There is no shortage of hard yoga pose #inspo on Instagram these days. But what if you are Actually inspired to try one yourself? Where would you even start? We chatted with Megan Hochheimer, founder of Karma Yoga Fitness in Valrico, Fla., who frequently publishes his own impressive “physics experiments” (his words) to discover the benefits of pushing the limits of your practice, the prerequisites for successful next level poses, and of course, 20 hard-to-follow yoga poses plus pro tips, courtesy of Hochheimer. (Note that many of these delicate poses have a variety of names; the ones included here are what Hochheimer calls them.)
First and foremost, have fun with, “Where else can you be an adult and be barefoot and roll around on the floor and breathe as hard as you want?” In your yoga practice, all of these things are welcome, so there’s no reason why some of these tricky poses shouldn’t be a fun adventure.
The benefits of hard yoga poses
You will learn more about your practice.
“Sometimes I see something in a photo and I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, I sure could do it.’ But then I end up laughing at myself because there’s no way, “Hochheimer says. On the other hand, with a good job of prep and practice, she’s pulled off poses that she never thought you could. “It’s cool to find out where those nuances are in your own body. This self-learning is something that is so encouraged in yoga.
You will perfect your functional strength.
“When you develop this strength to get up and down from the ground, balancing on one foot or on your hands, you are fine-tuning the parts of your physique that are going to help make the rest of your daily activities so much more enjoyable. Hochheimer says.
You will refine your proprioception.
Other benefits include working on your proprioception which, when boring, can lead to balance issues. “In most of these delicate poses, there is that element of balance, whether it’s a knee to the floor, a foot to the floor, an arm in balance, or an inversion.” , explains Hochheimer. “When you start to build this, you develop focus and proprioception. “
The prerequisites of the hard yoga pose
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Some poses can take years to master, while you may be able to do others right away. “What’s really important is that we don’t take ourselves too seriously about this,” Hochheimer says. “If you are going to approach it in a really competitive way, it sometimes invites injury. While if you approach it in a fun way, and just stick with yourself the entire process, I think it’s a very healthy exploration.
Lease like a child.
Know this: you are Go fall from arm balances and inversions. “All of us who have learned how to do them fall in one way or another, so the more you can understand the mechanics of your body and how you do it, the safer you can be when you need to bail out. . ” When you are a little kid you ride a bike, you fall, you roll in the grass and you are not that badly injured. So, before you try any of these poses, just do a few wheels and roll on the ground to regain contact with that part of yourself and practice falling down safely.
Truly, Truly Warm up.
The better you warm up, the better you will be able to get into these poses. And not for nothing, Hochheimer notes that they will look more aesthetic to boot. A Vigorous flow of 10 minutes should increase your heart rate and warm up your muscles, but also make sure you specifically target the areas you’ll be using in each pose.
Take videos or photos.
“Sometimes in my head I thought things were going to look one way, but then they look different in a photo or video,” says Hochheimer. “Watching them afterwards helps me make small adjustments or figure out that I need to do my homework and build more tricep strength with declining push-ups, or a foam roller, or whatever. It helps you learn because you don’t repeatedly come back to those failure patterns.
Practice and consider using Pro.
Remember: these are hard yoga poses! “With all yoga, a lot of it is practice, so keep coming back to it,” Hochheimer says. Working with an experienced teacher can help you master them faster and more safely.