Sometimes yogis can look a lot like contortionists, what with the pretzel poses and insane balancing skills they possess and display. It's important to note that while there are advanced yoga postures that may look like gymnastics (Mark Singleton's book, Yoga Body, explores this), they are actually still part of the yoga asana tradition.
Even more important to note is that not all yogis aspire, or are able, to practice and perform these postures—and that's perfectly okay. Check out these crazy yoga poses below. Have you ever tried any of these?
1. Scorpion (Vrichikasana)
In lower versions, Scorpion can be practiced near a wall on either forearms or hands. Touching the toes to the head takes this pose to the next level.
2. Tortoise (Kurmasana)
Tortoise pose deepens Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana) by bringing the arms beneath the thighs and the forehead to the floor.
3. Locust (Salabhasana)
For many yogis, traditional Locust pose practiced with the feet a couple of inches off of the floor is a mainstay of their practice and a great way to safely strengthen the back. In this extreme expression of locust, feet come into the air (and sometimes even touch the head).
4. Lotus in Peacock (Padmasana Mayurasana)
Lotus or Peacock alone not enough of a challenge for you? Combining them makes for a pose that looks humanly impossible.
5. Wheel Pose on Elbows (Chakrasana)
Traditional Wheel pose, when practiced with precision and awareness, is a safe and fairly accessible backbend for many intermediate and advanced yogis. Coming onto elbows is a truly mind (and body) bending expression of wheel.
6. Frog (Bhekasana)
Bringing the soles of the feet to the ground in Frog seems reserved for our double-jointed yogis. This is definitely a crazy pose that looks humanly impossible.
7. Foot Behind Head (Eka Pada Sirsasana)
Many students new to yoga will often jokingly say, "But am I going to have to put my feet behind my head?" Of course not, but some may choose to in this expression of foot behind head pose.
What do you think about these postures? Have you ever practiced any? Do you plan to?
Image credit: Aneta Gab