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How Long Do You Hold Yoga Poses For

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The people have spoken and they want longer Yin Yoga classes! So I bring you this introspective and meditative long hold practice.

These 6 poses are held for five minutes a piece, in each variation and each side when applicable. This length of time will give the body the ability to open up slowly on its own, to get you deeper into the pose without passing your edge , and increase your flexibility.

As you hold each posture, bring your awareness to the breath, and keep the mind from wandering.

Holds of this length are better suited to someone who is familiar with practicing Yin Yoga. However, if you are newer to Yin and/or yoga, you are welcome to exit them sooner, when you feel you have passed your edge.

As time passes you will find your body opening up and the pose becoming more comfortable and easier to hold. If this is not the case, ease off or come out of the pose.

You may want to set a 5 minute timer to start with each pose, so that you are not constantly thinking about the time. OR allow yourself to stay in the pose for as long as the body wishes. Whichever method is more your style.

These poses make up the entirety of this week’s 90 minute practice over on my YouTube channel.

Having trouble deciding when to exit a pose? Want some soft music to accompany you? Come practice alongside me in the video below.


P.S. Please remember to subscribe to my YouTube channel to support these blogs and videos I put out each week!

How Long Should You Hold A Yoga Pose For Maximum Health And Spiritual Benefit


Since I started doing yoga to complement my running routine, I was wondering how long should I hold a yoga pose. If I am in class, the instructor always goes onto the next pose, and I follow her. In that setting, the answer is evident. But what if I am doing yoga alone, at home. Well, then the answer is not so clear. As it turns out, the duration of a yoga pose depends on the type of yoga you are doing. So there is no definitive answer to the question: how long should you hold a yoga pose?

Don’t Miss This Exciting New Course With Lynn Crimando: Yoga For Strength

Printed with permission from and 

Baxter Bell, MD, is a yoga teacher and educator, physician and medical acupuncturist. These days he focuses on teaching yoga full time, both to ordinary students of all ages and physical conditions, and to the next generation of yoga teachers, to whom he teaches anatomy and yoga therapy along with his accessible, skillful style of yoga. Baxter brings a unique perspective to his teaching, combining his understanding of anatomy and medicine with his skill at instructing people from all walks of life and all levels of ability. Baxter is the co-founder and writer for the popular Yoga for Healthy Aging blog, where he shares his knowledge of medical conditions, anatomy, and yoga with practitioners and teachers across the world. In addition to being a frequent presenter at Yoga Journal Alive events and yoga conferences such as IAYT’s SYTAR, he is often quoted as an expert on yoga and health by major national news outlets such as The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. To learn more, visit,, and his YouTube channel Baxter Bell Yoga.


What Are The Factors That Influence How Long You Should Hold A Yoga Pose

  • Style of yoga: This is obvious.
  • Your physical fitness: The stronger and more flexible you are, the longer you can hold certain yoga poses.
  • Your yoga experience: Logic dictates that more experienced people can hold yoga poses for longer.
  • Your age: Children and the elderly should pay special attention to what their body says.
  • Injuries: Muscle tears can make certain poses more painful than they would be normally.
  • Your state: When you are tired, exhausted or burned out, you might not be able to put as much energy into your yoga practice as you normally would.
  • Your clothing: If you wear clothing that is unfit for yoga, you are not going to stretch very far. See our reviews of the best yoga pants to make the most of your yoga classes.

What Are The 12 Basic Yoga Postures Images With Names Steps And Benefits

How Long to Hold a Yoga Pose

We start our article with: How to Prepare for Yoga Posesfollowed by the 12 Easy Classic Yoga Poses. After the preparation, you will understand how to do the two main Breath Control Practices – Pranayama before we proceed to the 12 basic yoga asanas

There are many more advanced Yoga Asanas but not meant for beginners, therefore not listed here.  

