Challenge yourself with these 5 yoga poses

I realized today that I haven’t written much about fitness and yoga in the last few months. As the year is coming to an end, let me post this one final Yoga related post. Btw, did anyone try the 3 Funky Yoga Arm Balances I wrote about previously? It’s a step by step tutorial so do check it out 🙂 Plus Fallen Angel is so much fun.

I generally practice Hatha Yoga and love to challenge myself with new yoga poses. Since I always practice at home, my sequence starts with light stretching or Suryanamaskar. After that, few deeper stretches and backbends, followed by inversions. And finally cooling down asanas like spinal twists and savasana. Although it’s hard on the ego, I never jump into a new pose without starting from basic asanas, and then slowly transition into intermediate poses. It had taken me months to understand how some of these poses even work. 🙂

But let’s be a little adventurous today. Here are 5 yoga poses to challenge yourself. Since I learn everything from Youtube, I have provided a few links to Youtube tutorials that I found helpful.

Headstand Split (Utthita Pada Sirasasana)

If your Sirsasana is on point, take it a notch up and try to balance a headstand split. I had been trying to do splits for over a year now,  and so thought – why not upside down.

headstand with splits

Koundiyasana II with folded knee

I transition into this pose by tilting forward from Chaturanga Dandasana and resting the knee on the elbow. There are numerous ways to do Koundiyasana II, from Sirsasana or from Fallen Angel pose. It is a challenging asana, but with continuous practice of preparatory poses, this will become an excellent core and upper body workout.

arm balance Koundinyasana 2

Youtube link –

I am finally able to hold Eka Pada Koundinyasana 1. You can read about it here – Balancing Koundinyasana

Floating Camel Pose

On first look, I had seriously underestimated this pose. But once you try this pose, you will realize the challenge. It’s a backbend that stretches your legs and strengthens your core. And if you haven’t felt your thigh muscles in a long time, this pose will certainly do the honors.

flying camel pose for excellent core workout

Youtube link:

Balancing star pose (Utthita Ardha Chandrasana)

Have had enough of planks, try out this variation – with or without the support. Core On Fire!!

side planks challenge

8 Angle Pose (Astavakrasana)

The first time I watched a tutorial on this pose, I had to keep rewinding to figure out what went where. It took me a long time to even get my legs on the triceps. But patience and persistence always pay. Frankly, I don’t get it right every day. But just practicing the preparatory poses provides an excellent warmup.

8 angle pose

Youtube link:

Hope you found this post helpful. Stay strong and humble.

Related Post: How to learn yoga at home | Easy tips for beginners

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16 thoughts on “Challenge yourself with these 5 yoga poses

  1. I ws missing your posts Yoga Girl. But I know you’ve been travelling a fair bit. And of course tying yourself up in knots seeing the stupendous body twisting poses you’ve poste. Are you for real girl> Your poses are fantastic. These days I find it hard to even do a Shavasana! And I can’t think of how you can compare a Suryanamaskar with an easy stretching pose…… If I am even one fifth the Yoga girl you are it will be a major task. Perhaps I should keep this as my target for 2019 – 365 days of Yoga

  2. I got goosebumps reading this post, Raj. I am never going to attempt these. 🙂 You are a wonderful flexible person. Hey good news, I’m able to do Chaturanga asana now. You inspired me to practise. And thank you for that, Raj. I would love to see a post on your yoga routine, video or pictures. Could you do one such post?

  3. You incredible woman! You never cease to amaze and inspire me!

    I have started incorporating yoga, but as of now, I am just a beginner. So for now, these are completely out of bounds for me. But hopefully, one day..

  4. Funny coincidence — I was just thinking on Sunday how I haven’t seen a yoga post from you while I was at a yoga class! 😀 I’m in awe of your yoga practice. I’m nowhere near where you are but then again, given I mainly do vinyasa classes, we don’t get to everything. Plus I also go just once a week most of the time. You continue to inspire me.

  5. OMG!! How do you do them! Each yoga pose is difficult than the other. Love the way you have been acing these asans with your patience and perseverance. You are hugely inspiring, Raj!!

  6. Raj ji, aapke charan kahaan hain??

    You are my super hero, Raj! Really! And, I will tell you why…

    For months after hubby’s bipolar episode, I had stopped doing yoga completely. The sleep timing and the stress gave me no time or inclination to bring out my yoga mat and do some exercises. Then, last month, finally, I decided that now that I am getting my sleep, I need to get back to my Yoga. And, the first person who came to my mind was YOU! I remembered how you share your posts on Yoga, encouraging readers to try out different poses and keep trying with patience and perseverance. So, I brought out my mat and began my exercises.

    DOing it after so many months wasn’t easy. I experienced some pain here and there, and realised I had gone rusty. So, unlike last time, this time, I decided to focus on not just getting my flexibility back, but also finding peace while exercising. And, then, once my body gets back to its former toned form, I would like to share all about it on my blog…the way you do, but not all those poses that are impossible for me!Just the simple ones that make me feel so good..make my body feel less in pain and more relaxed…and make me feel at peace.

    So, for all of it, for the encouragement, the inspiration, a big big THANK YOU!!

    WIll let you know when I share a post on 5 yoga poses that help me relax my back…

  7. I don’t need 5 of these poses to challenge myself. Just seeing one is challenging enough 😉

    That aside, I am again and again amazed at your incredible flexibility. I swear I am going to call you rubber woman when we meet 😀

  8. Ever since I have started serisou yoga training this year, I am coming to realise how tough these poses are. You are effortless in doing them and I just love it when you post about them. You look so cool doing all of them. I am still trying to build strength in my upper arms; cant do chaturanga at all and can hold plank a bit!

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