Sometimes it’s fun to challenge ourselves with poses that we rarely do. It’s good to try some different poses every now and then, as long as we can do them safely.
I like challenging myself with balancing poses. Arm balances like Patient Crane (Bakasana) can be fun and are a good way to build strength. Even if you can only hold the pose for a second or two, or need to keep one foot on the ground, you’re challenging your body to do something new. You’re strengthening different muscles and creating flexibility and balance by working the body in an entirely different way.
Or you may like to try balancing on your buttocks in one of the versions of Arrow. Open Arrow (holding the feet with the legs open) is one of my favorites. If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees or use a strap around each foot. Or do it with your legs together. See if you can keep your back straight while balancing so that you don’t roll backwards!
Another pose I particularly like is Lord of the Dance. It’s a beautiful pose and, when you’re properly balanced, it feels quite wonderful. You can do this pose in various stages (resting one hand on the back of a chair or on the wall if you need to). Stage 1 is simply balancing on one leg, holding one foot behind your buttock as you raise the opposite arm. In stage 2, you keep your foot close to the buttock as you bend forward diagonally from the hips, moving your thigh back and reaching the raised arm forward. To come into stage 3, simply move your foot back and up behind you to create one of yoga’s most graceful poses—a balancing backbend.
Be open to approaching your asana practice with a playful and adventurous attitude, trying something a little different every now and then. Be sure to stay safe and have fun!