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How Long To Hold Yoga Poses

Savasana Or Corpse Pose

The two-minute Corpse pose following the standing and forward-bend sequence is used to rest and restore before moving into mat work. Savasana brings circulation into balance, helps build focus, and eases anxiety and irritability. Some Bikram yoga studios encourage students to perform Savasana between each of the floor poses, while other instructors teach moving quickly through the rest of the poses without it.

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.

Basic Yoga Pose: Pada Hastasana Or Standing Forward Bend Pose

In case you sit on a chair for long hours and you cant 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.

The Importance Of Stretching And Visualisation


In order to hold a certain yoga pose for an extended amount of time you will need to be stretched and warmed up. Before starting a yoga session do some individual stretching. Ten minutes to stretch your extremities, your spine and get your joints moving should be enough. If you have time, meditate a little bit. This calms down and prepares your mind for the yoga class.

Have you heard the saying: it is all in the mind? Well, it is true when it comes to holding a yoga pose for an extended period. After warming up, imagine yourself holding a certain pose as long as you have never done before. This will help you leave behind your limiting unconscious beliefs. It will help you hold a yoga pose longer than you have ever imagined.

Does Stretching Increase Range Of Movement

How Long To Hold Yoga Poses

Stretching works to increase the range of motion of muscles and connective tissues in relationship to the reflexes that govern their contraction and lengthening. Stretching a target muscle in short intervals, three days per week, for a total of nine minutes per week has been shown to improve flexibility. This bodes well for consistent and varied yoga practice with high degree of frequency and repetition of individual stretches. In general, flexibility within this context is developed by developing a greater stretch tolerance. In other words, in the typical short interval static stretches we do in yoga to improve flexibility we are mostly working with the nervous system and its reflexes to build up a greater tolerance to the sensation of stretch and ability to relax.


To illustrate: the most common example of explaining how our flexibility is mostly a function of the nervous system is that of a medical patient under anesthesia. When anesthesised, the nervous systems maintenance of muscles is effectively shut down and an individuals muscles become so loose and flexible that great care has to be taken not to move a patient in a way that will tear or damage their muscles and connective tissues. What keeps this same individual inflexible in real life is mostly the protective reflexes and habits of the nervous system rather than connective tissue restraints. Flexibility and inflexibility are governed largely by the activity of the nervous system.

How To Modify A Yoga Pose For You

Almost every yoga pose, calisthenics exercise, or movement can be modified to fit your fitness level so you can manage a longer hold time WITHOUT sacrificing form, which can lead to injury.

Most poses are modified using the concept of weight distribution and levers. Essentially levers consist of 3 main components: the pivot , the effort force , and the resistance . Modifications using your body works by moving the pivot point or changing the length of the lever resulting in an easier or harder variation.


To make it easier to understand heres an example:

In a , the pivot can be either your knees or feet. As you move the pivot point towards your feet, your body has to work harder to support more weight as the lever gets longer making the pose harder. If you want more information on the planks mechanisms & levers check out Calimoves video on the subject.

Heres another example where theres only one major contact point:

As you can see, your hips are the main pivot point in this supine leg raise. As you continue to extend your legs, the lever is lengthened, making it more difficult.

You can take this concept of levers and apply it to nearly every pose to modify it to your level, so you dont have to sacrifice form. This means not sinking as deeply into a squat hold, letting your back-knee down on a , and so on.


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Strength Building: How Long To Hold Poses

In the past, I have given some guidelines on how to use yoga poses to increase or maintain the strength of both your bones and muscles. Based on some new information I have learned, Id like to revisit my guidelines for how long to hold your poses because Im going to make some different recommendations.


What Else Does Influence Yoga Poses Duration

How long to hold yoga poses for beginners comes down to what you are trying to achieve. You will increase your flexibility by holding poses a little longer.

If you are looking to relax and calm down, gentlemoon salutationin the evening is a good. You hold poses longer to unwind after a busy day.

Find what you like the most and what works for you. It is also good to hold each pose as long as you feel comfortable. This increases mind-body connection, focus and concentration.

Manyencourage students to hold yoga poses to increase balance and stability. In the end, everyone is different. Many factors influence the duration of each pose.


Your fitness level, age, health, flexibility, strength, experience, limitations, and willpower all have effects on your yoga practice. Start with a few seconds if you are new to yoga.

As you progress, your strength, flexibility, and endurance will increase. You will be able to hold even the most challenging poses for quite some time.

I recommend you experimentat homeand join classes to better your technique. It is best to start slow if you are new to yoga. Learn each pose separately.

Develop self-awareness and balance. Practice the basic postures until you master them. This ensures that you have a solid foundation before moving on to a more difficult practice.

