How Long To Hold Yoga Pose To Gain All The Benefits?

How Long To Hold Yoga Pose To Gain All The Benefits?

‘The pose actually begins when you want to get out of it.’

Yoga is all about challenging your limits and reaching new stages of strength and flexibility.

But you should never stretch beyond capacity. Acute pain is not what yoga is practiced for.

 

Yoga should be something you look forward to. It should not become a task that you dread.

You should reach the right balance between attempt and toleration to reap the miraculous benefits of yoga.

Have you ever wondered about how much time you should devote to each pose to get effective results?

Have you worried if you are repeating the exercises for the right number of times?

These questions have no definite answers.

 

What Are the Factors Which Determine the Duration of Each Yoga Pose?

  1. Your physical fitness.
  2. Your age – You should put too much strain yourself during yoga practice. A child or an old person should not hold yoga postures for a long time if it causes them pain.
  3. Medical conditions. Never attempt any exercise if your doctor forbids you.
  4. Your willpower – Yoga should be practiced when you are ready to exercise. It should not be forced.

 

What Are the Benefits of Holding a Yoga Pose?

 

  1. It helps build strength.

Your strength and stamina are improved significantly by holding a pose for a longer time.

It is because the muscles in your body have to work harder to maintain a pose, and they become stronger in the process.

 

  1. It improves the circulation in your body.

Holding yoga poses for greater time ensures that blood pumps to all parts of your body. It greatly enhances blood flow.

 

  1. Gives you space for emotions.

When you get out of your comfort zone during yoga, you will experience your emotions at a greater level.

As you work on exercise, your mind can focus on inner feelings. It helps you release your everyday worries and focus on your true self.

It’s like everything sinks into your belly and your legs during yoga. You start to feel quiet, and your mind becomes grounded.

 

  1. It improves breathing.

Most of us do not breathe fresh air enough. Yoga helps you focus on your breathing.

It allows you to inhale and exhale more deeply and more freely.

 

  1. It improves body flexibility.

Yoga ultimately stretches your neck, spine, and hips. It loosens up the tight muscles in the body. It leads to greater flexibility and strength.

Unwinding your muscles leads to alleviation of stress and depression.

 

  1. It reduces a backache and headache.

Yoga is a natural cure to relieve all physical as well as mental pain. Holding the poses for the right amount of time strengthens your spinal energy relieving backache, and alleviating headaches.

 

  1. It increases digestive power.

A combination of deep breathing and stretching exercises that target the abdominal gland help you digest big meals and plentiful food. They contribute to reducing bloating and indigestion to a great extent.

 

  1. It relieves menstrual cramps.

Yoga makes the core abdominal and stomach muscles stronger. It helps in alleviating menstrual pain to a great extent.

 

  1. It calms the mind, preparing you for meditation.

Yoga ultimately makes your mind calm. The kriyas and asanas in yoga help you go into deep meditation.

 

How Long Should You Hold a Yoga Pose?

The period for which you hold a yoga pose depends on the style of yoga, you are practicing.

It also depends on your experience and body flexibility.

When you begin, you will be able to hold a pose for a maximum of a few seconds. Your initial practice will be for around 10-15 minutes.

As you start getting a grip on yoga, this period will increase.

With experience, you will be able to hold asanas for longer. Your daily session may start lasting for 60 to 90 minutes.

Experimenting is the key to long-term success in meditation and yoga.

Each of the individual exercises in yoga demand separate holding time.

Some exercises have longer holds in yoga poses, while others have shorter holds.

