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6 Yoga Poses That Aren’t Quite What They Seem

We’ve all heard the saying that things are sometimes not what they seem. The same can be said about yoga poses . . .
There are yoga poses that look easy as pie, but when you try them for yourself, you can get a surprising stretch, an unexpected sensation in parts of your body you never felt before – or both.
What challenges you today will make you stronger tomorrow. The surprise stretches and interesting sensations you may encounter throughout your yoga practice are what will make you stronger and more flexible in both mind and body.
Just be sure to pay attention to alignment and form so that you don’t injure yourself in the process of becoming stronger.
Here are 3 seemingly simple yoga poses that actually aren’t:

1. Half Tortoise Pose (Ardha Kurmasana)

In Half Tortoise, the process of getting in and out of the pose is the challenging part because you need to do this with a straight spine. If your back is rounded, then this is a very easy pose to do. However, this is not the right way because your back has to be flat to support your spine. The benefits of Half Tortoise pose will be felt when the spine is straight.

2. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

It may seem like a toddler can pull off Triangle pose just fine, but doing it properly and holding it for a handful of breaths is the real challenge. Holding Triangle pose requires focus, stamina, and attention to the breath. Keeping the belly tucked in and abdomen engaged while holding this pose is yet another challenge, but performing this pose with proper alignment is not only crucial for your safety, but also delivers a wealth of benefits.

3. Sage’s Pose (Marichyasana)

When looking at a photo of Sage’s pose or watching someone else demonstrate, this yoga pose can seem like a no-brainer. But take a deep breath and prepare to be challenged, because bending forward into this pose is an entirely different story. Even the simple act of binding – grabbing hold of the other hand behind you – can be difficult for many yogis.
Here are 3 seemingly difficult yoga poses that aren’t so hard after all:

4. Crow Pose (Kakasana)

In Crow pose, many yogis experience a fear of falling forward (justifiably!). Yet you can overcome this fear by learning the proper technique of getting into the pose, and also by placing a block or pillow beneath your face. Start by lifting just one toe off the mat to find your stability and confidence. From there, when you’re ready, you can lift one foot off the ground and gain your confidence to lift both feet and take flight. Spread your wings, yogis!

5. and 6. Headstand and Handstand Pose (Sirsasana and Adho Mukha Vrksasana)

You will be glad to know that with a little support from props such as blocks, straps, or even the wall, these two inversions are within your reach. If you are still building core strength, you can practice your headstands and handstands by using a wall for support. The wall will act as your strong core to help you get up and stay up.
Eventually, you’ll get used to doing your headstands and handstands beside a wall, and you will feel ready to bring your practice to the middle of your mat. This moment may arrive sooner than you think! Much of the difficulty around these inversions is fear-based. When you’re ready to try without the wall, you can place a pillow or cushion behind you and in front of you to catch you when you fall, or rather, if you fall.
When practicing the poses we’ve discussed here (and any other yoga pose for that matter), you have to be willing to let go. Stop letting fear hold you back. Only when you are willing to risk falling flat on your face will you be able to achieve these poses (or overcome any challenge in life). Begin by having faith in yourself and in your practice, and have fun with it. ☺
Any other poses you feel are easier than they seem, or more challenging than they appear? Have any tips or tricks for advancing in these yoga poses? Please share in the comments below – we love hearing from you!!

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Liane Bargas

Born and raised in the bustling city of Manila, Liane works in the corporate world and takes solace in her yoga practice. She completed a 200-hour YTT in October 2015. Apart from yoga, Liane is a wanderlust who frequently takes local and international trips and has an unwavering love for pasta and dark chocolate fudge brownies.

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