Some times slowing down can really increase the strength and difficulty of a pose. I almost always find that to be the case in yoga.
Try these 7 poses, and hold each one for at least 5 deep breaths for an intermediate yoga challenge of strength and balance.
1. Reclined Bound Angle – Lay back on your mat. Bring the soles of the feet together, dropping knees out to the sides. Reach arms up overhead. Interlace the fingers, releasing the index. Inhale to stretch. Exhale, bring the knees up to touch, and curl to lift up and tap hands to knees. Inhale to open back up. Move through 5-10 times.
2. Tiger Pose – Come up to hands and knees. Flatten the back, reaching tailbone to back and crown forward. Engage the low belly to flatten the back. Extend the left arm forward, thumb pointing up. Lift right leg up, bending the knee. Reach the left hand back to clasp hold of the foot. Push the foot into the hand to deepen the back bend.
3. Modified Side Plank – Release the foot to the floor, keeping the leg extended. Roll to the inner edge of the right foot. Reach the right arm up to the sky, stacking the shoulders. To add on, float the right leg up to hip height. To bind, bend the knee and reach back to grab the foot with the right hand. Keeping knee and ankle parallel with hip.
Repeat 2 and 3 through on the other side.
4. Bear Pose – Standing at the top of the mat with feet as wide as the ,at. Fold down over the legs. Bring the palms down. Bend the knees until the thighs are parallel with the floor. Keep the spine flat and parallel to the floor. Leave the fingers down or extend the arms forward to enhance.
5. Lunge Variation – From downward dog, step the right foot to the top of the mat. Keep left toes tucked and knee lifted. Push into the feet to lift the hands up. Keep the chest leaning forward, but with the belly off of the thighs. Reach your left arm forward and right arm back. After holding for 5 breaths, take into an easy twist. Bring the left hand down and reach the right arm up.
Move through a vinyasa then repeat on the other side.
6. Standing Pigeon – Stand at the top of the mat, shifting weight onto the left foot. Crossing right ankle over the left thigh. Bend the knees, sending the hips back and reaching the chest forward. Stay with the hands at the heart to focus on the balance. Or to work on flexibility, lower the fingers down to the mat. After 5 or so breaths, repeat on the other side.
7. Half Knee Pile – Come to seated with the left leg extended forward. Cross the right knee over the top of the left one. Walk the hands forward and to fold down any amount. After holding, lift up slowly and repeat on other side.
These 7 poses are part of a full one hour yoga flow class I shared on my channel. Check it out below.