Stick With Challenging Poses To Build Muscle Strength And Confidence

Iyengar teacher Patricia Walden thinks that two key actions help students cultivate confidence: repeating poses and holding them for long periods of time. Some poses might be difficult to hold. But you can repeat them in order to build tenacity. Aim to hold these poses, especially the three Virabhadrasanas , for 20 seconds or as long as you can to ignite your willpower. Over time, increase your hold times to build endurance. “Muscular action is the most direct expression of willpower in our body. These poses engage muscular action and strength. From that you develop confidence,” says Walden, who adds that introspection is part of the process.

When you want to come out of a pose, see if you can stay with the discomfort a few more seconds. There are psychological benefits to challenging yourself to do something you’ve never done before. “It took me a year to do Handstand. When I finally was able to balance on my hands, it was transformative,” says Walden. “Working through difficulty requires tapas , and you feel your power. Doing something when your mind or body says it doesn’t want to—that’s empowering.”

New Recommendations For Building Bone And Muscle Strength With Yoga:

  • For building bone strength, hold yoga poses for 30 seconds or more, if possible. 

  • For building muscles using isotonic and eccentric contraction with a mini-vinyasa, do the vinyasa slowly for six repetitions, possibly for two sets of six. As you increase in strength, you can add more reps per set. 

  • For building muscles isometrically with a mini-vinyasa, hold the full yoga pose for 8-10 seconds for six repetitions, possibly for two sets of six. For example, if you were doing the Warrior II mini-vinyasa, you would inhale from the starting position into the full pose, hold full Warrior II for four breaths, and then exhale back into the starting position. 

  • For building muscle strength and endurance in static yoga poses, hold a full pose isometrically until your targeted muscles become shaky and feel fatigued, and then exit the pose. The length of time you hold the pose could be short if you are weak, out of shape, or recovering from injury, or much longer if you are healthy and relatively strong to start. You can gradually build up your length of time in the pose as your strength increases.

  • In general, do your strength practices every other day to allow a day off for muscles to rest and repair, which is part of the muscle building process.  

    The Type Of Yoga Affects How Long To Hold Yoga Poses For Beginners

    How long to hold yoga poses for beginners depends on the pose and the type of yoga you practice. Flowing yoga styles such as Vinyasa, AshtangaPower yoga encourage movement over holding postures.

    Constantly moving makes you concentrate on your body and clear your mind. There is a strong emphasis on how you feel mentally and physically overall.

    Slow-paced yoga styles such as Yin, Restorative, Iyengar, or Hatha yoga focus on practicing each pose one at a time. Hold yoga poses for a long time to stretch, relax and breathe deeply.

    It is highly recommended to find the type of yoga that is right for you. It depends on your preferences, your needs and your goals. Try them out and see what feels right for you.

    It is very important to listen to your body closely. If you do, you will progress safely and avoid injuries. Try to feel how long your body needs to say in each pose and when to stop.

    Push yourself little by little to build strength and flexibility. Step out of your comfort zone progressively. Discomfort is ok but pain is not.

    Pain is your body telling you that something is wrong. Stop and adjust accordingly. Yoga should make you feel amazing. It is a reward for your body, mind and soul.

    How Long Should You Hold A Plank Probably Not As Long As You Think


    In This Article

    When Will Planks Start to Feel Easier?When Will You See Results From Planks?The Takeaway

    The plank is one of the most simultaneously loved and loathed core exercises. While it looks relatively easy—no crunching, pushing, or squatting involved—it’s more involved than most other exercises. And oh, can it burn. But how long do you need to hold a plank to see results? Read on to find out what the experts had to say.

