Have you ever practiced yoga for some time now and really feel assured in your downward-facing canine and warrior 2?
In that case, why not problem your self by together with a number of intermediate yoga poses in your follow?
Intermediate yoga poses, or medium yoga poses, are noticeably tougher than newbie poses. They require extra core energy, steadiness, spinal flexibility, or a deeper opening of a particular physique half.
Nonetheless, as a yoga trainer, I see many yogis getting confused between intermediate and superior yoga poses. And let me inform you, attempting to try a handstand when you’ve simply mastered mountain pose will solely finish in a single factor – harm!
So that can assist you safely degree up from a newbie yogi to an intermediate practitioner, I’m detailing 18 superior intermediate poses you may regularly introduce into your follow. And be sure you learn till the top, as I’ll share my high ideas for practising these trickier poses safely and successfully.
Intermediate Poses For Leg Power & Stability
The chair pose is a heat-building posture that strengthens the whole decrease physique, together with the legs, ankles, knees, hip flexors, and again. Plus, with the arms raised, it additionally builds energy within the shoulders and higher physique whereas stretching the chest.
Stand with the ft collectively, bend your knees, and sink your hips like sitting on an precise chair. Watch out to not bend your knees an excessive amount of, as this may compromise your joints – you must nonetheless be capable to see your toes once you look down.
Reaching the arms alongside the ears makes this pose much more difficult. With the palms dealing with inwards, attempt to convey the higher arms in step with the ears with out rounding the backbone.
Half Moon Pose
Half moon pose is a wonderful asana to incorporate in your common standing sequence. It entails balancing on one leg together with your physique in a lateral place. Thus, it’s each strengthening for the standing leg and wonderful for enhancing steadiness.
I like to recommend first attempting this posture together with your decrease hand on a yoga block for help. Then, in case your steadiness and alignment are good, strive bringing your hand to the ground.
From a triangle pose, bend your entrance knee and place your entrance hand about one foot forward of your entrance foot. Then, together with your higher hand in your high hip, firmly have interaction your standing leg as you float the opposite leg up, so it’s parallel to the ground and in step with your physique.
Flex the foot of the floating leg and attain your high arm as much as the ceiling. Draw the shoulder barely again so the chest can open to the aspect.
For an additional problem, bend the lifted leg and attempt to seize the within of the foot for a quad stretch. Subsequent, raise the knee excessive and make sure the chest stays open.
Revolved Triangle Pose
Revolved triangle pose options the identical leg place as a regular triangle however with a deep twist within the backbone. This immensely improves your steadiness and stability, enhancing spinal mobility and strengthening leg muscle mass.
- Step your left leg again from the mountain pose, turning the foot out to 45 levels.
- With each legs straight and the hips dealing with ahead, inhale to raise your left arm up.
- Exhale to tilt ahead from the hips, decreasing the left arm midway.
- Take an inhale right here, then twist to the proper on the exhale, bringing the left hand to your shin or a block outdoors the entrance foot.
- Hold the core and leg muscle mass engaged as you draw your proper shoulder again, opening the chest to the proper aspect.
- Lastly, prolong the proper arm up and look as much as the highest hand.
Revolved Prolonged Facet Angle Pose
Like in revolved triangle, the revolved aspect angle pose is a deep twist and chest opener. It additionally challenges your steadiness, strengthens the leg and belly muscle mass, and profoundly stretches the hip flexors.
- Step your proper leg again from the mountain, turning the foot out to 45 levels.
- Bend your entrance knee, stacking it over the ankle. Hold your hips dealing with ahead and inhale to succeed in each arms up.
- Exhale to decrease your arms and torso ahead as you twist to the left. Place your proper hand on the ground or a block outdoors your left foot. Purpose to hug your torso to the thigh in order that the proper forearm is pressed in opposition to the outer left shin.
- Draw your left shoulder again to open the chest to the aspect and prolong the left arm.
- Another variation is to have the palms in a prayer pose on the coronary heart heart with the underside elbow hooking to the surface of the entrance knee.
Standing Hand-To-Huge Toe Pose
This balancing pose challenges your steadiness, stability, and focus and deeply stretches and opens the hamstrings.
From a mountain pose, shift your weight into your proper leg as you bend and raise your left knee, hugging it into your chest. Take a second to seek out your steadiness, then hook the peace fingers of the left hand to the massive toe and slowly prolong your leg.
For those who can’t prolong the leg absolutely, use a yoga strap. Guarantee your backbone is straight, and your shoulders are usually not hunching as much as your ears.
This balancing posture is a deep hip and shoulder opener, stretching the outer hips and higher again whereas strengthening the decrease legs. Working towards this pose can even provide help to work in direction of your first arm steadiness.
- From a standing pose, shift your weight into the proper leg the raise the left foot.
- Wrap the left leg round the proper, crossing on the thighs, and bend the knees to sink your hips.
- Bend your knees and attempt to come into the complete leg bind by wrapping the left foot round the proper calf muscle.
