Are you an experienced yogi? If you are, then you may want to abandon your comfort zone and increase the difficulty level of your Vinyasa Yoga Folsom practice.
Yoga, particularly Vinyasa yoga, is chock-full of opportunities for yogis to experience the best gains in many areas. Vinyasa yoga challenges every aspect of a practitioner’s structural makeup, from balance to isometric strength.
Yoga practiced this way is almost a complete workout not just for the mind and spirit but for the body. We at Zuda Yoga in Folsom, CA, endeavor to take yogis to the next level of yoga mastery.
We achieve this by teaching our yogis these 10 advanced yoga poses. These 10 advanced yoga poses will bring out the yoga master in anyone who practices them.
Utkatasana goes by many other names. The most popular alternative name for the position is “Awkward Position.”
Appropriately named, the Awkward Position puts the yogi in an unstable position. To perform the Utkatasana pose, the yogi must squat in such a way that the knees and the hip crease are parallel to each other.
Two things make this pose challenging. One is the fact that the yogi must hold the position, as with other Vinyasa Yoga Folsom positions. The other is that all the weight must be on the balls of the feet instead of the heels.
The Utkatasana pose is essentially a deep and narrow squat with the heels raised. This position places a lot of pressure on the quadriceps and the tissues around the knees. With practice and progression, the position strengthens the knees and upper thighs and improves balance.
Salabhasana, or the Locust Pose, requires the yogi to lie prone and bring the legs up as high as possible. The hands, along with the hips, provide a stable base, enabling the yogi to hold the position.
The Salabhasana pose is one of the most challenging poses in yoga despite its appearance. The reason behind its level of difficulty is that it “deadens” a muscle that’s in constant contraction — the hip flexors.
The hip flexors can be one of the stiffest muscles in the body due to chronic sitting. The Salabhasana pose demands flexibility and mobility of the thorax and relaxation of the hip flexors.
The benefit of the Salabhasana pose is better thoracic mobility and glute activation — two things every 21st-century person needs.
3. Poorna Salabhasana
Salabhasana requires the yogi to place both hands on the ground. The yogi raises only the legs.
In Poorna Salabhasana, or the Full Locust Pose, the yogi raises the arms and the chest as high as possible. This position activates the upper back muscles and intercostal muscles, producing healthy effects on the spine, shoulder girdle, and neck.
Dhanurasana, or the Bow Pose, is the more advanced progression of the Locust Pose. The Bow Pose also requires the yogi to be in a prone position and raise the head and legs as high as possible.
What makes the position the “Bow” Pose is the shape the body takes. To complete the pose, the yogi must reach and grab the ankles or insteps. This position both demands and develops the trunk’s flexibility, as well as the flexibility of the shoulders.
Ustrasana, or the Camel Pose, resembles the Bow Pose in many ways. The only difference is that instead of being in a prone position, the yogi starts kneeling. The yogi then bends as far back as possible, reaching for the ankles or insteps.
Ustrasana has the same benefits as the Bow Pose. However, because the position is vertical, there is more relaxation and “deadening” of the hip flexors. This is beneficial for lower back health and one’s posture.
6. Supta Vajrasana
To many, the Fixed Firm Pose, or Supta Vajrasana, is a familiar position. Simple in its mechanics, the Fixed Firm Pose begins from a kneeling position and finishes when the yogi fully bends backward.
Bending at the knee, the yogi must bend until the shoulders are on the ground. This pose requires a lot of flexibility in the quadriceps, hips, knees, and hip flexors. This position also challenges the range of motion of the ankles and lower back.
Needless to say, this static position improves flexibility in the areas just enumerated.
7. Dandayamana Janusirsana
The Dandayamana Janusirsana, or Standing Head-to-Knee Pose, is a standing pose. As a standing pose, it challenges the yogi’s balance and flexibility.
To perform this position, the yogi must raise one leg at a 90-degree angle. From here, the yogi must hold the position of the leg while attempting to touch the knee with the forehead.
This position will work wonders for more than flexibility. It will improve a yogi’s concentration since balance is a key skill for the pose. As well, yogis will be able to strengthen the hips and ankles with this pose.
The Garudasana Pose, or Eagle Pose, is another advanced yoga position that requires balance. To perform this pose, one leg must go behind the other. The yogi also needs to intertwine both hands and arms until both palms are in contact.
The yogi must bend at the knee slightly while holding the position. Isometric strength in the quadriceps and calves play a key role in this position. In addition, the position of the arms allows the rhomboids and shoulders to stretch.
The Janushirasana Pose, or Head-to-Knee Pose, is a forward-bending seated stretch. There are two variations of this seated stretch — one with both legs stretched forward and the other with one leg in a half-lotus position.
To correctly perform the Head-to-Knee Pose, the yogi must sit with both legs forward. He or she must bend forward, touching the knee with the forehead. For the other variation, one leg must be in a half-lotus position while the other must stretch forward.
Both variations deliver an intense stretch to the hamstrings. The single-leg version has improved hip mobility as an added benefit. Read more about other sitting down poses.
One pose challenges concentration, balance, mental stamina, and isometric strength like no other — the Padangusthasana Pose, or Toe Stand.
The Toe Stand is an advanced yoga pose that requires the yogi to balance on the balls of one foot while one foot is on the hip. The position resembles a standing Half-Lotus Pose.
Performing the Toe Stand demands immense concentration and strength in the quadriceps, calves, and feet. However, for anyone who masters this position, the benefits are numerous. The Toe Stand does everything from improving muscle and tendon strength in the lower extremities to improving balance.
Can You Perform Any of These Positions?
Building Your Vinyasa Yoga Folsom Practice
If you can, then you’re as experienced as you are flexible and mobile. If you can’t, there’s no need to worry. Mastering these advanced yoga positions takes time and patience.
If you liked this article, check out the article on yoga poses for two people!
Are you looking for a studio that offers beginner to advanced Vinyasa Yoga Folsom options? Set your yoga mat down at Zuda Yoga and unlock your body’s full potential.