I want to challenge myself and am curious which is the hardest yoga pose to fully master and why? Dvara T.
This is quite an impossible question to answer for one main reason- every yogi and his or her practice is completely different! You may have a running background, (which usually means tight hamstrings), so Hanumanasana (Splits) may be very difficult; or maybe you grew up doing gymnastics so the thought of reaching over your head to catch your foot isn’t an insane concept for you.
Personally, back bending isn’t a specialty of mine, so Urdhva Dhanurasana (Wheel pose) is quite tough for me, while a friend of mine who began yoga just a few months ago, can get into the pose easily.
Next time you take a class, pay close attention to your body. Try to pick out what your “weak spots” are in your practice. How do you react to certain postures? Maybe you’re super flexible, and the most challenging parts of your practice are those dealing with pranayama or meditation! Whatever it is, make a conscious effort to work on these specific areas. If you have tight hips, see how you can adjust yourself in lunges to open them up a bit more, etc. Like I said, our bodies are all different, so make sure you listen to yours and challenge yourself as needed!
That being said, I asked a few yogi friends of mine what they think the most all-around “advanced” postures are, and here’s what they came up with:
- Kapotasana (King Pigeon)
- Mayurasana (Peacock)
- Yoganidrasana (Sleeping Yogi)
- Eka Pada Bakasana (One-Legged Crow)
- Adho Mukha Vrksasana(Handstand)
Remember that yoga isn’t all about getting that challenging pose that you have your eyes set on. It’s about so much more. Take your time on your mat to tune into what’s going on internally. I often ask my students to try to close their eyes while they’re practicing, not only to keep them from comparing themselves to other students in the room, but also to really take the time to turn the gaze inward. I promise that however “advanced” your practice is going to become, it’ll get there with patience and practice.