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How Long to Do the Yoga Postures

Health & Beauty, Yoga Asanas

First go ahead and take dosha test here. Then come back and learn about how long you should do the yoga postures

General guidelines to keep in mind:

One very important aspect of successful and beneficial yoga practice be there at home or in the yoga studio is know how long you should do your practice and the yoga asanas. It is very important to understand and know that too much exercise is as harmful as not practicing at all. You need to find the balance between the 2.

Yoga and Ayrveda teach that moderation and balance is the key to health. Otherwise you will waist your time and effort and in the worst case scenario will harm your health instead of benefit from your yoga practice.

Remember: you need to exercise half of your capacity. Never push harder than your body allows you to and always listen and feel your body. Exercise to the point you start to sweat in your armpits and your back. Do not exercise to the point of exhaustion. Hold the postures 10-20 breaths.

how much time you should do your yoga practice and how long you should hold the postures, so you can extract the maximum benefits of your daily yoga routine? This question is of course a personal one, and what level you are at. For beginners 25-40 minutes is very good to start with and for more advanced 40 minutes to a maximum 1 hour.

If you don’t have time you may break the practice by two, devoting more time if possible early in the day and the remaining or not at all on the afternoon. If you are practicing meditation will be the same principle but vice-versa. If you don’t have time meditate less in the morning and more in the evening. This way will keep a good balance between the two practices, which if you are serious and want to improve your well-being and peace of mind you need to do both of them.

Of course a little practice is always better than not practicing at all. And its really important the intensity and the intent behind the practice. You need to do the asanas correctly and with focus and intent. Otherwise you will mitigate their real benefits.

How long to hold each asana?

When you do your yoga routine, always remember that is better to do few postures slowly and well than to do all of them hastily. About the length of the postures, if you are a beginner try to hold the postures for about 12 breaths (40 seconds), and rest at least the same amount of time after each yoga asana. If you are not a complete beginner you may cut the rest in half or eliminate it at all. And if you are fatigued you rest twice as long between each posture. For further guidance remember that 20 normal breaths equals around 1 minute.

Now assuming that you have taken the test above, lets examine how long to do your yoga routines and asanas, based on your dosha:

Vata:

If you are Vata you need to exercise lightly. And not spend more than 20-30 min at the mat at a time.

Vata means “that which blows,” vata is related to the elements of air and ether. It provides the motion necessary for our physical, mental, and emotional processes. Vata types are mentally quick, alert, flexible, and creative. When out of balance, vatas feel over-amped and ungrounded, and may suffer from mental and physical restlessness, insomnia, or anxiety. They’re the ones who eat while talking on their cell phone while on a treadmill. Vata energy can be very uneven, marked by spurts of frenetic activity followed by exhaustion. This dosha can get aggravated by dry, cold, and windy weather; overstimulating environments; travel; lack of routine; and a lot of change.

You can ground (earth) and soothe (water) excess vata by bringing the Mother principle into your life—learning how to calm and nurture yourself. Slowing and quieting down. Keeping warm and moist. Establishing self-care boundaries and a supportive routine.

Asanas to favor

Poses that work on the colon (the bodily seat of vata), intestines, pelvis, lumbar spine, and sacroiliac balance vata by bringing energy back down into the base of the torso. Spinal twists and inversions of all kinds soothe this dosha. Sitting and standing forward bends are choice poses, particularly for insomnia; boat, plank, staff, and plow are also powerful vata-reducers. To support grounding, work with standing poses such as mountain, triangle, warrior, and tree. Avoid back bends, such as bow, cobra, pigeon, and arch, which increase vata, or hold them briefly. If you enjoy vinyasa, do sun salutations SLOWLY. Let child’s pose lead you back to your innate innocence and trust. End your practice with a long Savasana (20–30 minutes); it is really okay to do NOTHING for a while.

Pranayama

Activating breathing practices such as those used in Kundalini Yoga can aggravate vata, so only use them when you are feeling balanced and in need of clearing or energizing. Integrating and deeply relaxing, alternate-nostril breathing is a better ongoing practice for you. The bhramari (bee) breath, named after its high-pitched resonating sound, also calms vata.

