When I recite a composition that has multiple dashes (-) or rests, I either elongate the last bol to cover the dashes or count "one, two, three...", etc. Is this how you guys time the dashes? Is there a better way?
What i do when i have a dash in a composition is find out how many beats long it is supposed to be, if it is one or more beats, i count off 1,2,3..etc, to the beat, so after i count to 3, 3 beats are finished. If it is only half a beat i just try to fit a small hesitation without any actaul counting in my head. The best way is to ask your ustad or guru how they do this to give you an idea of how you should because they will know the composition best and how to handle rests.
I tend to count the dashes and gaps by singing out all the bols in a raga expression, eg teen taal. That way you can either extend the preceeding bol to the timing or simply pause making sure the timing is correct in the first place.