    Meet the Expert

    Different Types Of Yoga And Their Recommended Pose Hold Duration

  • Hatha Yoga– Spend 1 minute on each asana.
  • Ashtanga Yoga – Each pose is held for approximately 5 to 10 breaths, from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Iyengar Yoga – The poses are held for 5 to 30 minutes, this varies from one pose to another.
  • Vinyasa Yoga– As you move from one pose to another, you can hold each pose from 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Yin Yoga – The different poses can be held from 1 minute until 20 minutes, it depends on the individual’s practice.
  • Bikram Yoga – It usually depends on the pose, it normally lasts for 20 seconds to 2 minutes.
  • Before you start performing yoga, you have to do some preparation and you must have the determination to do it. Make sure to meditate for at least 10 minutes, stretch the body, lengthen the spine, and prepare the different joints of the body to be able to endure the intensity of a prolonged pose.

    Each individual varies from one another. One person may be capable of holding a yoga pose for a long time and the other can only hold it for a short time. As you practice yoga regularly, you will be able to increase the length of holding a pose over time. It is also important to consider the mind’s ability to focus during the duration of the pose. As you know, holding poses offers a lot of benefits, as you continue your practice, you will be able to accomplish your goal and enjoy the benefits of holding a yoga pose at the same time.

    Basic Yoga Poses : Uttanpadasana Or Single And Double Leg Raises

    In case you have severe back issues you may have difficulty in practising this Basic Yoga Posture . In case you feel uncomfortable in doing this Yoga Pose – try bending your one knee and placing it flat on the yoga mat. Keep the leg in this position while you raise your other leg. 

    It is one of the Easy Yoga Asanas for beginners who want to build muscle strength in your legs and abdomen.  

    How Long Should You Hold A Yoga Pose In Different Yoga Styles

    For example I started doing bikram yoga.There a pose can go anywhere between 20 second up to 2 hours. However different studios differ on this, even though buckram yoga should follow a very strict order of poses. Vinyasa yoga looks more like a continuous dance, a flow. There a yoga pose can last anywhere between 5 seconds and 20 seconds. Since Ashtanga focuses on breathing more, there a pose can go on for at least 45 seconds, but more importantly you always have to perform at least five breaths in one pose. Hatha yoga is the most straightforward, they hold each pose for one minute. In Yin Yoga you might hold passive stretches for up to five minutes.

    No matter which style of yoga you start, it will help you challenge your limiting beliefs, master your body and calm down your mind. A good rule of thumb to follow when holding yoga poses, is that they are not intended to cause you any harm. If you feel pain or you feel yourself stretching way beyond your comfortable limits, you should stop. There is a sweet spot you can hit where you are pushing yourself just enough that you are out of your comfort zone, but you are not causing yourself any long term injuries. There is a sweet spot to reach between attempting to get better and tolerating pain.

    But shouldn’t you keep poses as long as possible? How long should you hold a yoga pose? Well, as I wrote you want to avoid long term injuries and pain. The secret is to build up gradually, each time holding a pose a little longer.

    Basic Yoga Pose: Pada Hastasana Or Standing Forward Bend Pose

    How Long To Hold Yoga Poses

    In case you sit on a chair for long hours and you can’t change your posture due to work commitments – try the Standing Forward Bend Pose or Padahastasana. It is the best solution for stiff legs by using the pull of gravity. Because this asana lengthens the ligaments and muscles of the posterior side of your body. It helps you right from your heels to the middle of the back.

    This Yoga Pose/asana is like a preparation for the next pose called the – Trikonasana orTriangle Pose in Yoga.

    Should You Hold A Yoga Pose For A Long Time Or A Short Time

    Experiment with holding a pose for a long time and a short time. This way, you can get the benefits of each category. Practicing yoga asanas is a great way to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health but only when you do them efficiently. 

    Focus on finding the balance between challenging your body and pushing its boundaries, and honoring what it can do at the present moment. Listen to your body, so you can move mindfully and avoid hurting yourself. And as always, move with your breath.

    How Long Should You Hold A Yoga Pose For Meditative Effects

    Holding a yoga pose for several minutes calms down the mind. It is like meditation. But it takes practice. And being present to the moment. The first time you try this you will start thinking about an angry conversation you had with somebody, or what you had for breakfast. But after a while you will be able to stay in the present and declutter your mind.

