If you ask me, the biggest challenge to a maintaining fitness lifestyle is consistency. I follow the philosophy of consistency over intensity. This has helped me to maintain a sustainable fitness routine over many years. But once you cross this bridge, the next challenge would be to level up your practice. This is especially challenging when you practice alone in the comforts of your home.
In my case, I would challenge myself by trying out different yoga poses and work my way towards strengthening my body to safely do the pose. It may take me a few weeks, months, or even years to achieve strength or flexibility to perform the asana with ease. I always use props like yoga wheels, blocks, and wall support.
I don’t include advanced poses as peak pose in every yoga practice, my yoga flow is sequenced such that it will help me get stronger and more flexible to be able to do these poses someday.
If you are someone who wishes to level up your home practice here are 10 Yoga asanas that you can start working towards. All these poses were once impossible for me, but with regular practice, I have made some progress.
Mukta Hasta Sirsasana or Tripod headstand variation
Once you start getting comfortable in traditional Sirsasana and Tripod Headstand, different variations of Sirsasana can make your practice more fun and interesting. You can test your core and balance by trying out Pike or Straddle Tripod headstand and trying to hold these poses according to your comfort.
Eka Hasta Bhujasana or Elephant Trunk pose
This pose requires a good amount of flexibility and core strength. Along with that you also learn to do core compression to life up your lower body. I would break down my practice such that it includes both hip opening and core-strengthening poses. After which I would do core compression drills to learn to lift up.
Titibhasana or Firefly pose
Another excellent pose to increase your flexibility and strength. My Titibhasana isn’t perfect and I still use blocks to support myself, but working towards this pose has helped me to improve my hip flexibility and core compression.
Mayurasana took its own sweet time but I kept working on the different preparatory poses and practiced the pose itself with the support of blocks and, wall. I also looked up various tutorials from wonderful yoga teachers who showed different ways to transition into this pose. It finally helped me to do this pose. With every practice, Mayurasana is becoming easier and more comfortable.
Related pose – How I learned to do Mayurasana
I had more success in doing this pose from a height like a table. It is also called Elbow Lever.
Chakrasana or Wheel variations
If you are comfortable doing a wheel pose, you can challenge yourself with the one-legged variation or the extended leg variation as shown below.
Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana or Forearm Wheel
Another challenging variation is to do a wheel pose on forearms. I practiced this pose with a yoga wheel for many months before trying it out without one. Trust the process as you work towards your flexibility in the shoulders and upper spine.
Laghu Vajrasana or Little Thunderbolt pose
Once you become comfortable in camel pose, try out this deeper backbend that will challenge your flexibility as well as strength in your legs. Stay safe while practicing this backbend, use a wall or yoga-wheel to warm up and improve mobility in your shoulders and upper back.
Samakonasana or Center Splits or Middle splits
Depending on the anatomy of your body, middle splits may or may not be achievable for you, but you can always work towards increasing the flexibility in your legs.
Vrschikasana or Scorpion pose with wall support
Once you have conquered the headstand and are comfortable with a few arm balances, you can start including the Scorpion pose in your practice. I practice the asana with wall support and yoga blocks. Working on the Scorpion pose has helped me to strengthen my arms and also improved my backbend.
Adho Mukha Vrksasana or Handstand
Once you have gained enough core and arm strength, test your skill with handstands. I still use wall support to hold a handstand and have managed to gain a few seconds of hold without support. Working towards a handstand will help you gain a lot of strength that will help you to achieve many yoga arm balances.
If you are like me who is stuck at the wall, try out different variations to improve your arm strength.
Related Post – My Journey to front splits | Stretches for splits
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