These 19 Yoga Poses Are Insanely Challenging

Ready to step your yoga game up a level? We have 19 poses that challenge even the greatest yogi’s ability. Whether or not you’re ready to give some of these more advanced poses a shot, these photos will inspire you to keep improving and challenge yourself.

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Yoga Poses

 

1. Handstand Lotus| Adho Mukha Vrksasana in Padmasana

Headstand on its own is a rather advanced move, but not many would try folding their legs into full lotus while upside down. Can you imagine being so steady balancing on your palms that you can fold your legs into full lotus without using your hands?

Benefits:

  • Build upper body as well as core strength
  • Boost mood
  • Increase blood flow to the brain

Handstand Lotus| Adho Mukha Vrksasana in Padmasana

To learn this pose:

  1. Set up for Tripod Headstand just a few inches away from the wall.
  2. Come up with straight legs and flexed feet, so just your heels rest against the wall.
  3. Externally rotate your right leg and bend the knee, dropping the sole of your foot down the inseam of your leg.
  4. Try to get the foot past your knee to the inner thigh, just like you would in standing Tree Pose.
  5. Gently press the sole of your foot into your thigh and engage your quadriceps.

 

2. One-Legged Staff | Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana

So many people are always complaining of lower back pain and tight shoulders from sitting all day. We’re either standing or hunched over a desk and we hardly ever bend our backs in the opposite direction. So give this One-Legged Inverted Staff Pose a try. It’s similar to the grounding backbend Inverted Staff pose, but you’ll also feel this one in your hamstrings and hips. This pose takes strength, flexibility, and focus.

One-Legged Staff | Eka Pada Viparita Dandasana

Benefits:

  • Stretches lumbar spine
  • Stretches hamstrings
  • Improves balance
  • Strengthens arms

To learn this pose:

  1. Begin in Wheel pose.
  2. Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet flat on the ground (heels as close as possible to your booty). Bend your elbows and place your palms flat on the ground above your shoulders, fingertips facing your feet.
  3. As you inhale, press into your palms and lift your head and shoulders off the ground, placing the crown (top) of your head on the mat. Now place your elbows on the ground on either side of your head in front of your face, and interlace your hands behind the back of your head.
  4. Bring your feet together and then raise your right leg straight into the air. Actively press the sole of your left foot into the ground to help lift your right foot ever higher. Stay here for five breaths then lower your right foot to the ground and lift your left leg. Stay for another five breaths.
  5. Then lower your left foot back to the ground and place your palms flat on the floor. Lower your hips back to the ground and hug your knees into your chest to release your lower back.

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