There are three stages to each pose or asana.
1. Getting into the pose.
2. Holding the pose.
3. Coming out of the pose
In asana, you gently stretch into the pose and hold it for several seconds.
Photo Gallery of Anatomy Of An Asana
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You never stop breathing; it's important to breathe easily and with awareness.
When the breath is used properly, it helps the stretch into the pose and allows you to hold a pose longer. Release the pose and gently come out of it and rest before starting another asana. Always come out of a pose if you feel any discomfort.
Depending on your yoga teacher, style, and level, poses are held for different time intervals. Some may be held for thirty seconds, sixty seconds, or three to five minutes. This blog does not offer a suggested length of time to hold the asana.
A caveat: No matter what your level, never force or hold an asana to the point of discomfort.