Upper Body Ashtanga Poses That Will Challenge Your Inner Yogi

Nailing Ashtanga advanced poses is the biggest achievement for a dedicated yogi. The upper body, which needs a lot of toning before achieving flexibility, will be the focus of most of these leveled up postures. If you want more asanas to unleash the best yogi in you, here are some that I listed.

1. Dvapada Dhanurasana (Elbows Bridge Pose)

The elbows bridge pose improves the strength of your shoulder, spine, and neck. This pose requires you to lie on your back then raise the hip at knee level with the support of both hands. Ashtangis find this beneficial in reducing stress and in enhancing mental focus and memory.

This posture maximizes your frontal torso muscles and the back muscles of your thighs. Aside from the benefits on the brain, Dhanurasana also stimulates the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, and is said to prevent infertility.

2. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)

Setu Bandhasana is similar to Dvapada but with lowered arms on the side. The hip is also raised on knee level while the upper body supports the lower extremities. The bridge pose serves as a massage for your internal organs in the upper body.

Setu targets to improve your neck and shoulder strength while it tones the lower calves and your lower back. With that, bridge pose is going to improve your digestion and relieve symptoms of high blood pressure and asthma.

ashtanga advanced poses

3. Parsva Bakasana (Side Crane Pose)

Bakasana is one of the extremes on this list of Ashtanga advanced poses. Why? Because all that’s going to touch the floor are your palms! You’ll lift your whole body in a push-up position then slowly move your feet sideways. Your feet should be together for added support.

This tones the abdomen, back, shoulders, arms, and wrists. If you want to improve your balance and mental alertness, you should look forward to practicing this asana. Remember to follow the Ashtanga progression before doing this.

4. Eka Pada Sirsasana (One-Legged Headstand)

Instead of raising both your legs during a headstand, Eka Pada Sirsasana will use only one with the other planted on the floor. This is categorized as advanced rather than intermediate and it targets to improve the elbows, back, and forearm muscles. It also flexes your legs and ankles.

You should alternate legs when doing this headstand. This is so you’ll have equal stretching on your body. If you achieved doing this, you’ll enjoy benefits like reduced fatigue, stress, and anxiety.

5. Vrschikasana (Scorpion Pose)

If you’re flexible enough, this Scorpion Pose will be a piece of cake for you. Using your elbows up to the wrist as a stand, you’ll lift your whole body. After that, you have to curve your knees over your head mimicking the form of a scorpion.

The Scorpion Pose highly develops your back flexibility as well as the wrists and elbows’ strength. If you practice the right meditation with it, you’re going to experience improved focus. Just don’t jump into any Ashtanga advanced poses if you’re not yet physically ready.

ashtanga advanced poses

6. Bakasana (Crow Pose)

A bit less difficult than the Side Crow Pose, Bakasana allows you to press your knees on your armpit direction while lifting the whole body. This is a good exercise for the spine as well as the neck. Aside from improving your limbs’ strength, Bakasana balances your hormones and aids your digestion.

You should be careful not to hurt your arms with your knees in this process. Some newbies tend to have crow pose bruises.

7. Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)

If you’d seen a cheerleading training, you’d probably saw the wheel pose that’s similar to bending. It strengthens your legs and arms while doing a good job of aiding your digestive system and urinary tract. Chakrasana is also ideal for the spine and back muscles.

Avoid exerting too much force just to raise your body. Take it slowly and start in a lying position. You should observe breathing here to utilize the pose.

Before doing this, make sure that you don’t have back issues and you’re ready for advanced poses.

Perfecting Ashtanga advanced poses isn’t only satisfying, it also brings health benefits. Just make sure that you’re doing the postures the right away and in observance of the yoga progression. Which of these postures challenged you the most? Let us know below!

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Upper Body Ashtanga Poses That Will Challenge Your Inner Yogi

by ashtangayoga time to read: 3 min