Intermediate/Advanced
Free Yoga Exercises


Side Plank


INTERMEDIATE/ADVANCED YOGA POSES

Here are more free yoga exercises that you can work on, however, beginners should not attempt headstand inverted postures or any other advanced poses without supervision of a qualified yoga teacher. Inverted and advanced poses should not be done by anyone with high or low blood pressure, neck, back or eye problems, or any limiting physical condition, without the approval of your medical care professional.

The following free yoga exercises are some of the more intermediate/advanced poses that take time, practice, and personal guidance for the best results.

Please practice these free yoga exercises with care and assistance from a partner, if needed, and always honor and listen to your body.

Salamba Sirsasana - Headstand

Headstand is known as the "King of Asanas" for good reason. Once mastered, it provides many benefits including increased blood flow to the head. It promotes poise, balance, physical strength and mental clarity.

Start by kneeling and placing a folded blanket in front of you for a little cushioning of the head while in the pose. Clasp your fingers and place the elbows down in front of you, no wider than shoulder distance apart on the blanketed floor, then place the very top (crown) of the head down, making sure that the cupped hands are behind the head for support. Lift off the knees and straighten the legs as you inch the feet closer to the head. As you do that, the spine will start to straighten. Bend the knees into the chest. The straighter the back, the easier it will be to bend the knees close to the body. Once you are in a folded position with the knees close to the chest and feet off the floor, try slowly raising the legs straight up. This is where you may need assistance. You can also try this against a corner of the room, leaving two or three inches between your head and either side of the corners of the walls. Hold for as long as you can, up to five minutes. At first, you may not be able to hold very long, but with practice your hold time will increase.

Headstand



When coming down, bend the knees close to the chest as in going up, and gently bring the toes to touch the floor.

Bend the knees and rest in Extended Child's Pose, Balasana, for a few minutes, to allow the blood flow to return to normal and the body to stabilize.

Childs Pose - Balasana


Free Yoga Exercises

Bakasana - Crow or Crane Pose

Crow, also known as Crane Pose is an arm balance that needs an equal amount of strength and leveraging of your body weight.

Beginner Level:

Begin by crouching down in a squat position with the arms inside the legs. Press bent elbows inside the bent knees where there is a fold in the legs. This position of the elbows pressing into the bent part of the knees acts like a shelf until you gain more strength to go into the level shown. Pressing the elbows outward into the folded part of the inner knees, start to raise your tailbone with the strength of the legs. Slowly, as the elbows are pressing out and the knees are pressing in, start to lean forward and lift off the toes until you are balancing.

Intermediate/Advanced Level (shown):

This time instead of pressing the elbows into the inner knees, squat down and start by bringing the knees into the arm pits. Begin to shift the weight and try to keep the knees on the upper arms (shown on left).

This pose can also be done from a full lotus position (shown on right).

Hold for as long as you can, a few seconds at first, then as long as you feel comfortable.

Bakasana - Crow Pose

Bakasana on Beach


Free Yoga Exercises

Parsva Bakasana - Side Crow or Crane Pose

Side Crow is similar to the above move, only this time you will crouch down and turn the knees to the side. Compact your body close to the arms and bend the elbows. Climb up high on the arms and slowly start to shift the weight forward. You will be resting on the upper arms. Make sure the knees are pulled in tight, legs togehter and parallel to the floor. Hold for as long as you feel comfortable.

Parsva Bakasana - Side Crow


Free Yoga Exercises

Salamba Sarvangasana - Supported Shoulder Stand

Shoulder Stand is a great inversion that provides many benefits. However, like the Headstand, beginners should not attempt inverted postures or any other advanced pose without supervision of a qualified yoga teacher. Inverted and advanced poses should not be done by anyone with high or low blood pressure, neck, back or eye problems, or any limiting physical condition, without the approval of your medical care professional.

To begin, start in a lying down position. Bring the knees into the chest and slowly start to raise the hips off the floor, supporting your hips with your hands. Come up as hight as possible and bring the legs straight up, continuing to support the low back.

The pose below shows one leg down to the floor as a variation.



Salamba Sarvangasana - Shoulderstand


Free Yoga Exercises

Halasana - Plough Pose

Plough pose is an intense posterior stretch and should not be performed unless the body is completely warmed up, preferably towards the end of a fairly vigorous yoga practice.

Plough can be moved into from Shoulderstand, shown above, by dropping the knees first towards the head, then slowly extending the legs straight out, touching the floor with the feet. Hold the pose as long as you feel comfortable. When coming out of the pose, hold the legs while slowly lowering the back down to the floor or support the hips while coming down carefully.

Halasana - Plough Pose

Halasana - Plough Pose


Free Yoga Exercises

Navasana - Boat Pose

This pose takes a little balance and flexibility. Start by sitting in an upright position with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor close to the body. Hold the ankles and bring the feet off the floor with knees close to the body. Slowly raise the toes to the sky as you hold the ankles. Try to let go of the ankles and bring the arms straight out, parallel to the floor (not shown).

Navasana


Free Yoga Exercises

Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana - Upward Facing Plough or Intense Posterior Stretch

This pose is the same as Halasana, but instead of lying on your back, you are balancing on the tailbone in an upright position. You can start in Navasana - Boat Pose, shown above. Gently start to bring the legs closer to the chest, keeping the legs as straight as possible. Hold for as long as you feel comfortable. When through, bend the knees into the chest and relax.

Upward Facing Plough Pose


Free Yoga Exercises

Eka Pada Sirsasana - Foot to Head Pose

This pose requires lots of flexibility. At first, just bend the knee and take the foot to the chest, then bring it up higher and higher. Eventually, you may be able to bring it behind the head and bring the palms in prayer position (not shown.)

Eka Pada Sirsasana


Free Yoga Exercises

Astavakrasana - Eight Angle Pose

This pose takes a little time and practice. Start in the above position, Eka Pada Sirsasana, to increase the flexibility of the legs. Keep the right leg high up on the right arm, place palms on the floor beside hips, and extend the left leg to reach straight in front, as in the picture directly below. Start to press off the floor with the palms using your arms and core strength. Keep the left leg straight ahead, toes pointed. Hold in the lifted position for a few seconds, then bend the left leg so that you can hook the left foot over the right, keeping feet flexed at this point. Start to bend the elbows further, lean forward, and balance on the upper arms as you extend fully out to the right. Hold the pose for as long as you can. Come down gently. Rest, then repeat on the other side.

Eight Angle Prep

Astavakrasana - Eight Angle Pose



The Next Challenge!

Ready for the next challenge? Try Eternity Yoga's Power Fusion DVD - Intermediate/Advanced Level. This video will give you strength, balance and flexibility. It is a strength building practice. View it at least once before practicing it to familiarize yourself with the moves. Stick with the practice and you'll feel empowered and energized.

Click the DVD below to get your copy!


Power Yoga Video






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