7 Best Yoga Poses for Intermediate Learners

Soniya
Effective intermediate yoga poses worth trying (Image via Unsplash / Carl Barcelo)
Effective intermediate yoga poses worth trying (Image via Unsplash / Carl Barcelo)

Have you been practicing yoga for a while and are now ready to take your practice up a notch?

The next level is where it gets fun. You'll want to strive for being able to do all of the beginner poses but with more focus on detail, like doing them correctly.


Yoga Poses for Intermediate Learners

To perform these poses properly, it's best to start with a warm-up. Try them either during or after an active flow. They're for intermediate or advanced yogis only. If you're new to the practice, try some beginner yoga stretches instead.

These moves will have you poised and ready to dive into more advanced yoga. Here are the top seven poses for intermediate level yogis:

1) Handstand Yoga Pose (Adho Mukha Vrkasana )

Handstand pose strengthens the body and boosts energy and mood. It also strengthens the core muscles, improves balance and stability, and increases blood circulation throughout the body.

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To do this pose:

  • Stand in a split with your hands on the floor.
  • Kick up into a straight-legged position, balancing on the standing leg with a slight bend in the knee.
  • Lift your other leg, and bring it into the hip socket of your standing leg, keeping that foot flexed.
  • Bring your legs together, touching your big toes and keeping your heels slightly apart.

2) Twisted Floor Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

The Twisted Floor Bow Pose stretches your front body and hip flexors, strengthens your back muscles, and opens your chest and shoulders.

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To do this yoga pose:

  • From the sphinx pose, extend your right arm forward, and bring your left arm over to the other side. Lower yourself down onto your elbow.
  • Bend your elbow so that it's lower than your shoulder.
  • Curl your legs up and in towards your chest as you reach out with each hand to grab hold of a foot.
  • Lift your knees up to help lift your chest, head and shoulders off the ground.

3) Crane Pose (Bakasana)

The Crane pose is a great way to get started with arm balancing. You can use a pillow or blanket beneath your head if you're worried about falling.

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Here's how you do it:

  • Start in Downward Facing Dog.
  • Lift your pelvis, and straighten your arms, lifting your feet off the mat.
  • Keep shifting forward to lift your knees off the ground, and bend your elbows, bringing them toward each other behind you.
  • Point your toes, lifting up through the entire body.

4) Split Pose

Splits are great for stretching your entire lower body. If you practice them regularly, they can help improve your hip mobility.

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To do this posture:

  • From the Ardha Hanumanasana or Half Monkey pose, come up on your hands.
  • Place your fingers below your shoulders, and flex your front foot to protect your knee.
  • Slide the back knee back, bringing the heel forward till your sit bone connects with the ground.
  • Square your hips by rolling the inner thigh of the back leg up.

5) One-Legged King Pigeon Pose

The one-legged King Pigeon Pose is a deep backbend and hip-opener that takes flexibility to do. However, with practice, you can enjoy the benefits of this pose.

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Here's how you do it:

  • From downward-facing dog, lift one leg high off the ground with a bent knee.
  • Bring that lifted leg behind your hands, laying your shin down perpendicular to your body. To protect your bent knee, flex your ankle.
  • Lower down to the mat, and make sure your back leg is straight behind you. Square off your hips, and bend that straight leg to a 90-degree angle.

6) Scorpion Pose

If you want to learn an advanced yoga pose, scorpion pose is an ideal place to start. To do it well, you'll need a solid handstand practice, but the time you put in will be totally worth it.

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To doa Scorpion Pose:

  • Lie on your back, legs straight up in the air, with your arms reaching toward your toes.
  • Bend one knee while keeping the other leg straight.
  • Touch both toes toward your head while lifting your chest and head into a mini backbend.
  • Bend the straight leg and bring one foot to touch the ground as you reach toward it with the other foot.

7) One-Legged Crow Pose (Ek Pada Bakasana)

The One-legged crow pose is an advanced arm balance that requires great strength, core engagement and coordination. It's a challenging variation of the crow pose.

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To do this pose:

  • From the crow pose, keep your toes flexed and your heels pulled in towards your butt.
  • Draw in your abdomen, and spread your shoulder blades wide.
  • Bend your right knee towards your chest as you shift your weight toward the left.
  • Extend, and straighten your right leg diagonally upward, away from your body.

Takeaway

Yoga can be as challenging or as restorative as you make it. It’s important to remember that your yoga practice should be about your health and well-being – it’s a personal journey.

Whether you’re beginning with your first steps on the mat or have been practicing for some time, the aforementioned simple tips can help you take the next step on the road to enlightenment.

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Edited by Bhargav