditation and calmness and peace of mind then this kind of yoga proves to be very helpful. It has a long lasting time, deep breaths, and stretching. You need to hold a pose for at least five to a maximum of twenty minutes.  It restores your mind with compassion, self-awareness, and patience. 

7. POWER YOGA

Power yoga is a modified form of Vinyasa yoga. You can take one to five breaths before moving onto the next pose. It helps in relieving depression and building muscles. It also liberates physical stress from your body.

Conclusion:

When one starts doing yoga, most of the yoga instructors focus on teaching yoga poses. Nobody tells you how long you should hold a yoga pose. That is exactly why my entire focus in this article was on answering this question. I did not focus on techniques for each yoga kind, because your instructor can better help you in achieving the exact technique for a yoga pose. I hope this was helpful to you. How long do YOU hold your yoga pose, let me know in the comments down below?

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