    So how long should you hold a yoga pose to achieve this effect? There is no concrete answer. There are several factors that influence this, but as a general rule just listen to your body and hold the pose as long as you don’t feel severe pain.


    Factors That Determine The Duration You Hold A Yoga Pose

    There are many determining factors to consider when deciding how long to hold a certain yoga pose for. Each pose should be held for a minimum of one full inhale and exhale and each breath should be long, slow and deliberate, making sure to fill your lungs completely before exhaling.  The following is a list of key questions to ask yourself before or as you begin your practice.


    How am I feeling?

    Check in with yourself physically and mentally. Is your mind filled with racing thoughts of things that need to be done, something embarrassing you said or did? Things that are beyond your control? Is your heart beating fast or slow? Are your muscles especially tight anywhere? Are you tired and need to cultivate energy or are you fired up and need to calm down? Are you stressed or anxious and need to relax? If you are looking to calm down and relax hold poses for a longer amount of time.


    Do I have any injuries?

    If you are starting a new practice with an injury or coming back to practice after an injury, it is super important to pay attention to and listen to your body so that you don’t re-injure yourself. Yoga is the perfect place to be if you have an injury because there are so many modifications and variations of poses to take that protect whatever is injured. Depending on the type of injury, it could be beneficial to hold poses for a longer time to slowly and progressively stretch the affected muscles.

    ** remember to always get an okay from your doctor before you practice!








    How Yoga Styles Affect How Long You Need To Hold Poses

    If you did not know that there is more than one type of yoga, I am here to tell you that are plenty, with about eight to 11 major types of yoga. There is yoga for restoration, yoga that focuses on the spiritual aspect, yoga for pregnant women, and so much more.

    Yin Yoga is a slow-paced form of yoga that focuses on holding postures for long periods. As you hold your poses, you give yourself more time to be mindful and to meditate. If you are not yet an expert at holding yoga poses, you can try Yin Yoga another time.

    On the other hand, Vinyasa Yoga concentrates on the breath. Vinyasa means “flow” as it emphasizes the flow of one’s breath throughout the body. When you practice Vinyasa Yoga, you focus more on how you feel mentally and physically or finding a flow to your routine instead of holding poses for a certain amount of time.

    On the other hand, Vinyasa Yoga concentrates on the breath. Vinyasa means “flow” as it emphasizes the flow of one’s breath throughout the body. When you practice Vinyasa Yoga, you focus more on how you feel mentally and physically or finding a flow to your routine instead of holding poses for a certain amount of time.

    On the other hand, Vinyasa Yoga concentrates on the breath. Vinyasa means “flow” as it emphasizes the flow of one’s breath throughout the body. When you practice Vinyasa Yoga, you focus more on how you feel mentally and physically or finding a flow to your routine instead of holding poses for a certain amount of time.

    Basic Yoga Posture : Surya Namaskar Or Sun Salutation

    Duration: 6 Sets – 3 right knee rounds and 3 left knee rounds

    Number of Surya Namaskar for Beginners:  

    12 movements complete one round of Surya Namaskar. Two rounds complete – one set. It is one of the most beneficial for overall body fitness, flexibility, and strength and one of the Sets of Easy and Basic Yoga Poses. You just have to get the rhythm right after one week of practice. 

    Tip:Remember to always lay emphasis on the details of the practice of all the basic yoga asanas with awareness rather than doing it just mechanically. Do it slowly so that you are not breathless by the end of one round. 

    Steps of Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutation

    Pose 1:

    Hands folded in Namaste, feet together standing on the top of the yoga mat. Breathe in and out.

    Pose 2:

    While you are inhaling, and arch upper back, stretch your abdomen, arms straight upwards and then backwards, head, back, legs and knees straight.

    Tip: Make sure, your head doesn’t drop behind the arms to avoid any pressure on your lower back. 

