October 5, 2021

Yoga Poses to Level Up Your Practice-15 Advanced Ones

Yoga should not be considered an easy form of exercise. It can be just as difficult to maintain muscle engagement, focus and control as doing a set number of burpees. The myth that yoga is a form or meditation is false. However, consistent yoga movement can help to increase muscle tone and endurance. Participants who did sun salutations six days per week for 24 weeks saw significant increases in their upper body strength and endurance. Female participants also experienced a decrease of body fat.

You may be a regular yogi, or just starting your practice. Advanced yoga poses can be more effective at strengthening your body than standard Chaturanga. Liza Colpa is a yoga instructor at YogaToday. This subscription-based platform offers thousands of online yoga, Pilates and meditation classes. Below are some moves and instructions that will help you work your body and mind even faster than before.

Chin Stand for Yoga

Benefits: Strengthens wrists, biceps and upper arms. Opens up chest and throat.

Slowly lower your chest and chin to the yoga mat from the plank position. To rest your hands and chin, use your core to hug your inner thighs and lift one leg.

Compass Pose

Benefits: It opens up the hamstrings and glute muscles.

Standing straight up, place your right foot over your right shoulder. Place your right hand on the ground and grab the right foot with the left. To extend your right leg straight ahead, hug the inner thighs and open your chest. Repeat the process on the opposite side.

Crow Pose

Benefits: It opens the hips and strengthens the core, arms and wrists.

Garland pose, or a yoga squat: Place your big toes together. Next, rest your knees on your triceps. Start rocking back and forth on your wrists. When you feel stable, lean forward and use your core strength. Then, hug your inner thighs in towards one another. Engage your core, and lift your toes towards the glute muscles.

Eight-Angle Pose

Benefits: Total-body engagement pose.

This position strengthens and lengthens every part of your body, from head to tip, particularly the inner thighs and arms. Start by sitting down and try to wrap your right leg around the right shoulder. Next, place your left leg in front your right hand. To tighten the inner thighs, pull the knees forward and lift your hips. Repeat the process on the opposite side.

Flying Crow

The benefits: Strengthens the upper body and arms, wrists, wrists, shoulders, and hands.

Keep your knees together, pointing to your right side. Try placing your right hip on your right elbow and your right knee on your left elbow. Engage your core and lean forward. Your toes will lift off the floor if you do this. You can then try to split your legs by reaching up and behind the left leg.

Forearm Stand

Benefits: Increases circulation, strength, and core stability.

Walk feet from Dolphin Pose to your heart. Keep your gaze in the middle of the wrist and lift one leg. Then, hop to the other. Once your legs are straight and stable, engage your core and press your forearms into ground. Bend your knees and send your gaze forward, lifting your chest and opening your chest as your feet touch the head.


Benefits: Reduce stress, improve memory, reduce anxiety, strengthen the core and back, stimulate the lymphatic system and calm the mind.

Place the crown of your head on the mat by making a basket with your hands. The forearms should be pressed into the ground. Next, lift your knees up and move the feet towards the face. Start by lifting one foot and then the other. When your knees are tucked in and your feet are above the ground, lift one foot, then the other, until you have straight legs.

Lizard Variation for Yoga

Benefits: Stretches hip flexors and quadriceps.

Place your right leg on the outside of the left hand. Toe your right foot towards the side of the yoga mat. Next, curl your toes under your left leg and align your left leg behind your back. Next, twist your right leg to the side and grab your left foot. To stretch the foot further, press the left foot into your hand. This can be done on your forearms.

Mermaid Pose

Benefits: This exercise will stretch the legs, hips and quadriceps as well as the chest and glute muscles. It also opens the upper back.

As a three-legged dog, lift your right leg and place your right knee under your right wrist. Next, move your right heel towards the left hip point. Next, move your left foot in front of you. Turn to the left from this Pigeon Posture and grab your left foot’s top. Try to send your left foot into the crook at the elbow. Then, send your right hand behind you to grab your left hand.

Nataranjasana (or “Dancer Pose”) for Yoga

Benefits: Strengthens core stability and core stability; strengthens shoulders, core, chest, quadriceps, and core.

Take your weight onto your right foot and hold the left foot in your hand. Bend your left leg at the knee. Next, grab the inside of your left shoe. The top of your foot should be pressed into your hand. Press your foot up and lift it high.

Side Crow

Benefits: Increases strength in the upper body, core and glute muscles; increases lengthening of the hamstrings.

Keep your knees together, pointing to the right, and rest your right hip on the right elbow. The left side of your leg should be on the left elbow. Engage your core and lean forward to lift the toes off the ground.

Side Plank With Lifted Leg Variation

Benefits: It opens up the hamstrings.

Lift your hips high from the side plank position and then send the right knee into your free top hand. Try wrapping two fingers around your big toe. Next, lift your right leg up and extend it forward so that you can stack the legs over the top of your right hip.

Standing Hand to Big Toe For Yoga

Benefits: This treatment stabilizes the core and opens the hips.

Transfer the weight to the right foot. The left foot should be lifted off the ground. Next, wrap your fingers around the left knee. You can now wrap your fingers around the big tip of the left foot. Next, extend your left leg outward and to the side. To ensure stability, hug your inner thighs towards one another.

Standing Forward Fold to Tripod Headstand Press

Benefits: Strengthens the back and hamstrings; strengthens the arms and core.

Place your hands on your side and rest your head on the ground. Keep elbows above the wrist, and hug in. You can then move your knees towards the bent elbows or use your core strength and inner thigh power to move the legs toward the sides and into a straddle.

Wild Thing Into Bow Pose for Yoga

Benefits: Increases chest, back and hip flexibility.

Flip your three-legged dog and place your right foot on the ground. Press all four corners of your foot into the yoga mat by pivoting your foot. Send your hips upward and reach the right hand. Continue lifting your hips up until enough space is created in your upper back for you to drop your right hand to the ground. Then flip your left thumb to face your feet. Now, move your feet closer to your hands and enter the full bow.

After you have mastered these poses, head over to YogaToday to take their full-length advanced series classes.