Pitta

If you are Pitta you need to exercise little strongly. Avoid spending more than 40-50 min at the mat at a time.

Associated with the elements of fire and water, pitta is pure vitality, enthusiasm, and intensity. Meaning “that which cooks,” pitta regulates our digestion, metabolism, appetite, and vision and forms the basis of our intellect and capacity for discernment. Solidly built, strong, passionate, and ruddy in complexion, pittas sunburn easily, lose hair early, and burn the candle at both ends. Embodying the ennobling characteristics of warriorship, you are known for your willpower, focus, courage, goal-orientation, decisiveness, self-discipline, and mental acuity. When out of balance, you may become competitive, fast, quarrelsome, dominating, impatient, resentful, intolerant, and fanatical. The bodily seats of this dosha are the small intestine, eyes, and blood. The liver also plays an important role in pitta-related bodily functions. Excess pitta manifests through inflammation, infection, and irritation.

Asanas

Poses that promote coolness, ease, and lightness of being while releasing heat and stress in the small intestine, central abdomen, blood, and liver are optimal. All forms of standing forward bends and inversions reduce pitta. Sitting poses such as cobbler, hero pose, and yoga mudrasana, and sitting forward bends such as head-to-toe, half- and full-lotus forward bend, and tortoise are also recommended. Work the abdominal area with twists such as maricyasana. Other pitta-reducers include cobra, half-bow, and boat. Experiment with moon salutation; while sun salutation heats, this vinyasa has a cooling effect. Warrior, chair pose, headstands, armstands, and lion increase pitta; if you enjoy these poses, hold them briefly.

Pranayama

Keep your breath cool, relaxed, and diffuse, exhaling through your mouth periodically to release heat. Since ujjayi breathing is heating, consider simply using the yogic three-part breath. Sheetali, which is designed to cool you off, and alternate-nostril breathing are also recommended. As for the breath of fire, if you are calm, clear, and cool, go ahead, but if you are already irascible, wait or warn your friends ahead of time

Kapha

If you are Kapha you can exercise as stronger as you can. You can spend up to 90min on the mat.

Kapha meaning “that which sticks,” kapha is related to the elements of earth and water. Physiologically, kapha binds the structure of the body, lubricates the joints and skin, and promotes tissue-building, immunity, and healing. It also provides stability, stamina, and strength. Kapha types tend to have a slow metabolism; heavy yet sturdy body; large, soft eyes; and thick, oily hair and skin. When in balance, they are the best friend a person could have—calm, devoted, consistent, tolerant, and patient. However, out of balance, they are their own worst enemy, being prone to mental sluggishness, procrastination, lethargy, weight gain, excessive sleep, and problems letting go. Their innate and formidable capacity to ground and persevere turns to inertia and lassitude. So, when it comes to practice, you have the tough job of kick-starting yourself. Since you flourish in relational contexts, recruit a buddy to practice or go to class with you. Remember Newton’s First Law of Motion: a body at rest tends to remain at rest unless acted upon by some outside force.

Asanas

The bodily seats of kapha are the lungs and the stomach/diaphragm area. Focus on asanas that open the chest and work the midsection. Headstand, handstand, and bow are premiere kapha-reducers. Back bends such as cobra, pigeon, camel, and locust will greatly serve your lungs. To build endurance, hold standing poses such as forward bend, triangle, revolved triangle, the warrior series, tree, and half moon a long time, and repeat, repeat, repeat. Other effective postures include shoulder stand, plow, lion, and spinal twists. Jumping to transition between poses will give you a better workout. You should also come to love sun salutations more than life itself (and if you practice as a form of worship to the Divine, you actually will!). Finally, use a shorter Savasana (5–15 minutes) to conclude your practice.

Pranayama

Because you need to open your lungs, you can benefit from the vigorous breathing practices of Kundalini Yoga. During asana practice, use the full yogic breath in conjunction with the heating ujjayi breath. Bhastrika, kapalabhati, and right-nostril breathing are also cleansing, energizing, and warming for you.

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