It’s well known that yoga has many health benefits — from increased flexibility and strength to decreased stress and blood pressure to better posture and muscle tone — but while the benefits far outweigh the risks, dangers still exist. And the more difficult the pose, the greater the chance for injury. Here are some of the hardest poses you can learn, and while they certainly look impressive, don’t rush into trying them out. Only experienced yoga practitioners should attempt these poses because, while they may not kill you, you could end up in some serious pain.
Be Cautious with These Difficult Yoga Poses
Here are a few tips to avoid injury and lower the risks in your yoga workout:
- Don’t rush. Learn the basics of yoga first, then slowly build your way up to the more advanced poses.
- Use a qualified teacher. Videos are a convenient way to begin your yoga routine, but without someone watching you, it’s hard to determine if you’re using the correct technique. That’s why it’s best to start out in a class where a teacher can help you learn technique before moving on to a solo regimen. If you’re not comfortable with your instructor or feel that he/she is pushing you too hard, find a new class. You have to be at ease to reap the full benefits of yoga.
- Stick with it. Consistent practice will increase your flexibility and thus decrease your risk of injury.
- Be observant. If you feel pain, stop and speak with your teacher. The problem might be as simple as you being out of alignment. Although yoga can be difficult, there’s no need to push yourself to the point of pain. Also, listen to your breathing. If it’s getting tense and you find yourself clenching too much, you might be forcing the pose.
- Go at your own pace. Don’t feel like you have to keep up with other yoga students, or even with your teacher. Know your body’s limits (which may change from day to day), and don’t go beyond them, even if others are more advanced than you. You’ll get there eventually.
- Talk to your teacher. If you have concerns about a particular pose, ask your instructor. A good yoga teacher can adjust the poses to your level of ability, particularly if you have physical restrictions due to a medical condition.
- Be aware of preexisting conditions. People with certain medical conditions — such as pregnancy, high blood pressure, back problems, osteoporosis, a detached retina or ear problems — should avoid certain poses due to increased risk of injury. A trained instructor can help you determine which poses are suitable for you.
Eight Angle Pose (Astavakrasana):
Firefly Pose (Tittibhasana):
Scorpion Pose (Vrschikasana):
Side Crow/Crane Pose (Parsva Bakasan):
Little Thunderbolt Pose (Laghu Vajrasana):
Peacock Pose (Mayurasana):
Foot-Behind-the-Head Pose (Eka Pada Sirsasana):
Upward Facing Two-Foot Staff Pose (Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana):
Kneeling Tree Pose (Vrksasana):
Pose for the Sage Kasyapa (Kashyabasana):
Dragonfly Pose (Parsva Bhuja Dandasana):
Bhuja Vrischikasana (Arm Balance Scorpion):
Flying Crow Pose (Eka Pada Galavasana):
Yogic sleep pose (Yoganidrasana):