How Long Do You Hold A Yoga Pose?

We all know that yoga is amazing and that it has unlimited benefits, right? That’s probably one of the reasons why you’ve taken up the practice.

Plus, you can find tons of information on all the reasons why you should take up yoga, and you can find even more information on all those different poses and stretches to try. 

How Long Do You Hold A Yoga Pose

But one thing that there doesn’t always seem to be a lot of information on is exactly how long you should be holding those poses for. And the reason why you’re probably struggling to find it is that the timing for yoga poses can be a little subjective. 

As is the case with many yoga-related questions, there’s no real definitive answer. It can vary from individual to individual.

But in this article, we’re going to go over some of the guidelines to follow in terms of choosing your pose time, as well as some suggestions to start you off. 

So, if you want to learn more about how long to hold a yoga pose…keep reading! 

Guidelines For Holding Yoga Poses

So, as we mentioned above, you won’t really ever find definitive answers for how long you should hold a pose. And this is really because there are quite a few different factors to consider.

As a general rule, you’ll need to hold each pose for a minimum of one complete inhale and exhale, but depending on how you and your body feels, you may be able to hold it for longer. 

Here are some of the factors to consider when determining how long to hold your pose.

Flexibility Levels – When you’re new to yoga, your body isn’t usually all that used to or comfortable with holding poses for long periods of time because you simply aren’t that flexible yet.

If you have low flexibility levels, to begin with, you’re better off opting to stretch for a shorter time period due to the risk of muscle injury. 

Session Intensity – The time you spend in one pose can differ massively depending on how intense the pose is. Spending a long period of time in an intense pose may not be wise as it can cause you to become fatigued and you may over-stretch and injure yourself. 

The Type Of Yoga – There are many different types of yoga and some require longer-held poses than others. For example, vinyasa often involves moving from pose to pose and so the time periods are much shorter than that of say Hatha yoga. 

The Time Of Practice – It may also depend on the time you decide to practice, for example, you may want to keep a morning session relatively short so that you aren’t overtired, physically exhausted, or sore for the day ahead.

How Long You’ve Been Practicing – The longer you practice yoga, the easier the poses become since your flexibility improves. You may be more likely to hold your pose for a greater amount of time if you are regularly practicing yoga. 

Pain Tolerance – Individuals have different levels of pain tolerance. You should always stop posing once it becomes painful to hold to ensure you don’t injure yourself. 

How You’re Feeling – You should always listen to your body and base the time you hold your poses accordingly. If it feels particularly strenuous then it’s time to stop or move on. 

How Long Do You Hold A Yoga Pose

Timing Suggestions For Different Styles Of Yoga 

Here we’re going to look at how long you should typically spend in each pose depending on the style of yoga you are practicing. However, keep in mind all the information that you’ve just read.

These are only suggestions and you should feel free to adjust them depending on your own needs. 

  • Yin Yoga – Around 3-7 minutes for each pose
  • Vinyasa Flow Yoga – Around 1-5 breaths for each pose
  • Ashtanga YogaAround 5 breaths for each pose
  • Restorative YogaAround 5-20 minutes for each pose
  • Power Yoga – Around 1-6 breaths for each pose
  • Bikram Yoga – Around 90 seconds for each pose
  • Hatha Yoga – Around 30-60 seconds for each pose
  • Iyengar Yoga – Around 5-30 minutes for each pose
  • Sivananda Yoga – 1-3 minutes for each pose

The Benefits Of Holding A Yoga Pose

Builds Muscles – Holding a yoga pose helps to improve muscle growth and thus also improves the individual’s strength and stamina.

Improves Blood Circulation – Holding a yoga pose allows for the heart to pump blood to different parts of the body and can improve blood flow and circulation.

Improves Breathing – While holding a yoga pose the individual must focus on their breathing. This concentration on your ability to inhale and exhale can help improve your respiratory system. 

Increases Flexibility – The more often that you hold yoga poses and stretches, the less stiff the individual’s muscles become and this can help improve strength and flexibility and even helps to reduce stress and tension.  

Alleviates Pain – Yoga poses can help to alleviate physical pain such as backaches and headaches but can even also help to reduce mental pain too.

Improves Digestion – Holding yoga poses for a specific amount of time can help to improve your digestion as well as prevent indigestion and bloating

Aids Period Pain – Certain yoga poses can also help to strengthen the abdominal and stomach muscles which can help combat the pain of menstrual cramps. 

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to how long to hold a yoga pose, there really is no right or wrong answer. As you have read in this article, there are definitely suggestions and guidelines out there to help you make your decision, but ultimately the choice is yours. 

For beginners, it’s often best to start off slow and only hold poses for shorter periods of time to ensure that they don’t hurt themselves by straining or tearing muscles.

As your body becomes more used to the positions that you’re putting it in, you’ll find that the poses become much easier to hold. And it is at this point then that you can start to begin trying to hold the poses for a little bit longer.

Laura Simmons
Latest posts by Laura Simmons (see all)