As you continue to practice yoga and become comfortable with your personal routine you may want to try doing some more challenging poses. You can ask your yoga teacher who has an extensive knowledge from yoga teacher training to help you get into the poses that your find more demanding. Props like yoga blocks or straps can also assist and support you. Without any self-judgment you can approach each pose with your own timing and pace and make sure to listen to your body. Always make sure that you are warmed up and with an expert before you attempt these types of yoga poses.
In yoga inversions are poses such as headstands, forearm stands and handstands, that require you to have a lot of core strength, balance and courage. During yoga teaching, you can practice them with the help of a yoga teacher, fellow student or nearby wall. Pose variations will add further challenges. The scorpion pose is a pose that uses handstand or forearm stands with your feet touching your head, so being flexible is helpful. The hardest handstand is the hands free version and it requires you to have a lot of strength, focus and balance.
Practicing hand-balancing poses, such as the crow, side crow, flying crow or firefly, rely on using your hands to ground you. These poses require and build core and arm strength as well as open up your hips. Peacock pose, is the hardest hand balance and is similar to a push up but your hands are under your waist and your fingers are facing back and your legs are stretched straight, entirely off of the floor.
When you go through yoga teacher training back bends are discussed and are taught they add another layer of difficulty to a yoga practice but they can also be uplifting and help open your shoulders. Drop backs which are movements that bring you into a wheel pose from a standing position help to build trust and can be done with a partner. Yoga classes can offer different methods of pigeon pose but the full asana consists of being able to touch your head to your feet while from a kneeling position.
Hanumanasana, which is name for the monkey god Hanuman, is also known as a split. This pose also has more difficult variations. One could be reaching your head to your front knee while lifting your back leg to touch your head or stretching back to grab your back rear foot. You need to slowly move into this pose using runner’s stretch first and then using blocks under your hand to lengthen your torso and be able to extend both legs with your pelvis off the floor and your hips be squared.
Advanced Seated poses require that you are flexible in your hips and also help to release tension that has built up in that area. Lotus which is a cross legged sitting pose has you put both of your feet resting on the opposite thigh and is considered to be a meditative pose. The bound lotus pose will also add the step of crossing your arms behind your back and then grabbing onto both of your feet. If you want to make it even more challenging try the fetus pose where you can move from a lotus and slide your arms between your thighs and calves while you balance and left your crossed legs off of the floor and reach your hand towards your chin.
Once you are able to master some of the more difficult yoga poses you can move on to more advanced asanas. Some of these poses contort your body into different shapes making a fun addition to your practice.
Side Crane Pose
As you learn and get stronger with your yoga abilities, along with building your strength you can begin to practice yoga poses that require you to support your body on your arms. The side crane pose is especially fun since you hold most of your weight on one side of your body and tuck your legs into a compact position. When you can master this pose you will be resting all your weight on your arms with knees bent and touching the back of one of your arms.
Triple hill is a pose taught by a yoga teacher and partner. To achieve this pose you stand straight and bend forward at your waist while extending your hands upward. Connect both hands above your head and press your faces downward until your backs are nearly flat. Take this time to look into your partner’s eye or you can tuck your chin to your chest and look down.
Yoga teacher training takes you through many steps of yoga practice. There are always times you can go refresh your skills or work with an experienced yoga teacher to learn new techniques.