- From right here, prolong each arms and wrap the proper arm beneath the left. Bend the elbows and convey the proper fingertips to the left palm.
- Pull the arms away out of your face and raise the elbows barely, so you are feeling the shoulder blades pulling aside.
- Repair your gaze and breathe deeply for five breaths.
Intermediate Poses For Hip & Shoulder Opening
This standing pose strengthens the legs, glutes, and core whereas deeply stretching the hips, chest, and shoulders. It is a wonderful pose to incorporate in your standing sequences and after backbends.
- Begin in warrior 1 legs with the again foot out to 45 levels and the entrance knee bent.
- Clasp your arms behind your again and prolong your arms to open the chest.
- Inhale and lean again barely, pulling the clasped arms down. Then exhale to fold ahead from the hips, decreasing your higher physique to the within of your entrance knee.
- Holding your arms held, attain the arms as far up and over as attainable.
- Hug the shoulder to the knee and decrease your torso to deepen the hip stretch. Chill out your head and neck.
Chook of Paradise
This difficult balancing pose requires open hips and shoulders and immense steadiness and focus. Attempt utilizing a strap when you can’t bind your arms or have tight hips or shoulders.
- From the aspect angle with the proper foot ahead and knee bent, attain your proper arm beneath the underside thigh and your high arm up and over, bringing it behind the again, aiming to hitch the arms.
- With the arms clasped (or holding a strap), look to your entrance foot and step your again foot ahead subsequent to the entrance foot.
- Shift your weight to your left foot as you slowly raise your proper leg, maintaining the bind.
- Hold the proper knee bent as you straighten your backbone and discover your steadiness. Then regularly prolong that leg, pointing the toes up. Draw the proper shoulder again to open the chest.
Cow Face Pose
The cow face pose provides a deep stretch to the shoulders, arms, chest, hips, and ankles whereas enhancing your posture and lowering ache and pressure within the backbone.
- From a seated place with each legs straight, bend your proper knee and stack it over the left, bringing the proper foot to the left hips.
- Bend the underside leg in order that the foot involves the proper hip.
- Attain your proper arm behind your again, bending the elbow and reaching the fingers to the higher again.
- Attain your left arm up and switch the elbow to clasp each arms.
- Sit with a straight backbone and level the highest elbow up as you breathe into your coronary heart heart.
Whereas the garland pose (Malasana) could appear like a easy posture, it requires very open hips and, thus, is difficult for many yogis. Along with the hip flexors, it additionally stretches the internal thighs, groin, and backbone.
From a standing place, convey your ft mat-width with the toes out and heels in. Deliver your arms to the prayer pose and decrease your hips as you exhale, with the knees bending barely out to the aspect.
Deliver your hips as little as attainable with out the heels lifting off the bottom. Hold your backbone straight and press your elbows into your internal knees to open the hips additional and maintain for five to 10 breaths.
Reclined Hero Pose
Reclined hero pose provides a deep stretch to the quads, hip flexors, knees, ankles, and belly organs. The total variation with the arms overhead additionally opens the chest and shoulders.
Come right into a kneeling place with the ft to the surface of your sitting bones, permitting you to sit down instantly on the yoga mat or a folded blanket. The knees ought to be shut collectively.
Lean again onto your forearms and take a number of breaths. Then, if it feels okay, come down onto your again. Nonetheless, in case your knees raise off the bottom, keep in your forearms.
For those who can comfortably come onto your again, attain your arms overhead and seize reverse elbows.
Intermediate Poses For Core Power
Boat pose (Navasana) is without doubt one of the most dreaded seated poses because it requires plenty of core energy – one thing many people lack. Nonetheless, by together with this in your common yoga follow, you’ll considerably enhance stability and energy within the core, which is able to provide help to once you transfer on to extra superior poses.
From seated, bend your knees and draw the soles of the ft near your buttocks. Discover a straight backbone as you maintain onto the again of your thighs. Have interaction your belly muscle mass as your float your ft off the bottom and convey your shins parallel to the ground.
Launch your arms alongside your legs after which straighten the legs, sustaining your steadiness.
You might have practiced Chaturanga Dandasana as a transition within the Solar Salutations or a vinyasa circulation. Nonetheless, I see many yogis performing this pose incorrectly, which might result in harm.
Studying the right type of Chaturanga is important because it helps to construct the energy and stability wanted for a lot of superior yoga poses, similar to crow pose and peacock pose.
Begin in plank pose with the shoulders instantly over the wrists and the hips in step with the physique. Subsequent, have interaction your core as your bend your elbows and hug them into your rib cage. Then, utilizing your arm energy, slowly decrease your physique towards the ground in a single line till you hover off the ground. From right here, you may push into an upward-facing canine.
Dolphin helps to construct the higher physique energy wanted for arm balances and forearm stand. It additionally tones the core muscle mass, regulates digestion, and strengthens the quads.
