How To Learn Advanced Yoga Poses: A Quick Guide
If you’re already searching how to learn advanced yoga poses, you’ve probably already mastered both basic and intermediate yoga poses. However, advanced yoga poses can be a different beast from the easier poses, and they do require a certain level of flexibility, strength, and mastery of the basic poses to ensure that you perform advance poses safely and effectively.
In order to do advanced yoga poses properly, you need to take things slowly. Even if you’ve already mastered the basic poses, advanced yoga poses require a higher level of physical and mental discipline. The only way to be able to achieve the needed discipline is through dedicated practice and proper instruction. Eventually, you will be able to perform advanced yoga poses properly and it will be an extremely rewarding experience!
Being Physically Prepared for Advanced Yoga Poses
If a yoga practitioner, you would already know that performing advanced yoga poses means that you need to have a certain level of strength, balance, flexibility, and stability. Advanced yoga poses contain more challenging asanas that are difficult to perform if you have not reached the required levels of physical preparation beforehand.
The most important poses in the beginner and intermediate levels that you need to have mastered are those that focus on your core strength and flexibility. Keep in mind that these “lower levels” are the foundations for your advanced poses, so you need to make sure that you’ve perfected them before moving on to more difficult poses. Higher level yoga poses are composed to intense backward bends, difficult arm and leg bends, and even body inversions. What’s more, these poses are often combined in complex ways.
Let’s take the Lord of the Dance Pose, or the “Natarajasana”. It is a difficult standing yoga pose that is performed on one leg with one arm stretched out in front while your other hand grasps your other leg behind you. In order to perform this pose properly, you’ll need the core strength that you will learn from a sun salute (Surya Namaskar) which you will learn at the beginner’s level, combined with the balance and flexibility of the half moon pose (Surya Namaskar), which is an intermediate yoga pose. Once you have achieved the core strength, flexibility, and balance required, you can learn the Lord of the Dance pose.
Simply put, having the physical capability to be able to do advanced yoga poses is a ladder: it’s a step-by-step process and you need to be patient!
Having the Right Props to Keep You Safe and Comfortable
If you’re looking to move towards learning how to perform advanced yoga poses, you probably already have the two basic yoga props: the mat and yoga blocks. Now it’s time to invest in props that will help you alleviate your yoga practice to the next level:
- Yoga Wedge – a yoga wedge is a soft wedge that’s usually made from firm foam. As you start performing more complicated yoga poses, you will need a yoga wedge to be able to help you bear your weight and increase flexibility. Using a yoga wedge also gives you support where you need it. For people who are suffering from conditions such as backaches and tight glutes, a yoga wedge can also help alleviate weight and stress on tender areas such as your legs, wrists, and lower back.
- Yoga Wheel – compared to other yoga props, yoga wheels are newer on the market however it is quickly becoming a popular prop with advanced yoga practitioners. Yoga wheels help stretch the spine and open up the sides and front of the body. Using a yoga wheel helps stretch the spine and massages it to be able to become flexible slowly and safely.
- Yoga Board – the yoga board mimics the traditional paddle board that many yoga practitioners use while performing asanas on the water. Yoga boards have three rockers on the underside of the board to help you practice your balance and stability.
While these props are not necessarily required in order for you to learn and perform advanced yoga poses, they are a good investment if you want to increase your physical strength and maintain your safety and comfort during these poses.
Preparing Your Mind as Well as Your Body
Aside from physical strength, being able to perform advanced yoga poses entails a certain level of mental preparation. During your beginner and intermediate phases, it was mental discipline that made you practice your poses until you were able to perform them properly. This mental strength and discipline are the foundations that you will need as you advance to more difficult yoga poses.
The more you practice advanced yoga poses, the more you will notice that you are building up a certain level of concentration and stillness within your mind that allows you to fully immerse yourself in your yoga routine.
Finding a Yoga Master
While you were still a beginner or even an intermediate yoga student, you might have found that you could learn and perfect the poses on your own. However, with advanced yoga poses, it might become necessary for you to find a qualified and experienced yoga master.
Getting an experienced yoga master to help you means that not only will you have guidance and direction about your yoga poses, but you will also have someone who can motivate you and make sure that you’re performing your poses safely and correctly.
If you are serious about your yoga journey, it’s only natural that you want to know how to learn advanced yoga poses once you’ve mastered both the beginner and intermediate poses. However, this should be a journey that you take slowly; make sure that you are learning the proper positioning of your body and that you are gaining the right levels of strength, flexibility, and balance. Your body will always be the most accurate barometer if how you are learning the advanced yoga poses. Listen to how your body is responding to advanced yoga poses to learn when to rest and when to push yourself.