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6 Intermediate Yoga Poses to Try At Home

 

If you’ve been using some of your stay-at-home time to start or improve a yoga practice, good for you, and I am right there with you! Yoga is not only an awesome way to stay in shape, but it can also support a healthy body and mind by helping to combat stress, improve flexibility and balance, and assist with lean muscle growth.

While going to a yoga class is an excellent way to engage with others also practicing yoga, and connect with a professional instructor, it’s not always practical or possible with busy schedules. And especially right now, you may still want to be cautious and avoid some social settings, keeping all of your fitness practices at home… and that’s totally okay!

While you should always use caution with new yoga poses, taking the time to learn each pose at home on your own – where you can practice it over and over again until you master it – is actually a great way to learn! Then, you can attend a physical class or take a virtual one, and be able to move from one pose to the next seamlessly – instead of getting stuck on a pose while everyone else in the class is moving onto the next one.

If you’re brand new to yoga, check out this Guide to Starting Yoga so that you can learn the basics of the practice, pinpoint the gear you’ll need to start, (like this super-comfy and cushion-y yoga mat), and learn how to breathe. Personally, I’m newer to yoga as well, but I’m enjoying the learning process of this amazing, healing physical practice. And, it’s something I believe you’ll very much enjoy adding to your weekly routine!

If you think you’re ready for more advanced yoga moves, check in with yourself first, and review the tips, below, to see if you’re really ready for the next level. You may think it’s time to move on, but actually need some more time to master the craft, or you may be holding yourself back when you’re actually ready to soar!

Are You Ready for Intermediate Yoga Poses?

Are you the type that’s always ready for a challenge but don’t know if you’ll end up hurting yourself along the way? Let’s check in and make sure you’re ready and prepared for the next step…

Are you comfortable with beginner’s yoga moves?

Even if you’re mentally up for a new yoga challenge, it’s important to ensure that your body is ready for it. First and foremost, you have to be comfortable and confidant with beginner level moves before you move onto intermediate yoga poses. And this means you can glide from one move to the next without pain or discomfort.

Whether you eventually go to yoga classes or take virtual ones, intermediate or advanced yoga classes will assume you already know basic yoga, and pushing yourself too soon can lead to potential injury. Or, it can turn you off from yoga altogether! So, do yourself a favor and master all the beginner’s yoga moves first, not just a few.

Are you comfortable with your flexibility?

Despite what you may think, you don’t have to be very flexible to do yoga in general, or move from beginner’s into more advanced yoga poses. Everyone has a different level of flexibility, but it’s more important that you do each pose correctly, and learn how your body reacts to the movements.

You should only push your body as far as it’s naturally able to go, and flexibility, along with other potential benefits of yoga, will come over time. But it’s more important that you don’t become attached to the idea of grasping certain poses that simply aren’t meant for you, (at least right now). Some poses will be very easy for others but hard for you, while others might be hard for others, and potentially easy for you – it just depends on your individual body type and skill level.

Do you know the basic yoga pose names?

Next, you’ll want to make sure you’re familiar with the most important beginners yoga poses by name before moving onto intermediate – since many intermediate moves will start by first getting into a beginner’s yoga pose.

Plus, as things become more advanced, an instructor may simply tell you to do a move and then walk around to help everyone with their poses instead of staying in the front of the room to demonstrate, so you want to make sure you know what to do.

6 Intermediate Yoga Poses To Try

Do you feel ready to move onto the next step?! Great, me too! Let’s continue on to some of the best intermediate yoga poses to know, that you can start to practice at home at your leisure. I’ll walk you through them step-by-step, and break it down in simple terms, while directing you to yoga professionals for the step-by-step instructions on how to do each move!

*Note before you start…

As mentioned, every yoga move will not be for everyone, especially as you move from beginner’s yoga to more advanced moves. If you experience pain when doing any movement, you should stop, or lessen the movement until you don’t experience any pain or discomfort. If you’re unsure if you’re doing a pose correctly, it’s always important to talk to a professional before going back to it, to ensure you don’t injure yourself.

Finally, always focus on correct breathing while doing your yoga moves, and remember that your practice will be different from someone else’s – go at your own pace. Finally, all of the poses below will include both the English name for the pose and the Sanskrit name, and it’s beneficial to know both.

