The Top 5 Cringe-Worthy Yoga Positions
Just like any other form of exercise, yoga gets a lot easier the more you work at it. Soon you’ll be moving from the most basic poses through the intermediate stages and then on to the advanced positions that require the kind of flexibility and strength you wouldn’t have thought possible just a little while ago. Even after years of experience, though, there are still a number of poses that will make even the most serious practitioner cringe.
These are the poses that will really push a person to his or her limits with back bends, arm balances, and inversions. Do not – repeat, do not – attempt to do them without supervision, a lot of practice at the intermediate level, the right yoga gear for the job and, if possible, a crowd of onlookers who will be appropriately impressed by the strange knot of limbs that was once a human body.
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This pose looks a lot like what might happen when a slide into home-base goes horribly wrong. It is a forearm handstand pose, which means you are supporting your body up in the air while your forearms are flat on the ground. Once you’ve got your balance, lift your head and bring your feet close to your head and keep your toes close together. This will strengthen your shoulders, abdominals, and back, just as long as you don’t fold yourself in two.
The King Pigeon Pose
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This is a modification on the classic pigeon pose, but really makes you push that backbend a little further. While in the pigeon pose, a simple position with the left leg extended behind you and the right leg bent in front of you with the knee on the floor, lift your left leg up at the knee and reach back with your hands and grab the toes. When you’ve got a good grip on your foot, tip your head back so it rests against the sole of your foot.
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This pose is beneficial to the wrists, forearms, thighs, buttocks, and abdomen, but seems to involve no feathers whatsoever. The practitioner starts by kneeling on the floor, and sitting on the heels. With your palms on the floor, fingers turned backwards toward the torso, you lean forward, bend your elbows slightly, and touch the pinky sides of your hands, then bend the elbows to a right angle and lean your front torso onto the backs of the upper arms. Tense your belly against your arms, lower your forehead to the floor, then straighten your legs out behind you. By the time you lift your head off the floor, you should look like a human plank, set at a slightly forward angle.
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You could call this a pose, or a perch, and you wouldn’t be too far off. This is a great one for building strength and coordination by improving core strength as well as the shoulders, biceps, and triceps. First come into a squat, press your hands on the ground with your arms inside your knees. Prop your knees on the back of your upper arms and then lift your feet off the ground until your arms are the only things keeping you balanced in the air.
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Assuming you don’t bend it completely in half, this pose will open up the spine (in a good way), shoulders, and quad muscles. It’s a good one to get started with these advanced poses because it will help build some flexibility (like you wouldn’t believe). Start by lying on your back and then press your feed into the ground next to your hips. Your palms go onto the ground next to your ears, with elbows pointing up, then you press down with hands and feet until your chest and abdomen lift in the air and turn your body into contorted bridge.
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