How Do I Work Up To Advanced Yoga Poses?

Kaitlin Daddona
How Do I Work Up To Advanced Yoga Poses?

The Question: I'm new to yoga but would love to one day be able to do poses such as Crow and head/handstand. What can I do now as a novice to work my way up to these advanced poses? Courtney

The Answer

I’m sure you’re expecting this answer, because I don’t think it can get more obvious, but practice, practice, practice. Like with anything, those more advanced postures come with time and dedication. It’s all about baby steps. Unless you grew up doing gymnastics (which also requires PRACTICE!), you probably won’t be able to stand on your hands with too much ease.

A teacher of mine explains that everyone can do a handstand or a headstand - it’s all about finding which part of the pose is working for you in any particular point in time. So, doing a headstand doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get your feet off the floor. Instead, it might mean you spend some time with your head on the floor and your legs in a Down Dog position.

Especially when you go to a class where the instructor is teaching a more advanced pose, find the piece of the posture that you can do, instead of getting upset about the parts you can’t do. Arm balances and inversions require a lot of strength, flexibility, and will. Allow yourself the time and space to build up those things, and don’t worry too much about quickening the process anymore than you naturally want to take it.

Additional Information

Remember that arm balances and inversions aren’t everything. They don’t determine whether or not you’re “good” at yoga. They don’t prove anything other than the practice it might have taken to be able to do it. So whether you’re able to go upside down today, or tomorrow, or never, it’s okay.