At home, in your own space, you have the luxury to make your yoga practice completely your own. Hold yoga poses for as long as you feel like it.

Holding Yin Yoga Poses For 3+ Minutes

As yin yoga teacher Dina Amsterdam explains, Its around the 3-minute mark that synovial fluid, our joints’ natural lube, is stimulated and released into the connective tissues being worked, making them more supple and agile. These longer holds of yin yoga poses not only allow this physical change to occur, but also provide other mental and emotional benefits such as:

How Many Times Should I Do Yoga A Week

A general rule of thumb is that yoga is best when practiced between two and five times per week. As you ease your way into a consistent practice schedule, that’s a good goal to aim for! Over time, you might find that your body can handle five or six sessions each week, if that’s what you want.

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How Does Body Parts Focus Change Pose Length

Someelementsof yourframewillwantan extended time to stretch than others. If youreunsureof the waylongit takes to getthe wholeadvantagesof yourexerciseinmoretaxing stretches,checkoutthoserecommendationsbeneath:

  • Hamstring stretches take 5to 6breaths tocompletelypaint.this couldbeenoughto get yourframestretched.
  • Pelvic rotations and flexes can take one to 2minutes. This isgreaterthanenoughtime to get yourspinefeelingfirst-rate.
  • Passive stretches through anypart oftheframehave tobekeptaroundtwoto a fewminsat aminimum.Passive stretchescontainrelaxingthebody into your pose. If yourenow notactively stretchingand engagingyourmiddle,you canmaintainthis forminuteswithout aproblem.
  • Cat-Cow alternations have a tendency to beperformedfor twoto threeminutesat a time.Thisclassicgoes with the flowis going from breath to breathe, forso long asthreemins.
  • Activestretches arehardly ever if ever, held for morethan3minutes.Itspossibleto geta greatwaftgoingwithouttrulyprotectingthe pose.

Thoseeasypointerscanassist,however,they couldsimplestthus far. Thefactis that there isnt any onelengthfitsallclarification as to howlonga yoga poseshouldbe held.

Goals & Benefits Of Long Hold Times

Longer hold times can be utilized for two different goals. The 1st is to build strength, muscle endurance, body awareness, and better muscle activation. The 2nd is for recovery and passive flexibility.

If youre doing yoga for strength and endurance elements, hold times will be more dependent on the difficulty of the pose. Generally speaking, hold times of 3-6 ten-second breaths are what youre looking for, which is about 30 seconds or 1-minute of hold time. Usually, you should be aiming for 1-minute hold times with these challenging poses for maximum benefits.

Longer hold times combined with proper technique and leads to a lot of benefits including:

  • Its Great Standalone Workout Long hold times challenge your strength and muscle endurance to effectively build lean muscle.
  • Builds Strength & Endurance Long hold times help you develop the muscle activation needed to hold more intense postures that require more strength and active mobility.
  • Training Balance Holding a pose longer starts to challenge your balance as your muscles become fatigued.
  • Improves Technique & Body Awareness Long hold times improve your technique by building better body awareness in the pose. The longer you hold a posture; the more muscle fibers are activated, which leads to better muscle activation.
  • Builds Mobility Staying in an engaged pose for longer results in stretching the antagonistic muscles of the current pose, improving your flexibility & mobility.
  • Relieve Muscle Soreness

Goals & Benefits Of Short Hold Times

13+ Yoga Headstand How Long To Hold

Short hold times are great for introducing movement into your body, warming up both muscles and the mind. So if you want a quick workout for your entire body to boost energy and work out some minor kinks, then short hold times are a great option.

Youll hold poses for about 3-5 breaths, depending on how much muscle activation you want.

Benefits of Short Hold Times:

  • Warm-up / Muscle Activation Active yoga poses and twists are great for introducing movement and training muscle activation for more intense workouts like dead-lifts or squats. With a proper warm-up, youll perform these exercises better and with a lower risk of injury.
  • Quick Energy Boost Even short holds with chest opening poses can give you the energy boost you need. These poses stimulate your sympathetic nervous system , which gives you a natural way of increasing your energy levels.
  • Less Endurance Work Short hold times wont challenge your muscle endurance, so if youre feeling sore you can still get a workout in while working out minor kinks to help with recovery.

How Long Should You Hold A Yoga Pose

An interesting way to serve my audience and get content ideas for this website is to answer reader questions. Those left in the comments here or on YouTube or social media. One such question recently received was How long should you hold a yoga pose?

Without trying to sound like Im taking the easy way out, basically, there is no clear one size fits all answer. Its going to depend on a few factors. Which you can explore in this video, or read on to learn more.

