5 Advanced Yoga Exercises to Level up Your Practice

If you’ve already mastered the basics of yoga, it might be time to level up your practice and take on something a bit more progressive and challenging. The good news is that there are several advanced yoga exercises that can take your practice to an all-new level.

Advanced yoga poses can help target larger muscle groups and strengthen the body even more than the basic ones. So, if you are ready to push yourself further both mentally and physically, here’s an advanced yoga sequence you may be interested in.

Before trying the listed yoga poses, make sure to warm up, perform each move slowly, and use props if needed.

Peacock pose (Mayurasana), Forearm stand (Pincha Mayurasana), and 3 other advanced yoga exercises to try

The poses listed below are sure to challenge your body in every way. Warm up with a few beginner poses and then move into this advanced sequence.

1) Crow pose (Kakasana)


Here’s how to do this yoga pose correctly:

  • Start the pose in a low squat position with your feet at a hip distance, elbows on the inner part of your knees, and heels lifted.
  • Slowly lean forward and place your hands in front of you on the floor at a shoulder-width distance. Move your chin slightly forward and bend your arms to make a 90-degree angle. Push your hands into the floor and move your hips up. As you’ll do this, your feet will automatically start to come off the floor.
  • Lift one foot up while maintaining the engagement of your arms and core. Once you are comfortable with one foot raised, start to lift your other foot.
  • Keep your gaze on the floor in the front, and make sure to keep a 90-degree bend in your elbows.
  • Hold this posture for a few seconds, and come out by placing your feet down.

2) Peacock pose (Mayurasana)


Here’s how to do this asana correctly:

  • Start this asana by kneeling on the ground with your knees wide. Lean forward and position your palms on the floor, with your fingers facing your body.
  • Slide your knees and bend your elbows to the outside of your arms and lean your torso towards your upper arms.
  • Lower your head and straighten your knees as you extend your legs behind you, with the tops of your feet on the floor.
  • Once you feel steady, slowly lift your legs and shift your weight forward.

3) Firefly pose (Tittibhasana)


Here’s how to do this yoga pose correctly:

  • Start the pose by squatting down and leaning your torso between your legs. Position your hands inside your legs on the floor and move your upper arms close to your upper thigh.
  • Now start to lift yourself off the ground and shift your weight onto your hands. Allow your legs to straighten in front of you and move your center of gravity back.

4) Extended hand-to-big-toe pose (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)


Here’s how to do this asana correctly:

  • Stand in Tadasana (mountain pose) and move your left knee towards your belly. Bring your left hand towards the inside of your left thigh and reach the outside of your left foot.
  • Keep your right leg stable and standing. Extend your left leg out just in front of you.
  • Once you are steady in this position, move your left leg out to your left and hold the posture for a few seconds.
  • To come out, get back to the Mountain pose and relax.
  • Repeat on the other side.

5) Forearm stand (Pincha Mayurasana)


Here’s how to do this yoga pose correctly:

  • Stand in front of a wall and begin the pose in the downward dog position, with your fingertips close to the wall. Now, slowly lower onto your forearms and come into the dolphin pose.
  • Bend your elbows and bring your palms and forearms flat against the floor. Make sure your upper arms are perpendicular to your forearms and your gaze is down and forward.
  • Now curl your toes and raise your hips to get into a downward-facing dog position with your legs. Move your feet in towards your elbows and raise your leg to a down-dog split position.
  • Kick the lifted leg as your bottom leg jumps up and land both heels on the wall.
  • Remain in this pose for as long as you can while breathing deeply and slowly throughout.

Bottom line

As with any advanced yoga exercise, it is normal to feel intimidated at first. However, with time, consistent practice, and patience, you’ll be nailing these poses in no time.

Just remember to start slow, focus on your form, and do not over-stretch.

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh

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