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ParkoLife | 5 Hatha Yoga most challenging poses

40 degrees Greek summer in Kithira, 7 o’clock Yoga class starts, day 5 of I Love Yoga retreat. Hundred of questions asked and a challenging pose arrives. My fear- “Nobody can do it”. Their fear- “After so many hours of intensive practice, I might can’t do this”. Many times during classes I saw/see people struggling with asanas. The borderline between challenge and failure is narrow, there are many ways to make peace with a difficult asana and (for sure) to feel great about your practice, in whatever level you are in.

On today blog post I want to share with you what are, in a yogi mind, the 5 most challenging Hatha yoga poses and why they are considered so. And, how to create softness around each of them.

1-Bakasana (Crow pose). Probably the most challenging one considering that it is all about shoulder strength.

2-Setu Bandhasana (Bridge pose). This is a deep, no-kind-inversion.

3-Sirsasana (Supported Headstand). Shoulder and core strength, inversion and neck pressure, all in one. This is “the” asana that in a Hatha yoga class can divide the group in advance or not.

4-Utthita Hasta Padangustasana Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose (Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose).

Balance and flexibility pose usually beginners tends to do it by imitations, not caring of the-day-after consequences...

5 Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal Twist ). Yes, it a spinal twist as its Sankrit name says, but it can be very challenging for hips and knees. The challenge of this pose comes from the way it is explained.

And now the solution.

How can you turn a difficult asana into a successful one, considering your entry level and your capacity?

A.Ask teacher for variation and preparation exercises. Usually it is a set of gentle (or not) fitness exercises to wake up energy and muscles.

B.Squeeze everything in. If you wonder the real meaning of this sentence just think at this “tight is light”. Internal organs, abdominals and mind have to be focused all in one point.

C.Don’t carry all the challenge yourself, ask the teacher the benefits and contraindications of each asana. And if you feel it is not right for you, then repeat point A to get customized.

Tune to yourself, as the first step forward for a great class. Surrened to your Yoga journey.

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