Yoga Style Affects The Length Of The Pose

When someone asks me how long they should hold a yoga pose, my usual response is, At least three to five breaths, maybe up to 30 seconds, depending on what feels right in your body. However, the length that we hold poses is going to vary a lot depending on what style of yoga were practicing.

For example, in Vinyasa Yoga, yoga poses are strongly linked with the breath. You may hold a pose just for an inhale or an exhale. Thats not a lot of time. But, the point of Vinyasa Yoga is to find a moving meditation, where youre focusing more on just moving your body and dropping your thoughts. Its less about the pose and more about how you feel mentally and physically.

On the other end of the spectrum, youll see styles like Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga. These styles will hold a yoga pose for three to five minutes at a time, sometimes even longer. The goal is to getyour connective tissue to release, which takes a while to happen. So, using props to help support your body, you work to clear your mind of thoughts, breathe deeply, and relax into the pose.

Yin and Restorative classes havevery different vibe from aVinyasa class, but thats okay. Ones not better than the other; its all about finding what you need out of your yoga practice.

Strengthen Your Body And Mind By Maintaining Yoga Poses

Maintainyoga poses toconstructself-assuranceandwillpower. The longer youkeepa posture, thegreater resistance youend up.

A terrificexampleis theWarrior pose. Its fartoughtoexerciseat first. Butkeepingthis posea chunklongereach daybuildsstaying power. If youstick withit,you willmasteritin no time.

That isthe beginning of your yogajourney. Viaseeingdevelopment,you maysensepromptedtocontinueandenhanceyourself.

As yougive a boost toyourthoughtsandbody,you willaccomplish what youin no wayideayou mayearlier than. Workingyourwaythrudifficultywill increaseenergy,power,anddiscipline.

Continuallyappreciateyourhardwork. Provideyourselfa fewcredit scores. Understandwhatyou canaccomplishdaily.its farhonestlyempowering.

Make sureto goslowlyif youare anewbie. Allowyourbody to adapt to thechanges. Take the timetohave a look atthe way yousense. Dono longeroverstretch andthreatenanystress.

Bemindfulto breathe deeply. Breathingisvitalfora terrificyogaexercise. It releasesanxietyandpresentsstrengthon yourmuscle tissuesand yourbrain.

Kapalbhati pranayamais atremendousrespirationexercisetoexercisedaily. It buildsstrongabs andmaintainsbasichealth.its milesvery energizing and boosts yourmetabolism, whichfacilitatesweight reduction.

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?

The Basics Of Breathing In Yoga

The breath helps you in many different ways in your physical practice. Breathing helps you:

  • get deeper into poses
  • slow your heart rate in a physically demanding practice
  • fully integrate your mind and body together in your practice

You dont want to be huffing and puffing throughout your entire routine. The goal is to use your breath strategically in order to keep it level throughout your practice.

While practicing a routine: Use your inhales and exhales to transition from pose to pose.

While in a pose: Use your inhales and exhales to deepen into s pose and keep track of the time in a pose.

How Long To Hold Yoga Poses

This is a million-dollar question in Yoga. And different yoga schools have different views. Actually,there isno oneanswerbecausewereallindividuals.

Everybody who has held Naukasana for a minute will recognize, how long those 60 seconds can be.

Alternatively, ask an Iyengar yoga practitioner and they may be more than satisfied to inform you that they maintain Halasana for 20 to twenty-five mins!

The period for which you maintain a yoga pose relies upon the style of yoga, you are practicing. It additionally depends on your revel in and body flexibility.

Initially,you will be capable of preserve a pose for a maximum of a few seconds. With everyday practice, youll be able to stay in an asana for a long term.

Remember the fact thatwhat your egodesires todo, and what your bodydesiresareoftencompletelydifferent things. What wewantisntusuallywhat weneed.

Crescent Lunge Twist: The Detoxifying Yoga Pose

How Long To Hold Different Yoga Poses

How long to hold a yoga pose really depends on the types of yoga. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Vinyasa. This is usually more of a flow, with one pose leading to the next. You normally hold each pose for a shorter time, perhaps 5-20 seconds.
  • Bikram. Normally looking for 20 seconds to 2 minutes per pose, but it depends on the pose.
  • Ashtanga. Focus more on breathing trying to get 5 breaths per pose. But you are usually going for 45 seconds to 2 minutes each.
  • Hatha. Normally hold the pose for about 1 minute.

Again, these guidelines are admittedly oversimplified, but we wanted to give you an answer rather than the annoying it depends.

Anyone who regularly does yoga already knows that every yoga instructor will give a different answer following this it depends. Each will likely have solid reasons that they are basing their reasoning on. Sometimes these reasons are based on tradition, and sometimes on new yoga research like that coming out of Kaivalyadhama Yoga Health and Scientific Research Center. Similarly, its wise to remember that yoga is as much about the meditation as the lengthening of your muscles.