For example:

  • Vinyasa Yoga flows with your breath from one pose to another. So, there is little or no hold of the postures during this process.
  • In the case of Hatha Yoga, there are 27 poses. In each of these, the pose requires stronger hold to build flexibility. The yoga poses must be kept for at least 2-5 minutes.
  • In Ashtanga Yoga, it has to be at least five deep breaths per posture.
  • Yin Yoga will have you holding passive stretches for more than five minutes.
  • Pelvic rotations and spinal flexes take around 1-2 minutes for each cycle.
  • Hamstring poses practiced for 3-6 breaths (15 seconds) can give you good results.
  • Leg cycling poses can be done for 30 to 40 movements. (Repeat once or twice)
  • Leg rotation pose is practiced for five times with each leg, and then with both legs together. (Repeat 1-2 times)
  • Sarp asana is done by rolling 30 to 40 times. (One or two repetitions)
  • The cat-cow stretch is repeated for 2-3 minutes.

and more examples:

  • For Bikram Yoga poses (26 postures practiced in a room heated to 105 deg. Fahrenheit), the total workout last for about 90 minutes)
    1. The first 13 standing postures include inhaling for 1 minute and exhaling for 1 minute in a ten breath cycle. The half moon pose lasts about 45-60 seconds with 10 seconds of back-bending.
    2. For the forward folding bends, the padahastaasana lasts for 30 seconds, followed by eagle pose for 10-20 seconds.
    3. The standing head pose, tree pose, and toe stand are held from 10 (for balancing stick) to 60 seconds for the standing bow.
    4. The corpse pose, or “savasana”, is held for 2 minutes.
    5. Cobra, half locust, and full locust last for 10 seconds each. The floor bow is held for 20 seconds, and the fixed firm for 40 seconds.
    6. After completion of this sequence, each posture is repeated for a total 90-minute workout session.

 

Since you are interested in developing flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance, you need to hold the poses for longer.

On a general basis, you need to hold the yoga poses for about 10-12 breaths.

With practice, you can also go up to 30 breaths. It will help you hold the pose for around 3 minutes.

It is best to count the time in breaths (one breath cycle is one deep inhalation followed by complete exhalation).

Connecting the poses with your breath keeps the mind engaged and focused.

When you combine yoga and meditation, you need to hold the poses for longer.

 

How Many Times a Day Should You Practice Yoga?

Practicing Pilates once a day is enough. However, if you are physically prepared and have the time, you can practice yoga twice a day.

Do it regularly for a month or two to get tangible results. Being regular is more important than the number of times you practice.

 

How Many Repetitions for Each Yoga Pose Should You Do?

There are no hard and fast rules for the number of repetitions for each yoga pose.

Let your body’s needs and personal fitness dictate the number of repetitions for each yoga pose.

For beginners, when the body is not flexible, you can do more repetitions of each of the asanas with less holding time.

You can slowly increase the number of repetitions and time for holding the asanas with practice.

In Tibetan Rites, the maximum number of recommended repetitions is 21. Hatha Yoga usually prescribes 2-3 repetitions of each pose.

However, it is better to increase the holding time for each pose in comparison to increasing the number of repetitions.

For example, holding the cobra pose (bhujang) for about 60 seconds is enough. No more repetitions are required.

Stop if you feel pain in any part of your body. Take a rest and try again when you are ready.

 

Over-exerting yourself will only dampen your spirits and defeat the purpose of yoga.

Your health and age will also play a crucial role in determining the time and number of repetitions for each yoga pose. It is always advisable to do a set of asanas daily, rather than repeating a single asana over and over.

If you are going through the poses in fast motion, then you will not have enough time to develop awareness with each pose.

Ask yourself: “What is happening right now?”

Be aware of your breath, thoughts, body emotions, spirit, and energy.

Spending some time with these poses will allow reflection and awareness to course through your body. You will be able to go deeper to find yourself, your body, your ideas and your emotions.

We hope that this article on how long you should hold a yoga pose has answered your questions and guided you on the right path to yoga exercises.

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7 Comments

  1. What’s the maximum amount of time you should devote to the tree pose??

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey.
    I am starting to do Yoga for body and mind wellness. I know that our body gets so much from doing different yoga pose.
    This article is really helpful.

  3. I am 77 and have just started yoga for older people in my own home I do 7 positions starting with the standing tree I breathe deeply 5 times in each position and do these once a day do you recommend doing these more than once a day?

  4. Wow, I never knew this. Thanks for sharing the benefits of Yoga. I will keep on doing yoga!

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