From the downward-facing canine, decrease one forearm to the bottom, adopted by the opposite. The elbows and arms ought to be aligned shoulder width aside and the palms firmly planted. Subsequent, stroll your ft in as a lot as attainable, bringing the hips excessive.
Intermediate Poses For Spinal Mobility
This enjoyable posture opens the whole entrance physique and the hips whereas strengthening the again, shoulders, and higher arms. It additionally works on constructing stability within the core.
From the downward-facing canine, prolong your left leg as much as the sky. Bend the knee of the lifted leg and open the hip by drawing the foot in direction of the buttocks and pointing the knee up. Flip your physique to the left aspect and look to your left armpit.
Slowly decrease and drop the left foot behind you as you flip your torso and chest to the sky. Hold the left leg bent and prolong the proper leg with the foot firmly on the bottom. Concentrate on lifting the chest as you attain your left arm behind you.
Mermaid is a complicated variation of the pigeon pose with a further quad stretch and shoulder opening. It is usually a backend, opening the center and stretching the chest and torso.
From pigeon pose with the proper knee ahead, bend your again leg, grabbing the foot together with your left hand. Arch your backbone as you slide the foot down your forearm to hook into the internal elbow.
From right here, attain your proper arm up and over, clasping the arms behind your head. Hold your hips impartial as you breathe into your coronary heart heart.
Camel pose is without doubt one of the deepest backbends and coronary heart openers that improves spinal mobility and might launch pressure within the again and neck. Nonetheless, you also needs to follow this with care and follow the modified variation with the arms on the decrease again first earlier than coming into the complete pose.
From a kneeling place together with your hips lifted, tuck your toes and place your arms in your decrease again (fingers pointing down). Lengthen your backbone then begin to arch your again on an inhale as you actively press your hips ahead.
In case you have good spinal flexibility, transfer your arms to your ankles and drop your head again, discovering a deeper backbend. To launch, convey your arms again to your decrease again earlier than straightening the backbone, then come to youngster’s pose for at the least 5 breaths.
The wheel is one other difficult backbend that requires flexibility within the backbone and energy and opening within the shoulders.
Lay on the ground together with your knees bent, and convey your ft near your buttocks with the soles on the mat. Place your arms subsequent to your ears with fingers pointing to your shoulders and elbows pointing up.
Have interaction your thighs as you raise your hips and chest, urgent into the arms to raise the pinnacle. Subsequent, straighten the legs and arms, lifting the chest and hips whereas letting the pinnacle grasp. Maintain for five breaths after which slowly decrease again down.
How To Safely Follow Intermediate Yoga Postures
Listed here are some ideas for avoiding harm when practising these intermediate yoga poses.
Study About Preparatory & Counter Poses
Most intermediate-level asanas require deeper opening of a physique half, such because the again, hips, or shoulders. Thus, it’s important to make sure you absolutely heat up for a posture earlier than attempting it.
Due to this fact, if you wish to follow intermediate poses at house (together with courses with an authorized yoga teacher), studying how a yoga session is sequenced is a good suggestion.
For instance, let’s say you wish to study the mermaid pose. This yoga asana requires open outer hips, quads, hamstrings, and shoulder and spinal flexibility. So you must follow preparatory poses concentrating on these areas, similar to pigeon, butterfly, seated ahead bend, thread-the-needle, and low lunge with cactus arms.
Counterposes (the poses you do instantly after a yoga asana) are simply as essential as they create the physique again into steadiness by gently shifting muscle mass and joints within the reverse method to what they had been simply labored.
I like to recommend having a replica of The Yoga Bible by Christina Brown. It options photographs and cues for over 170 yoga poses and a listing of preparatory and counter poses for every.
Don’t Overlook About Props
One frequent mistake I see yogis make as they progress of their follow is the misunderstanding of not needing to make use of props anymore. Yoga props are for all ranges of yogis, not simply newbies, and simply since you don’t want a block within the Triangle pose anymore doesn’t imply you’ll by no means want props once more.
Doubtless, you gained’t grasp all of the yoga postures listed above on the primary, second, or third strive. Thus, props function a serving to hand in transitioning from newbie to intermediate poses and intermediate to superior poses.
Let’s take the chook of paradise, for instance. Many yogis can’t absolutely bind their arms on this place once they first begin practising it. With out utilizing a prop, you’ll enhance your threat of harm and compromise your posture and spinal alignment as you’ll naturally hunch forwards to hook your fingertips.
Nonetheless, when you use a yoga strap to help you as a substitute, you may follow the yoga asana with the right alignment. This lets you work in your hip and shoulder opening till, sooner or later, you understand you don’t have to succeed in to your strap anymore.
Remaining Ideas On Intermediate Yoga Postures
Whereas there are not any straightforward poses in yoga, these intermediate asanas require further energy, stability, and adaptability in comparison with newbie yoga poses.
For those who’ve been practising for some time and really feel able to degree up, why not give them a go? Nonetheless, keep in mind it’s greatest to follow them throughout a yoga class beneath your teacher’s steerage and introduce only one or two postures per session.