Have you been practicing intermediate yoga for a while and are tired of the same poses and flows? Then you need to include advanced yoga exercises in your workout routine. Switch up your flow and expand your exercise horizon with different variations of the yoga handstand.
Advancing your yoga practice to the next level increases muscle strength and improves flexibility, body awareness, and mental state. Besides giving you a sense of accomplishment, it helps to lower blood pressure and improve heart health.
Here are five advanced yoga poses to try:
1. Hollow Back Forearm Stand
This variation of the yoga handstand requires extensive core strength. Before proceeding, perform beginner or intermediate yoga poses, such as backbends, reverse prayer, and eagle arms to warm up.
Begin kneeling with your palms pressed against the floor or mat in front of you. Lower your forearms to the mat and clasp your hands together. Move your torso into a dolphin pose and lift one leg as high as possible towards the ceiling.
Hop or move the other leg to meet the first, allowing your body to be in a parallel forearm stand. Start moving your chest toward the back of the mat with your knees bent. While your stomach and chest move forward, move one bent leg farther down with the toes toward the floor.
Maintain the opposite leg straight above the ground. For a few breaths, maintain the position. Exhale and let go of the motion by reversing into the wheel pose or moving into the dolphin pose.
2. Eight Angle Pose
Sit on the mat with your legs outstretched. Bend your left knee and move it to the side. Put your left arm through your leg so your knee rests on your shoulder or upper arm.
Push slightly forward while placing your hands on the floor to rest beside each side of your hips. Keep your back straight while drawing your stomach towards your spine and press into the floor. Raise the opposite leg and hips off the ground.
Interlace your ankles and bring your upper torso forward as you adjust your legs to the side and flex your hands. Keep your legs pressed to the sides of your left arm for stability. Hold for as long as possible then release the pose.
3. Yoga Handstand
Get into a standing split position and place your palms below your shoulders on the mat. Align your standing foot below your hip with your knee slightly bent. Push your navel towards your spine and kick up your standing leg, drawing the thigh into the hips.
Keep the toes of the lifted leg pointed upwards. Press your legs together and keep a bit of space between your heels.
4. Scorpion Yoga Handstand
Begin in a handstand position and bend one knee while your other leg is pointing up. Lift your head while moving the toes of the bent leg toward your head.
Slowly bend the straight leg to match your bent leg. Point your toes toward the ground while you continue to move your head upwards. If you are flexible enough, your toes should almost be touching your head.
5. One-Handed Tree Pose
In this pose, the hand that is balanced on the floor represents the tree's trunk. The "V" shape of the legs in the final stage of the pose represents the branches of a tree. This pose requires you to warm up the arms, wrists, shoulders, and back.
Begin in a downward dog pose and shift your weight to the hands. Gently pull your legs up until you're in the handstand position. Next, open your legs wide into a "V-shape" while shifting your weight into the hand pressed against the floor.
Move your shoulder away from the neck to avoid injuring the arm holding up your weight. Slowly put all your weight onto one hand. Raise your outstretched hand towards the leg on the same side.
Take a deep breath before returning to the initial position. If you need more arm or core strength to carry out this movement, practice against a wall or platform.
Advance Your Yoga With These Moves
Include the above moves in your routine to step up the intensity of your yoga journey and increase your focus. The above poses require significant guidance, flexibility, practical knowledge, and preparation. To avoid injuries and maintain top form when practicing a yoga handstand, find an expert to guide you through these exercises.