If you’ve never practiced yoga, you may think it looks easy. While some postures are fairly straightforward, others are harder than they look. In this article, we explore 7 yoga poses that are harder than they look. If you want to practice them, put on your yoga pants and keep reading!
The first posture is Mountain Pose. This pose is tricky because it forces us to be with ourselves and stay in the present moment. If you can master it, though, it’s well worth it.
To practice Mountain Pose, stand tall with your feet in line with your hips. Distribute your weight evenly through each foot without shifting your center of gravity forward or back. Next, engage your thighs and draw your tailbone forward. Remember to keep your legs straight but your knees unlocked. Next, take a deep breath in and lengthen your spine as much as possible. As you exhale, draw your shoulders down and back and reach your fingertips toward the floor. On your next inhale, bring your arms up and reach your fingers toward the ceiling. Finally, bring the palms of your hands together whilst still reaching your arms upward. You are in Mountain Pose. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
Tree Pose is another posture that’s harder than it looks. While it may seem basic, it has many practitioners grinding their teeth to stay in position.
To practice Tree Pose, stand tall with your feet together. Touch your big toes together, leaving half an inch of space between your heels. Next, touch your palms together in front of your chest and engage your abdominal muscles. Slowly shift your weight onto your right foot, rooting it down by pressing firmly through the ball of your heel and big toe. Gently lift your left foot off the ground, bending the knee as you do so. When you’ve established a sense of balance, place your left foot on the inside of your right thigh. You are in Tree Pose. Hold the posture for 30 seconds before switching sides.
At first glance, Staff Pose seems simple. However, it’s actually quite challenging. While it isn’t the most advanced posture, it requires a great deal of effort and skill to achieve. It also requires isometric muscular effort and forces you to work against gravity to sustain the shape.
To practice Staff Pose, sit upright at a 90-degree angle with your legs together. Press your heels into the mat, distributing your weight evenly across your lower body. Activate your legs and draw your energy towards the middle of your body. Place your palms on the mat beside your hips with your fingers pointing towards your toes. Press your hands into the mat to sit up straight. Slowly bring your ribs in and lift your sternum, moving your torso perpendicular to the floor. Finally, lengthen your back and tuck your chin into your chest. You are in Staff Pose. Hold the posture for 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
Camel Pose looks a lot easier than it is. You might assume it’s easy to reach your heels, but many practitioners struggle with the flexibility aspect of the pose. However, with regular practice, you’ll be a pro in no time.
To practice Camel Pose, kneel on your mat with your knees below your hips. Place your hands on your bottom, keeping your fingers pointing down. Take a deep breath in and move your pelvis forward; as you do so, lean your head and torso back. At this point, you should feel a deep stretch in your upper thighs. Next, reach your left hand back and touch the heel of your left foot. If you’re flexible enough, do the same on the right side. Finally, move your pelvis forward and round your spine. You are in Camel Pose. Hold the asana for 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply. When you release the posture, try moving into Child’s Pose for a few seconds before getting up.
Triangle Pose can be hard for people with tight hips and hamstring muscles. To make the asana easier, remember to stretch and warm-up before practicing it.
To practice Triangle Pose, begin standing with your feet apart. Bring your arms out to the sides until they’re in line with your shoulders. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot in 45 degrees. Engaging your quadriceps, bend to the side over your right leg. For support, place your right hand on your ankle, shin, or knee. Finally, lift your left arm towards the ceiling and gaze at your fingertips. You are in Triangle Pose. Hold the asana for 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.
Supported Shoulder Stand can be tough on the wrists and elbows and many students placing too much weight on the neck. Not only can this be uncomfortable, but it can restrict the abdomen and crunch the cervical spine. To avoid this, take the time to achieve the correct form before holding the asana.
To perform the Supported Shoulder Stand, begin by lying on your back. Bend your knees while keeping the soles of your feet on the floor. After a few seconds, gently lift your feet and buttocks off the mat. To support the asana, place your hands on your lower back for support and keep your upper arms on the floor. When you’re ready, slowly raise your legs towards the ceiling. On your next breath straighten your knees without locking them. Your heels should be pointing toward the ceiling. You are in Supported Shoulder Stand. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds before lowering your legs back down to the ground.
Savasana is a classic example of a yoga pose that’s harder than it looks. While unwinding in Corpse Pose can seem easy, many people find it difficult to focus the mind or even lie flat on their back for an extended duration. If your shoulders and neck are too tight, it can be uncomfortable to lie flat, while a tight back can cause pain or discomfort. To make the posture easier, remember to stretch thoroughly before your class.
To practice Savasana, lie on your back with your legs extended. Relax your arms and rest them by the sides of your body. You are in Savasana. Hold the asana for around 5 minutes, or until you feel your body and mind start to relax.
So, there you have it – 7 yoga poses that are harder than they look. To make the postures easier, remember to stretch and warm up your muscles before class. To give yourself a helping hand, wrap up in a cozy yoga hoodie on the way to the studio.