If you are looking for more of a workout, you will need to adjust both the amount of time you hold your poses and the poses you select. For the days that you need to calm the mind more than pump up your adrenaline, you can adjust to longer holds on easier poses.

Am I Physically Ready

How Long do you Hold a Yoga Pose?

If you are injured, its really important to listen to your body and determine what youre ready for. Luckily, yoga is very accommodating. Most of the poses can be altered or modified to make it easier on your body. If you have a muscle injury, it can be beneficial to hold poses for longer to thoroughly stretch the area. Remember to always check with your doctor after an injury to make sure youre cleared to resume activity.

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 dont feel severe pain.

What About Yin Yoga

Yin yoga, which specialises in long holds, is in general practiced very gently and with absolutely no pain. It is also not necessarily about stretching, rather yin yoga aims to stress connective tissue, which is often very different to simply stretching it. The basic tenet of yin yoga is to find just the very start of resistance or sensation within the pose and then remain still it is not an extreme stretching regime.

Yin teachers may dispute this advice, and if youd like you can see a different view check out the following:

    Building Stronger Bones With Yoga

    For building stronger bones, I initially used information from Dr. Loren Fishmans book Yoga for Osteoporosis, in which he cited an animal study that showed placing strain on a bone starts to stimulate new bone to be laid down as early as eight seconds. But in his recently completed 10-year study that utilized 12 poses done over 12 minutes, Dr. Fishman had the participants hold the poses for 30 seconds each. Nine of the poses were asymmetrical and therefore would take one minute total to complete. Results were positive.

    So for strengthening bones, Im now going to suggest that you hold your postures for 30 seconds, if possible. Could you hold them for less than 30 seconds, especially if you are weak or fatigued? Sure, but we dont have evidence at this time that those timings would be as effective for bone building.

    How Long Should I Hold A Yoga Pose

    holdyoga posesholdpose

    20 seconds

    Likewise, does holding yoga poses build muscle? Regular yoga practice, Barajas says, is an excellent way to build muscle and both lengthen and tone the body. Think of it this way: holding certain yoga poses is still tearing muscle fibers, using body weight as tension, explains Barajas. The body’s response is to build more muscle, as a backup.

    Hereof, how long should you hold child’s pose?

    Recommended Hold Times:As long as you want. If used as a counterpose, hold for up to one minute. If used as a yin pose on its own, hold for three to five minutes. If you cannot get your head to the floor, five minutes may be too long.

    How long should I hold a plank?

    How long you should hold a plank. To reap the most rewards, holding three planks for up to 60 seconds each is ideal, according to Doug Sklar, a certified personal trainer and founder of PhilanthroFIT in New York City. If you’re new to planking, don’t risk injuring yourself.

    How Long To Stretch In Yoga

    At the beginning and end of vinyasa flow yoga classes we often hold yoga stretches for a few breaths up to interminably long durations that have us dreaming of our post class smoothie. But, is there a logic to how long we hold poses? Do you know how long to hold a yoga pose? Specifically, how long to hold the yoga static stretches, both passive and active, generally offered in a group yoga class environment?

    A review of literature suggests to hold stretches about 15-30 seconds with 2-4 repetitions. These durations and repetitions have been shown to improve flexibility. Older adults may need longer stretch times, with 60-second holds proving effective for this population. Studies suggest that beyond these durations and repetitions there is no increase in muscular length. At this length of stay you are not permanently changing the muscular structure but rather working with the nervous system and stretch reflex and allowing the muscle to relax or releasing the active tension.

    How To Build Stronger Muscles With Yoga

    In a previous post, I recommended that holding your yoga poses statically for 90 seconds would build muscle effectively. Unfortunately, I cannot locate the research I used to make that statement. But in going back to look at this more closely for our upcoming book, I discovered some important facts Id like to share with you today that flip my earlier recommendations almost upside down.

    Isotonic Muscle Contraction

    There are two commonly used techniques to build muscle mass and strength, both in sports training and rehabilitation from injury. The first technique uses motion against resistance, called resistance training, as in curling a 10-pound weight up and down with your arm smoothly at the gym to build up your bicep.

    This utilizes what is known as isotonic muscle contraction against some sort of resistance to build muscle. Because you lower the weight down slowly, your bicep muscle also is contracting as it is grossly lengthening, which is called eccentric contraction.

    For this action to be effective, you have to do multiple repetitions. In our yoga practice, dynamic sequences or mini-vinyasas could count as resistance training, especially if you do them more slowly. Since we are using our own body weight as the resistance, it may not work as quickly to build muscle as weight training, but it will still build strength. See below for more recommendations about how to use this technique in your asana practice. 

    Isometric Holds

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