Yoga is a holistic health approach that connects your body, mind, and soul by enhancing your overall physical, mental, spiritual, and social wellbeing. Advanced yoga includes yoga poses that require a stronger sense of balance, developed strength, and an understanding of breathing techniques. Do not be intimidated by advanced yoga poses though. Work your way up to more difficult practices by sprinkling in various poses. Additionally, don’t expect to master anything right away. Instead, over time, begin to perfect poses.
Here are 5 advanced yoga poses you can try now to liven up your routine.
A 2011 research study found that yoga inversions, including the Crow Pose, can increase a person’s overall confidence, self-esteem, and body image. Because the Crow Pose requires considerable strength and mind-body awareness, it helps you hold your body against the gravitational force, leading to increased muscle flexibility, muscle strength, and endurance.
- Start by standing in Mountain Pose and place your arms at your sides.
- Focus on your breath, bend your knees, and place your palms flat on the mat.
- Press your palms on the mat about 12 inches in front of your feet.
- Press into each finger’s top joint after spreading your fingers wide on the floor.
- Bend your elbows and come up onto the balls of your feet.
- Open your knees and align them with your upper arms.
- Now, place your knees on the backs of your upper arms.
- Bring your weight into your hands.
- Lift your head, come up onto your tiptoes, and lift your feet off the mat.
- Engage your inner thighs and keep your knees on your arms.
The Forearm Stand is a yoga inversion pose that offers a wide range of benefits. One study reports that it increases blood flow to your brain and triggers chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine, leading to improved mood, increased alertness, and boosted energy levels.
- Begin in Plank Pose and move your feet closer toward your elbows.
- Lift your hips while keeping your shoulders above your elbows.
- Gaze toward your feet while releasing your head and neck slowly.
- Shift your weight to your forearms and hands from your feet.
- Engage your core for more stability and lumbar spine protection.
- Hold this position for 3-5 breaths and repeat a few times.
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose is another advanced yoga posture that relieves tightness and tension in your body by increasing mobility, flexibility, and range of motion in your musculoskeletal system. Here are the steps to perform this advanced yoga pose.
- From Downward Facing Dog, bring your left knee toward your right hand.
- Place your right lower leg on the mat and angle your foot over the right side.
- Rest your right thigh on the mat and extend your right leg back.
- Press your hands firmly into the mat, broaden your chest, and lengthen your spine.
- Place your left hand on your left thigh and bend your right knee while holding your right foot.
- Make sure you place your foot in the elbow crease of your right arms.
- Now, extend your left hand overhead and bend your left elbow.
- Engage your core, open your chest, and lengthen your spine.
- Stay in this position for at least one minute and release your right leg.
- Get back into the child’s pose or downward-facing dog.
- Repeat the same steps on the right side.
Numerous research studies have highlighted the benefits of the Lotus Pose. A 2010 study shows that it helps reduce lower back pain, and a 2011 study highlights that Padmasana (the lotus pose) lowers high blood pressure levels. Another study concludes that the Lotus Pose can improve a person’s mental concentration.
- Sit on the floor and stretch out your legs.
- Keep your spine erect and bend your right knee.
- Place your right knee on your ankle on your thigh.
- Place your left knee on your ankle on your thigh.
- Make sure you cross your legs and position your hand in the mudra.
- For instance, you can place your hands on your knees.
- Keep your head neutral and the spine erect.
- Take deep breaths and hold this position for five minutes.
Side Plank Variation
The Side Plank Variation, also known as Vasisthasana, is an advanced yoga pose that offers various physical and mental health benefits. For instance, a 2019 research study shows that the Side Plank stabilizes the quadratus lumborum muscles to reduce the risk of spinal injury.
- Start in Plank Pose and put your weight on your left hand.
- Raise your right hand off the mat toward the ceiling.
- Open your chest to the right and place your left foot on the right one.
- Stack your right hips over the left one directly.
- Keep your eyes on your right hand’s fingertips.
- Take several breaths and come back to the original position.
- Repeat the same steps on the right side.