5 Difficult Yoga Poses
As a beginner or an intermediate level yoga practitioner, you may be itching to try out and perfect challenging yoga poses, because let’s face it, it does look pretty impressive when somebody has what it takes to perform these demanding yoga poses effortlessly and flawlessly. But hold you horses! Attempting these yoga poses at such a newbie level will backfire horribly. Putting your body through contortions that it is just not ready to deal with will only heighten the probability of sustaining temporary or even permanent injuries. So take it one step at a time, after all that is what yoga is about; finding your own pace and maintaining it till you have been able to enhance your natural physical and mental capacities. There’s no end to the process of practicing yoga, so keep at it, and soon you can add these difficult yoga poses to the list of your yoga achievements!
Difficult Yoga Poses # 1- Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III)
One of the best yoga poses to fine tune your body’s sense of stability and to improve your posture! Attempt the following warrior III pose sequence:
- Position yourself in the warrior I pose.
- Shift your body weight on to the front foot as you raise your back leg upwards and lean forwards until your upper body is held parallel to the mat.
- Try to raise your back leg till the point where it is in line with the rest of the body.
- Keep your arms placed at the sides of your body.
- Hold the warrior III pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute at least. Lower your back leg and repeat the whole sequence with the other leg.
Difficult Yoga Poses # 2- Crane Pose (Bakasana)
An excellent yoga pose which builds up core balance and abdominal strength! Attempt the following crane pose sequence:
- Spread out your yoga mat. Place your hands flat with your palms pressed against the mat. Now put your weight onto your hands and lift your heels upwards, off the mat.
- Slowly extend your feet upwards, supporting your weight with your hands.
- Shift your gaze at a point in front you, practice deep breathing as you stretch your back and concentrate on balancing with your feet suspended in the air.
- Maintain this posture for as long as you can.
Difficult Yoga Poses # 3- Extended Hand-to-big-toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)
Looking for the perfect pose to strengthen those leg muscles? The extended hand-to-big-toe pose is the ideal candidate for the job! Attempt the following extended hand-to-big-toe sequence:
- Position yourself in the Tadasana (mountain pose) on the yoga mat.
- Place your feet together, elongate your spine and relax your shoulders.
- Practice pranayama (deep breathing) and focus on a stationary point right in front of you to maintain concentration.
- Lift your right knee up towards your chest and use your right hand to grasp the big toe on the right foot. If you are unable to hold the big toe comfortably, simply hold onto the right foot.
- Position your left hand on your hip and gradually stretch the raised right leg straight out in front of you.
- Keep your left knee as straight as possible. Then slowly swing your right leg and right arm to the right side.
- Stretch your left arm out to the left side and maintain the extended hand-to-big-toe pose (utthita hasta padangustasana) for 30 seconds to 1 minute at least.
- Repeat the extended hand-to-big-toe pose (utthita hasta padangustasana) sequence with the other leg.
Difficult Yoga Poses # 4- Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)
Ever heard of the healing asana? The peacock pose stimulates your internal organs, improves your blood circulation, and has several therapeutic properties. Attempt the following peacock pose sequence:
- Position yourself in a kneeling position on the mat. Push your knees apart and then place your arms between your legs.
- Keep your elbows close to your stomach and position your hands on the mat. Keep your wrists together and fingers pointed towards your legs.
- Place your forehead on the mat as you extend each leg straight out behind you. At this point your body weight is divided between your forehead, hands and toes.
- Gradually lift your forehead off the yoga mat; push your weight forward as you launch your toes off the mat. Your body should be parallel to the mat, with your weight resting on your hands.
- Maintain the pose for at least 10 to 30 seconds.
Difficult Yoga Poses # 5- Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya I (Eka Pada Koundinyanasana I)
This challenging arm balance tones and strengthens your whole body and perfects your concentration and mental focus. Attempt the following sage koundinya I sequence:
- Position yourself in the downward facing dog pose.
- Lower yourself as you would in the warrior pose, extend your right foot forward with your right knee bent.
- Position your palms firmly on the yoga mat, keeping your arms bent. Depending upon your comfort level, push your right shoulder as far under the right knee as you can. Your right hand should be positioned on the outside of your right foot.
- Extend your left leg towards the back with the heel raised upwards.
- Straighten out your bent right leg and lift it off the mat, using your right arm as a support for the leg. Your leg should ideally be straight (This will take a bit of practice).
- This step is crucial so take your time and make sure you’re doing it right. Push your torso towards the mat until you can feel your left elbow digging into your abdomen, between your ribs and hip.
- With your left elbow pressed firmly against your abdomen and your leg supported by your right arm, you are now ready to complete the sage koundinya I pose. Push your hands firmly against the yoga mat and use your energy to lift your left leg off the mat.
- The weight of your body should be balanced equally between both arms.
- Hold this pose for five deep breaths or for longer if you can.
- Exit the pose and repeat with your left leg.