    Pose 3:

    Exhale as you bring your outstretched arms down bending forward with your hips towards your toes. Keep palms flat on the floor in line with the toes. Your palms should be flat even if you do not have much flexibility and may have to bend your knees. Make sure to keep your hands inwards towards the knee. 

    Pose 4:

    Inhale and lift your head upwards bending your neck backwards, stretch your right leg all the way back, as your toes are pointing back, rest this leg on your knee. 

    Pose 5:

    What Are The Benefits Of Holding A Yoga Pose Longer

    Holding a yoga pose longer helps you build strength and stamina. It also teaches you to overcome mental barriers and step out of your comfort zone.

    After you have been holding a pose for an extended amount of time your body goes on autopilot. Suddenly you can focus on your thoughts, think and meditate.

    If you don’t quite have the pose down to perfection, you can practice your alignment. Try subtle changes to perfect your alignment. The longer you stay in the correct alignment, the more it will burn into muscle memory. Next time you will be able to perform the pose perfectly.

    Whenever you leave your comfort zone and hold a pose successfully, you build self esteem. When you stay in the pose and your body goes on autopilot, you can focus on your thoughts. You will have certain thoughts coming up that you would not feel otherwise. I feel that I have my best thoughts while I am running, and after a certain distance my body just goes on autopilot. My thoughts wonder and I get brilliant thoughts about work, relationships or anything I am struggling with at that moment. You will have similar experiences if you hold a pose for long.

    Todays Question Comes To Us From Doug From Facebook

    and he wants to know, How long should you hold a pose? In my home practice I hold poses for 4-6 breaths. In classes that I attend it’s usually less than this. In this video  you are recommending up to 10 breaths.

    Thank you for a great question Doug. To a certain extent it depends on the style of yoga you are taking. Certain styles of yoga have longer holds in yoga poses and certain styles of yoga have shorter holds. Vinyasa yoga for example flows from one pose to another with breath so there are little or no holds in the poses.

    In the style of hatha yoga I teach there are longer holds in the poses. There are a number of reasons for this.

    A number of years ago now I learned from Lucas Rockwood, a yoga teacher that in order to develop flexibility you must hold a yoga pose for at least two to five minutes. Holding yoga poses any less than 2-5 minutes simply demonstrates your existing flexibility. I really took this to heart and started increasing the hold times in my yoga practice- we are interested in developing flexibility, strength, endurance, and balance, aren’t we? We’re not simply here to simply demonstrate our existing flexibility, strength, endurance and balance – and so longer holds to me are super important to increasing our overall flexibility, strength, endurance and balance.

    Hold Yoga Poses For Longer To Build Mental Strength

    How Long Do You Hold a Yoga Pose

    May 18, 2020

    Do you feel like you might lose it when you hold yoga poses for more than a few seconds? Do you avoid demanding classes or poses at all costs? You certainly aren’t alone! When you learn to hold yoga poses for longer, you’ll actually receive all kinds of benefits that will hopefully outweigh your aversions : let’s take a look!

    Build the Mental Strength to Hold Yoga Poses for Longer

    Building mental strength is as important as the physical benefits of holding powerful poses. A good deal of yoga classes today are more akin to a fast flowing workout rather than what the practice was originally designed to accomplish. The physical practice was constructed to develop strong supple bodies as well as minds. The purpose is to prepare both body and mind to sit still in meditation. Given our fast-paced society, quick moving classes may ultimately work against the purpose of this holistic practice.

    To hold a yoga pose for longer is to cultivate the ability to be still and accept ‘what is’ under any circumstances. The cool part is that everything we need to know about holding powerful poses is essentially the same as what we need to know to build mental strength, all in the same process. Yoga for the win-win!

    Build Poses from the Ground Up

    Begin by holding tadasana or mountain pose for longer than you’re used to.

    Hold Yoga Poses for Longer to Cultivate Patience and Loving Kindness


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