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Advanced Yoga Pose Library

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Updated May 16, 2014

Side Crow Variation

Side Crow Variation

© Ann Pizer

Are you ready to tackle some advanced yoga poses? If you have a good grip on basic arm balances, inversions, and backbends, you can start to work on some of the poses below. Keep in mind that what makes these poses advanced is that they require a great deal of both strength and flexibility - both things you get from doing a lot of yoga over a long period. By this time, you probably have a good idea of what kind of poses come easy for you and which are more challenging. Try to avoid the checklist mentality- ticking off poses as if there will be a reward (enlightenment?) when you get to the end of your list. There's always going to be some refinement or variation to the physical yoga postures, so there really is never an end to what you can learn. 

Standing Poses

A complex fusion of different actions makes for the most challenging standing poses. The poses below require that you balance on one leg while also doing something else difficult, like a deep back bend or twist.

Backbends

The most intense back bends, some of which culminate in bringing the top of your head to the soles of your feet.

Seated Poses

The splits, bringing your leg behind your head, all sorts of things that depend upon extremely open hamstrings.

Arm Balances

Like advanced standing poses, advanced arm balances are usually about being able to do a combination of tricky maneuvers simultaneously. In this case, that means balancing on your arms while doing a variety of different things with your legs. The good news is, once you get the arms part down, the leg variations often come (comparatively) easily. 

Inversions

These inversions are often introduced in intermediate classes using the wall as a prop. Moving these poses away from the wall is the next step.

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