Yoga offers a range of physical and mental health benefits, but each form of this discipline differs slightly. You might hold a pose for varying lengths of time or focus on breath instead of alignment, relaxation instead of dynamic movement. How many reps of each yoga poses you do depends on the form of yoga you practice.
Weight Loss and Sun Salutation
Including yoga in your daily exercise routine may -- along with a healthy, calorie-controlled diet -- help you lose weight. Yoga instructor Satya Greenstone suggests that you include multiple repetitions of Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutation, to aid in this endeavor. Sun Salutation is a fluid series of poses done in a specific order: Mountain pose, Upward Salute, Standing Forward Bend, Lunge, Plank pose, Four-Limbed Staff pose, Upward-Facing Dog and Downward-Facing Dog. Sun Salutation consists of two repetitions to complete a single cycle -- you must lead with your right foot through one rep and switch to lead with the left foot for the second rep. Doing more repetitions of the Sun Salutation series burns more calories, which contributes to weight loss. Note that performing two or three repetitions will not budge the scale much -- you should include many repetitions in your yoga practice if weight loss is your goal.
Five Rites of Rejuvenation
Tibetan yoga integrates a series of rites, or poses, called the Five Rites of Rejuvenation. Practitioners do specific repetitions of the series, which is similar to Sun Salutation in that it ends with Upward-Facing Dog, followed by Downward-Facing Dog; however, the rites that come before these final poses are not considered standard yoga poses. Beginner practitioners should do 10 to 12 repetitions of the Five Rites, eventually achieving a practice of 21 repetitions.
Bikram yoga, commonly called hot yoga, involves performing standard Hatha yoga poses in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Practitioners do 26 poses performed in a specific order -- standing poses come first, followed by sitting poses. These poses are repeated twice. Unlike Sun Salutation and the Five Rites of Rejuvenation, Bikram yoga poses are not repeated as a complete set. Rather, each pose is done twice before you move on to the next pose in the series.
Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga
Hatha yoga and Vinyasa yoga, the standard types done in exercise classes and home practice, do not require a set of poses done in order, nor do they require a specific number of repetitions. Standing poses that require balance on one leg, such as Eagle pose and Half-Moon pose, or standing poses in which one leg is more active, such as the Warrior poses or Revolved Side Angle pose, are a special case. You must repeat any pose in which you work the right and left sides of your body separately, switching sides, so each side receives an equal workout.