Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that has many benefits, from increasing flexibility and improving concentration to calming the mind and body. Extreme yoga poses can take your practice to the next level by really pushing you to your limits. Here are some extreme yoga poses that you may want to consider if you’re looking for a new challenge:
The Splits Pose (Hanumanasana)
The Splits Pose, also known as Hanumanasana is named after Hanuman, the monkey warrior in Hindu mythology. This extreme yoga pose demands intense flexibility in the legs and hips and stretches the hamstrings. To perform Hanumanasana, begin in a runner’s lunge with your rear knee resting on the ground. As you exhale, shift your weight forward and slowly straighten your front leg.
The Crane Pose (Bakasana)
The Crane Pose or Bakasana is definitely an extreme yoga pose that requires great core strength, flexibility and balance. Start in a crouched position with your feet together and your arms bent, your hands placed firmly on the ground in front of you and your knees tucked into your arms. Keeping your lower back as flat as possible, contract your abdominal muscles and straighten your arms while pushing your knees into your arms. Lift your feet off the ground and straighten your arms as much as possible.
The Scorpion Pose (Vrschikasana)
The Scorpion Pose or Vrschikasana is an extreme backbend that requires a great deal of flexibility, strength, and balance. Start by facing the wall and placing your palms flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart and about an arm’s length away from the wall. Lift your right leg onto the wall and slowly start to walk your hands closer to the wall. Once your leg is on the wall, lean your torso back while lifting your head and both legs off the ground. Contract your glutes to keep your legs in place.
The King Pigeon Pose (Rajakapotasana)
The King Pigeon Pose or Rajakapotasana is an extreme backbend that requires considerable amount of flexibility. To perform this pose, start by coming into a Downward Facing Dog position. Lift your right leg up and bend your knee. Place your right foot near your left hand, keeping your toes pointed in the same direction. Move your left leg to the back so that your shin remains perpendicular to the floor. With your left leg extended, place your hands on either side of your right leg and slowly start to lift your torso off the ground. Be sure to maintain a straight back and extend your chest forward.
If you are looking for an extreme yoga challenge, try taking on some of the poses mentioned above! You may find that these poses help take your practice to the next level, and deepen your spiritual practice.