Whether you have roots in the Ashtanga six-day-a-week practice, get your sweat on at Bikram, or prop yourself into position Iyengar-style, you can expand your yoga and explore new variations on some old favorite poses.
Hybrid Yoga eclectically blends asanas to spice up a regular routine, adding a touch of creativity and personality to your yoga. Which hybrid yoga pose best suits you? Find out below!
1. The Blossoming Lotus
You’re exhausted from always trying to please others. Feeling unappreciated, you tried yoga on your mother’s advice. After your first Savasana you sobbed for a week straight, then decided you would dedicate at least five days a week to getting on your mat.
You have creative bursts of energy appearing out of nowhere, causing you to change careers, leave your passionless marriage, and then travel to India to find yourself.
- From Boat Pose bend your knees (think upright Happy Baby Pose).
- Find your balance on your sit bones.
- Support your legs by cradling them in your forearms.
- Flex your feet out to the sides.
- Option: Active Guyan Mudra
2. The Twisted Monkey
You have your one, three, and ten-year goals pasted on your refrigerator, believing that slow and steady will always win the race. Your calm, methodological approach to life makes you a compassionate leader.
You patiently embrace obstacles, recognizing them as milestones and learning opportunities. But, you have a wild side only a select few have the privilege to see, and this only comes out to play during a full moon or when you go to Vegas.
- Begin in a low Anjaneyasana or Low Lunge, with the right leg in front.
- Extend the right arm up the sky and keep your left palm grounded.
- Build your twist as your gradually lower your left hipbone toward the floor.
- As the pose deepens, angle your right foot off to the right.
- Repeat with left leg.
- Option: Pick up the left foot and reach for it with your right hand.
Caution: The following postures take practice and may not be suitable for beginning practitioners.
3. The Tiger Dog
You strive to one-up everyone. The status quo bores you, so you look for new ways to constantly challenge yourself. You excel at work and most people wonder how you accomplish all that you do.
You do not have an inner critic—you have a relentless inner drill sergeant who wakes you up at 5 A.M. and won’t let you rest at night until you’ve achieved a new record-breaking feat.
- Begin in Downward-Facing Dog.
- Lift your right leg to the sky in Three-Legged Dog, keeping the shoulders straight.
- Bend your right knee towards the sky.
- Lift your left hand gently off the ground.
- Breathe and find your balance.
- Continue to reach the left hand back, feeling for the right foot.
- Move slowly with your breath to maintain your balance—this one gets shaky and requires focus and patience.
- Repeat on other side.
- Option: Rise up onto the toes of the standing leg for added challenge.
4. The Firecrow
You’re quite indecisive due to your many talents and interests and can have hour-long conversations with your cat. Most people consider you as a genius after listening to you rant for five minutes.
You spend most of your day planning out ways to non-violently merge all of the world’s religions and currencies. You created your own universal language dictionary because even choosing a sock color overwhelms you.
- Start in Crow Pose
- Keep your gaze at the top of your mat.
- Gradually begin to straighten and laterally extend the right leg into a Half Firefly Pose.
- Hold for five breaths.
- Bend the right knee and finish back in Crow Pose.
- Repeat the second side.
- Option: Extend both legs into Firefly before bringing the legs back into Crow. Add a vinyasa before you repeat on second side for extra heat.
5. The Funky Side Crow
You love music, expressing yourself freely without inhibitions.. Your partner, friends, and children wish you’d stop dancing when you go out in public.
A well-intentioned humanitarian, you encourage others to spread their wings too—but some people have not found their inner rhythm, so you turn the music up louder and invite them to the dance floor.
- Enter from Twisted Chair, facing the right side.
- Rise up onto your toes and drop your hips, but not too low, keeping your quadriceps active.
- Place your hands on the floor (think Chaturanga Dandasana) outside the right thigh.
- Keep your left arm connected to your right leg and move your right arm out diagonally so that when you bend your right elbow (think Half Forearm Plank), it is about shoulder width distance from the left palm.
- Lift up into your Side Crow and balance both legs on your left arm and support the right side of your body with your forearm.
- Exit by placing the feet back down, walking your hands to the floor, and taking a forward fold
- Make sure to twist and fly to the left!
- Option: Enter the side crow in the exact same way but with the arms straight and SLOWLY lower the right forearm to the ground while maintaining your balance.
Express Your Divine Self
No two yogis are alike. Practice TRUE to YOUR NATURE and evolve your asana. This week, get creative! Let your inner guru speak, explore a new transition, or ask your teacher to guide you into a pose that arouses your curiosity.
Follow your calling! Your practice reflects your deepest intention, teaching you how to live it in the world. Your truth inspires others and teaches us all how to BE FREE! I humbly bow to all of you in Gratitude.
Image Credit: Johny Galvan / Yogi: Judy Rukat