Standing Intermediate Yoga Poses

In contrast to beginner moves, intermediate standing poses will include more balancing and twisting, and involve quad strength along with hamstring flexibility.

1) Warrior III – (Virabhadrasana III)

 woman in warrior 3 pose

Benefits:

This exhilarating pose is known to help with physical energy and mental focus! It’s also great for overall balance and working the legs and core.

Advice for Beginners:

When starting out, it’s easiest and best to do this pose at the wall. You can either face the wall, and bring your arms out in front to touch the wall for balance, or have the wall behind you and use it to balance your left foot.

How To Do It:

How to do Warrior III pose

 2) Awkward Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

 Chair exercise, standing in Utkatasana pose side view

Benefits:

This pose is great to help stabilize the core, find balance, and gain invaluable strength to perform everyday tasks. It will also work the quads, glutes, calves, ankles, shoulders, and upper back.

Advice for Beginners:

You can modify this move in a few ways at first. If you have difficulty balancing, start with your feet spread wider apart. If you aren’t yet that strong, do the pose with your back facing a wall, so your tailbone comes in contact with the wall for support.

How To Do It:

How to do Awkward Chair Pose

Seated Intermediate Yoga Poses

Next, for these intermediate yoga poses, the focus is on opening your hips. You can use a rolled mat or blanket placed under your seat to make them more comfortable when first starting out.

3) Boat Pose (Navasana)

young woman doing Paripurna Navasana exercise, boat pose 

Benefits:

This move is another great one for total body balance and developing core strength. You’ll also work your deep hip flexors as you perform the pose.

Advice for Beginners:

When starting off, don’t rush to straighten your legs. Keeping your back straight is most important, so you can hold the backs of your thighs with your hands to help you balance. You can also use a strap placed under the bottoms of your feet, and grip the ends of the strap while raising your legs.

How To Do It:

How to do Boat Pose

4) Lotus Pose (Padmasana)

 woman in lotus pose

Benefits:

This is a calming pose that’s also great for meditation once you’ve learned how to do it correctly. It stretches your knees and ankles and opens your hips.

Advice for Beginners:

This is a pose that’s done best after mastering more basic yoga moves like Half Lotus, or Head-to-Knee pose.

How to Do It:

How to do Lotus Pose

Backbend Intermediate Yoga Poses

Finally, these yoga poses are more advanced than beginner ones because they involve more intense back-bending. Many of them start while lying on your stomach, and you should do a warm up first and use props like small pillows if needed.

5) Camel Pose (Utrasana)

woman in white in camel yoga pose

Benefits:

This move helps improve spinal mobility, especially after spending much of the day sitting or slouching. It also stretches the front of your body, including your chest, abdomen, and quadriceps.

Advice for Beginners:

This pose can be mentally difficult at first - so make sure to go slow. Place blocks or other similar objects on either side of your feet if you need more height for your hands at first. Or, you can keep your hands on your low back if reaching for your feet or using the blocks isn’t working. 

How to Do It:

How to do Camel Pose

6) Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)

 woman practicing upward facing dog yoga pose

Benefits:

This final yoga pose can help with proper posture and good spine alignment, potentially helping to relieve lower back pain. It also stretches the abs, chest, and shoulders while strengthening the arms.

Advice for Beginners:

When first learning this pose, don’t worry about bringing your thighs up off the floor. After you master it with your thighs resting, you can start to lift them into the correct position.

How To Do It:

How to do Upward Facing Dog

 

Which pose are you going to work on mastering first? Let us know in the comments below!

Ready to start “getting your yoga on” from the comfort of home? If you’ve been finding beginner’s yoga moves boring and unchallenging, I hope you feel reinvigorated to try out the intermediate yoga poses, above! For more articles to help you live your healthiest, most active lifestyle this summer, check out the 310 Blog!

Written by:

Sierra Rodriguez

310 Nutrition - Nutritionist & Health Coach

Sierra Rodriguez is a Nutritionist and Health Coach for 310 Nutrition helping to educate and motivate individuals to live their best, healthiest lives. She graduated with a Bachelors of Nutrition Sciences from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and continues her studies pursuing her BSN, RN at Roseman University. Sierra [...]

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