How Long To Do Yoga Poses

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Woman in black pants and white shirt doing a yoga pose near ocean - How Long To Do Yoga Poses?

When it comes to yoga, it can be a little scary. However, all the videos online on how to do poses make it look so simple and like everyone has perfect balance and mastery of every technique.

Plus, it seems like they can all do it for much longer than you can. This can make it intimidating to get started and make like you aren’t good enough to do yoga. That isn’t the case, though.

The beauty of yoga poses is that everyone can do them. As experts do, you don’t have to hold yoga poses for minutes. Instead, you can start with three breaths or about 30 seconds, and you can increase from there.

Eventually, you may be able to hold a pose for five minutes!


Is it the Same for Everyone?

The time you should do your yoga pose depends on how much time you have, if it is simply a warm-up, a cool-down, or if you are trying to strengthen your muscles. Often, yoga pose lengths are broken up into three sections; short, medium, and long.

The lengths for holding times are usually measured in breaths. A short holding time is about three breaths, a medium is around five, and a long hold time is about eight, but you can adjust these as needed.

Each person breathes for different lengths, and that is fine, too, as you are starting. But, eventually, you want to aim for breaths that last about ten seconds.

This means that you will do a short hold for around 30 seconds, a medium for close to a minute, and a long hold for about a minute and a half once you are more experienced with yoga.

So when do you use short holding times? Short holding times are ideal for:


  • Warm-ups
  • Beginners
  • Sore muscles
  • Energy boost


Medium holding times are the kind of in-between. So if you are any of the below, then medium holding times are a good goal for you:


  • Cooling down after a workout
  • Trying to move from short to long
  • Don’t have as much time as you usually do


Finally, long holding times. These are best for:


  • Experienced routines
  • Building strength and endurance
  • Standalone workouts
  • Improving technique
  • Increasing mobility


How To Tell if You’re Doing it for Too Long?

Yoga poses take your muscles and stretch them to or beyond their limit. If you hold for too long as a beginner, you may end up actually hurting your muscles. Even if you think you can do one for longer, start with three or four long breaths and slowly work your way up.

This ensures that you don’t hurt yourself and makes it more fun so that you are more willing to keep trying. We often give up on exercises because we start going too hard and pushing ourselves to the point we don’t want to do it anymore.

We don’t want to do that with yoga, as it can cause injury. Plus, yoga is not only good exercise, but it is good for meditation. Pushing until it hurts reduces the benefits to the mind and makes you less likely to practice again.


Is There an Average Time per Pose?

Each pose can be done for any length of time, though poses have a range of difficulties. Depending on how easy or comfortable a pose is for you, you can do anything from thirty seconds to five minutes.

Don’t just look at the poses that feel more rewarding for your body, either. Are there ones that are easier to do but make it easy to get into a meditative mindset? Try to do those for longer too. You will feel rejuvenated and get your exercise all at once.

If a pose is difficult for you, don’t try to do it for the same length as all the others. Instead, give that one a shorter time, and increase it slowly as you get the hang of it.

If you are having a bad day or are injured as well, still doing our yoga poses but making them shorter is also an option.


Should You Do Some Poses Longer than the Other?

The length you do a pose depends a lot on your goals. Do you want to strengthen your back and stretch your legs? Look at increasing the length you do downward, dog. If you want to improve your core, do those for longer.

Some of them are easier to do for longer than others, and it is fine to start with just doing those for a longer number of breaths than the ones you are struggling with.

Some yoga poses involve multiple steps, which may require you to do them a little bit longer than others, as you would do each part for a couple of breaths instead of the whole thing.


Which Yoga Poses are the Shortest?

Some poses you can do for a short time and are ideal for beginners are:


  • Mountain Pose
  • Palm Tree Pose/Upward Salute
  • Standing Forward Bend
  • Chair Pose
  • Extended Side Angle Pose
  • Staff Pose
  • Bound Ankle/Cobbler’s Pose
  • Dolphin Pose
  • Bridge Pose
  • Frog Squat Pose/Garland Pose
  • Downward-Facing Dog


Other poses may be harder, so doing them for a short time is better until you get the hang of them. Otherwise, you may end up injuring yourself.


  • Fearsome face Position
  • Pose of the Plow
  • The Side-Plank Posing
  • Head to Toes Pose
  • Lotus Resembling Posture
  • Dancing Queen
  • Peacock Pose
  • Knee-to-Ear Pose


Final Thoughts on How Long To Do Yoga Poses

One of the best parts about yoga is how anyone can do it. There are so many poses out there, and you are sure to find one that fits you and your needs.

As you continue practicing, you will not only get better at the poses you are already doing, but you can also graduate to more difficult poses.

And with every pose, you can start with a simple three breaths and work your way up to longer and longer times. Keep practicing, and you will be a yoga master in no time.