Having a yoga practice as a ritual part of your schedule can serve you in so many ways. That time for focusing deeply on your body and breath is essential self-care.
If you've been practicing yoga for a long time, you might enjoy a refresher on some of the advanced poses that you'd like to perfect. If you practice yoga at an intermediate level, maybe you'd like to challenge your body to grow in balance, focus, and flexibility. Before we review a few advanced poses you can try, let's remember the benefits of yoga.
Benefits of Yoga
There is a world of reasons someone should set time aside to practice yoga. In the modern age, people are often mentally weighed-down during the workweek without realizing the serious toll stress takes on mental health.
Additionally, whether you're a stay-at-home mom, office-hours career woman, or you work from home, you might be slouching throughout your day. Yoga can be a helpful remedy in stretching out those tired muscles and getting your spirit back into alignment. Here are a few more benefits of practicing yoga:
It Can Help Soothe Some Bodily Aches and Pains
If you suffer from back pain, you know how taxing daily life can be with an aching spine. Everyday tasks become difficult, and it's hard to ignore when your back plays a major part in your daily movements.
You may try to stretch the painful area lightly throughout your day. While that may help bring relief in the moment, more effective relief would be entering into a yoga practice that incorporates multiple poses. The stretches can alleviate your pain and strengthen your core, which can stabilize your back.
Yoga Can Increase your Balance
Some people don't enjoy lifting weights or building their core in a gym setting. Strengthening your glutes, calves, hamstrings, and abdominal muscles can greatly impact good balance, though. If you'd like to improve your balance and core strength, yoga can help do just that. With the added focus of tuning into your bodily sensations and breath, your mind will help balance you as well.
It's Good for Your Heart and Your Mind
If you are someone who becomes stressed easily, monitoring your heart health is important. Regularly incorporating a yoga practice into your life can decrease inflammation throughout your body and reduce stress levels.
Blood pressure is also an important part of heart health that yoga can positively influence. If you already practice yoga weekly, try making time for a twice-weekly practice to improve your heart health.
6 Advanced Yoga Poses You Should Try This Year
Now that you're refreshed on a few key benefits of yoga, let's explore how to challenge yourself more in your practice. Perhaps you can already do many advanced poses, but you want to add in some variety. Maybe you've mastered intermediate poses and want to start challenging yourself. Try these six advanced yoga poses this year to invigorate your practice.
#1 Hand-To-Foot Pose
This pose is excellent for increasing flexibility in your legs. Here's how to try it:
- Starting from mountain pose, move your left knee to your belly.
- Reaching your left hand inside your left thigh, find and hold the outside of your left foot.
- Firm the thigh muscles in your right leg and extend your left leg out in front of you. Breathe into the stretch.
- Once you've settled into that position, swing your left leg out further left.
- Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then release your body back to mountain pose. Repeat on the other side.
#2 Pull-Through Tabletop
If you're looking to enhance your core, this pose is for you:
- Start by sitting on the ground with your feet planted and knees bent. Your hands should be palm-to-the-mat just behind your hips.
- Lift your hips to make your torso parallel to the ground like a tabletop.
- Activate your core muscles to lower your hips down and through your hands without your bottom touching the ground.
- Hold this pose for three to five breaths.
- Return your body to reverse tabletop.
#3 Airplane Lunge
Trying this pose can help you improve your core balance standing up. Here's how to try it:
- Stand firmly on your left leg, and tilt your upper half forward.
- Lift your right leg behind you, keeping your arms near your side with palms facing the ground.
- Bend your left knee and lower your body as far as you comfortably can into a single-leg squat.
- While keeping your right leg extended, do five slow squats.
#4 Monkey Pose
Here's a pose that will really stretch you:
- Begin on your knees and bring your right foot 12 inches in front of you. Rotate your thigh clockwise, so your weight shifts to the outside edge of your right foot.
- Lean your upper body forward and push your fingertips into the floor as you slide your left knee back. Be sure to straighten your left leg as you deepen the bend in your right knee.
- Glide your right heel forward and internally rotate your leg to position your right knee toward the ceiling.
- Ensure both legs are extended in a straight line from your center with your front heel and both legs engaged.
- After bringing your hands to prayer, extend them up above you and hold for 30 seconds.
- Press your hands into the mat, and slowly bend your legs back to their original positions. Repeat on your opposite side.
#5 Sugar Cane
This pose will challenge your balance as well! Try Sugar Cane to feel present throughout your body:
- From a standing position, lean toward your right leg and reach your right hand down. While your right-hand touches the floor, lift your left leg straight back, keeping it in line with your left hip.
- Raise your left arm and reach backward for your left foot with your left hand.
- Grab either your foot or shin, arch your back, and press your left foot into your hand.
- Hold the pose for three to five deep breaths before returning to half-moon.
#6 Lifted Crescent Lunge
Try this pose to master your balance and strengthen your leg and core muscles:
- Begin in mountain pose and take a large step forward with your right leg.
- Bend your right knee until you are in a deep lunge.
- Lower your left knee until it touches the ground, and raise your arms until they're on either side of your ears.
- Gently arch your back and keep your head in line with your arms.
- Slowly straighten your leg and lift your knee behind you.
- Balance your weight on your right foot and the top of your left foot.
- Hold for three to five breaths before lowering your arms and legs back to the ground.
YogaClub Can Enhance Your Yoga Practice
If you're looking to invigorate your yoga practice, there's more than one way you can do that. Bringing in fresh poses can challenge your body, and wearing the right yoga wear can motivate you throughout your flow.
At YogaClub, we want to empower your active lifestyle with premium activewear you can afford. We offer you name-brand athleisure for only 12%-50% of the retail cost. You should feel your best while you stretch your body and invest in your well-being through yoga.
Why You Should Invest in Great Activewear
There are so many little road-blocks that can try to get in your way when exercising or committing time to a yoga practice. Having ill-fitting activewear shouldn't be one of those road-blocks. You deserve to have a few in-style name brand pieces in your activewear rotation. At YogaClub, we want to help get you feeling your best in high-quality clothes that support you.
How It Works
How does YogaClub work? After you take our interactive style quiz to help us learn what you like, our stylists will get to work choosing outfits that fit your personality and style type well. Your YogaClub box will ship to your door so that you can enjoy a hand-picked outfit that costs you much less than you'd pay at the store. You can also select outfits that you like from our website and choose to add more at any time.
You want to get the most out of your group yoga class or daily at-home yoga practice. As you push your body to attempt new poses, remember to honor your body in the process. You should feel invigorated and motivated throughout your flow, and wearing the right yoga wear can help you do that.
At YogaClub, our high-quality activewear can help you feel your best throughout your day and keep you feeling supported as you stretch your body and strengthen your yoga practice.