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Yoga, a centuries-old practice, is known for its holistic approach to physical and mental well-being and one of the best things you can do for your body. As a yoga teacher, I am often asked how long should you hold a yoga pose?
The answer? It depends. Probably not what you were looking for but let me explain. Yoga poses, or “Asanas,” help improve flexibility, strength, and balance.
While flowing through poses can be invigorating, holding yoga poses for varying durations also offers unique benefits. Let’s dig deeper and explore the reasons you may want to you hold a yoga pose longer.
A Few Things That Influence Pose Duration
Experience. Your experience level plays a big role in how long you should hold each yoga pose. Beginners should start with shorter holds, typically around 15 to 30 seconds.
When beginning a new yoga routine, the focus is on proper alignment. As you advance, you can gradually increase their pose hold duration time.
Pose Type. Different poses often have different pose hold times. Gentle poses, like seated stretches, might benefit from longer holds to deepen the stretch. This is the yoga flow I teach my students.
Keep in mind more intense poses, such as balancing poses will be held for shorter periods of time.
Your Physical Condition: Your physical condition, including injuries, flexibility, and muscle strength, will determine how long you should hold a pose. Always, always, always listen to your body and avoid pushing too far. If it does not feel good, don’t force it.
General Guidelines for Pose Duration For Beginners
If you’re new to yoga, it’s wise to start with shorter pose holds. This means holding your pose for about 15 to 30 seconds. In addition, remember to focus on proper alignment and steady breathing throughout each pose.
Breathing and Mindfulness
Breathing is intertwined with yoga practice. No matter your experience level, you should always focus on your breath during pose holds.
Keep in mind, this may be new to you. Don’t worry though. As you continue, you will find it becomes easier, almost second nature.
Listen to Your Body
Probably the MOST important thing you should keep in mind. Yes it is okay to challenge yourself but only if your body is ready. If you experience any pain, strain, or discomfort at ANY TIME, it’s your sign back off. Remember the yoga pose will adjust to you and where you are.
Warm-up and Cool-down
Gentle reminder. You should always warm up before starting your yoga flow. This allows your muscles to be ready for the gentle stretching and movements you will be practicing.
As far as cool-down, in my classes, I always end with Savasana, which is meditation. That allows the body to completely cool down and relax.
Individualization and Adaptation
On more thing I want to mention. Yoga is a personal practice. It is YOUR personal practice. Everyone is on a different path on their journey. Never compare yourself to another person in class if you choose to attend a live yoga class.
Private and Small Group Gentle Yoga Classes
Not comfortable going to the gym or a studio but want to start your yoga practice? Let me help you. I now offer my most popular yoga class online via zoom, but slots are limited.
This class is at YOUR level. I can tailor this class and meet you where you are to help along your journey focusing on balance, strength and mobility. If you want a yoga class that makes sense in the way the body moves, this is the class for you.
This class can also be taken as a chair yoga gentle class. We can talk about the best yoga flow for you during our first session.
Additional information is below for you: