Earlier, I shared three beginner yoga poses with you that I felt were essential to master in order to advance your practice further. Today, I want to challenge you to dig a little deeper and provide three yoga poses to try that are a bit more advanced.
The poses I want to talk about today are: Garland pose, Eagle pose, and Intense Side Stretch Pose. Just as the poses earlier possess benefits for your mind, body and soul, these do as well.
Let’s talk about their benefits and tips on how to master them:
Garland pose, also referred to as Malasana, consists of positioning ourselves in a way that we may find ourselves doing very rarely—squatting. Because we are so used to keeping our bodies upright by sitting at a desk or on our beds daily, we don’t realize that we are disregarding the core joints in our bodies that supply us with long-term mobility.
Garland pose requires that you completely bend your knees and lower your hips so that your pelvis aligns with the back of your heels. While in this position, you want to make sure the palms of your hands are in prayer pose and that you are using your elbows to push against your thighs to stretch and widen them.
This pose promotes stronger legs, hips, thighs and back while also improving your digestive system due to the way your body is positioned. This is a wonderful pose to resort to when you feel as though your hips could use more opening and to prevent any issues within those areas in the future.
Eagle Pose provides the perfect challenge for you to explore during your practice. By doing this pose, you’ll have the chance to test your balance as well as your physical and mental strength.
Eagle pose invites a great stretch throughout your body from your upper back and arms all the way down to your calves, hips and ankles. Because this pose requires that you hold this position for around a minute (or longer depending on your progress), it forces you to concentrate and take your mind away from any distractions that have been flooding it.
This pose will definitely take some practice before you can hold it for a longer duration of time, but it is a challenge that will leave you feeling a lot more relaxed afterwards.
Intense Side Stretch Pose
Last but not least, Intense Side Stretch pose is a further extension of Mountain pose and requires a satisfying stretch to your spine, hips, and legs. It is another variation that challenges your balance and calms your mind as you rest in a forward-fold position.
Many recommend doing this pose if they are feeling any tightness in their hamstrings and calves, especially as a result of running or any other form of training. Benefits with this pose include better posture and digestion.
Just like the other poses listed here, Intense Side Stretch pose can take a bit of practice before mastering, but it is key to grasp your alignment and develop a solid form first before you focus on holding your balance.