How Long Do You Hold a Yoga Pose?

Performing yoga on a regular basis can offer a lot of benefits on an individual’s mind, body, and soul. Before you start to practice yoga, you must know a lot of important things that must be considered such as, how long do you hold a yoga pose? In this article, we will be discussing the different information about yoga and we will help you answer the question, “how long do you hold a yoga pose?”

Woman doing a yoga pose

The length we hold yoga poses usually vary on what style of yoga we are practicing. The usual answer to the question will be “three to five breaths or up to 30 seconds, and sometimes it also varies per individual on what he or she feels right in their body. It also depends on the person’s experience and flexibility. For yoga beginners, they are usually able to hold a pose for a maximum of few seconds and yoga enthusiasts; on the other hand, because they are able to practice yoga regularly, they are able to stay in an asana for longer periods of time.

There are different factors that can affect an individual’s ability to hold a yoga pose. Here are some of them:

  1. Age
  2. Flexibility
  3. Fitness level
  4. Medical history
  5. Injuries
  6. Ability to stay focused and relaxed
  7. Will power

Benefits of Holding a Yoga Pose

  1. It is an effective physical fitness activity.
  2. It builds the different muscles of the body. An individual’s strength and stamina will improve as he or she holds a pose for a long time. The different muscles of the body will do their job to maintain a pose and this helps them build strength in the long run.
  3. It helps the blood circulation in the body. Holding a yoga pose for a long time will help the heart pump blood into the different parts of the body. It can improve the blood flow and circulation in the body.
  4. It helps improve an individual’s breathing. When performing yoga poses you have to do breathing exercises as well, it allows a yogi to focus on breathing properly, by inhaling and exhaling and at the same time holding a yoga pose.
  5. It enhances an individual’s flexibility. Holding a yoga pose stretches an individual’s tight muscles and it improves his or her flexibility and strength. It helps a person relax and get rid of stress.
  6. It helps alleviate pain in the body such as backache and headache. Yoga has a lot of benefits and it helps relieve physical and mental pain. When you hold a yoga pose for the right amount of time, it will help strengthen your spine and relieve backaches and headaches in the process.
  7. It improves digestion. When you perform yoga poses for a specific amount of time, it will improve the digestive system and allow you to digest the food that you eat properly and prevent indigestion and bloating.
  8. It alleviates pain caused by menstrual cramps. Performing yoga poses strengthens the abdominal and stomach muscles and it helps relieve menstrual cramps.
  9. It relaxes and calms the mind. By practicing yoga regularly, it helps your mind relax and become calm. The different kriyas and asanas allow an individual to become more aware of self, allowing them to go into deep meditation.
  10. It allows mastering the alignment of the body. When performing a yoga pose for a long time, an individual will be able to perfect his or her alignment.

Different Types of Yoga and Their Recommended Pose Hold Duration

  1. Hatha Yoga – Spend 1 minute on each asana.
  2. Ashtanga Yoga – Each pose is held for approximately 5 to 10 breaths, from 30 seconds to 2 minutes.
  3. Iyengar Yoga – The poses are held for 5 to 30 minutes, this varies from one pose to another.
  4. Vinyasa Yoga – As you move from one pose to another, you can hold each pose from 15 to 30 seconds.
  5. Yin Yoga – The different poses can be held from 1 minute until 20 minutes, it depends on the individual’s practice.
  6. 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.

Performing yoga varies for an individual’s age and health condition. It helps determine the amount of time and the repetitions of each pose that must be done accordingly. Doing asanas daily is a must and is best to be done slowly (not in fast motion) so an individual can have enough time to develop awareness while performing one yoga pose to another. Measuring a yoga pose can also be done by counting controlled breaths instead of counting time by seconds or minutes. An individual’s endurance can be tested by being able to hold a pose for at least 10 controlled breaths, during that time it will also allow the different joints and muscles in the body to stretch and align properly.


Yoga is not just a physical fitness activity; it is a discipline that allows an individual to be aware of his body, mind, and soul. While performing different yoga poses, you must spend time and reflect and allow awareness to happen in the body. We hope that after reading this article on how long you should hold a yoga pose, you will be equipped with information and be able to perform yoga and you will be able to enjoy your overall yoga experience.