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15 Intermediate Yoga Poses

Intermediate Yoga Poses

Sometimes I can’t believe that I’ve been practicing yoga for over two decades now. It’s wild to think about any one thing being such a constant throughout the majority of my life…but here we are.

If anything, I’d say that’s certainly a testament to the power of yoga. There’s a reason I’ve been practicing for so long….because it works!

Yoga is a holistic practice that works to support your physical, mental and emotional health. While the Western version of yoga tell us that this practice is only made up of asana (the yoga poses), the truth is that there’s really a whole lot more to it. 

The beauty of yoga is that whether you’re practicing to get a six pack, or you’re practicing to improve your mindfulness, the deeper connection to self will inevitably happen. Especially if you stick around past the point of being a beginner, and venture into intermediate yoga.

That’s not to say that beginner yoga poses aren’t beneficial, because they are! Sure, intermediate yoga means you’re trying on more advanced poses. But it’s really about the consistency in which you practice. And the journey into meditation and mindfulness. 

While there’s no definitive way to decide if you’re an intermediate practitioner or not, typically a good rule of thumb is that you’ve taken about 10 – 20 yoga classes already. 

Ideally, you’re comfortable with the beginner yoga poses. And you’re ready to deepen your practice with the challenge of more intermediate shapes. From here, you’ll find your strength increase and your flexibility improve on both a physical and a mental level.

Since you’re probably here because you’re ready to challenge your body with more intermediate yoga poses, I’ve got the perfect round up of postures for you to start adding to your routine today.

For more, try my app for a totally FREE 7 day trial of all level yoga classes. 

Learn more about types of beginner yoga classes HERE.

Learn more about advanced yoga poses HERE.

15 Intermediate Yoga Poses

While there are certainly more than 15 intermediate yoga poses in total, these are some of my top picks for a variety of reasons. 

First of all, they feel good! And that’s pretty dang important. Secondly, they’re great foundations for you to build on for more advanced poses down the line. And third, they all build strength, flexibility, and improve balance.

Practice yoga with for a FREE 7 day trial on my app.

Upward Facing Dog

Upward facing dog is a foundational backbend for intermedia yogis who are looking to open their chest, shoulders, and hip flexors. This pose strengthens your entire backbody, while opening up the frontline.

  • Start lying on your belly with your hands under your shoulders.
  • Use an inhale to press you up to upward facing dog by lifting your chest, hips, and knees off the mat. 
  • Make sure to press deeply into your feet and squeeze your glutes to support your low back.

Cow Face Pose

Cow face pose is otherwise known as gomukasana. This posture provides a deep stretch in your hips. While also opening the shoulders and arms should you choose to take the bind.

  • Start seated, and cross one knee over the other, working them towards being stacked. 
  • Settle your hips between your heels. And try to walk your heels away from your hips to open more into your hips.
  • Use the inhales to remind length in your spine, and the exhales to ground evenly into each glute, rather than letting one side lift.

Learn more hip opening yoga sequencing with me in my Journey To Splits program.

Boat Pose

Boat pose navasana is the perfect pose for tonifying the core. And increasing strength in the hip flexors, while also lengthening the hamstrings.

  • Start seated evenly on your sits bones with your feet in front of you. Then use an inhale to lift your feet off the mat. 
  • Exhale to draw your knees closer to your chest with or without your hands. 
  • Keep breathing as you maintain a long spine, working your legs towards straight.

Try more core focused yoga sequencing with me in my How To Handstand series.

Plank Pose

Plank pose builds strength in the upper body and lower body, providing a true full body experience. This is a foundational pose for you to learn before you try arm balances later on.

  • Start in table top on all fours, tuck your toes behind you. And take an inhale into plank pose by lifting your knees off the mat. 
  • Keep breathing, making sure that your body is in one straight strong line by adding a little cat scoop of the pelvis underneath you to turn on your core.
  • Make sure to press the ground away from you so that your shoulder blades spread, and even slightly dome on your back.

Try more arm balance postures with me in my How To Handstand series.

Crow Pose

Crow pose bakasana is the perfect entrypoint into the world of arm balances. This pose will help to improve balance and focus, while also building strength in the shoulders and core. 

  • Start in forward fold position, then bend enough into your knees that you can place your hands firmly on the ground at shoulder width distance. 
  • Take an inhale to extend your gaze forward so that your neck is nice and long. Then use an exhale to find chatarunga arms while walking your knees up towards your armpits.
  • Keep breathing and looking forward as you play with lifting one knee to balance on the back of your arm, and then the other. 

Try more arm balances with me in my How To Handstand series.

Dolphin Pose

Dolphin pose is not only the perfect prep posture for pincha mayurasana, but it’s also a great post to strengthen and open your shoulders, while also lengthening your hamstrings.

  • Start in downward facing dog, and take an inhale to remind plenty of length through your spine while looking forward.
  • Exhale to dolphin but lowering one forearm, followed by the other, maintaining the same position with the hips and legs.
  • Keep breathing as you look back between your legs with the options to walk your toes closer to your elbows for a deeper inversion.

Dive into your forearm stand practice with me in my Practice Your Pincha program.

Pyramid Pose

Pyramid pose is a staple posture in intermediate classes, because of the way it improves balance and hamstring flexibility. Plus, if you add arm variations, then you also turn on the core.

  • Start standing with the feet together at the top of the mat, taking an inhale to lengthen your spine, and as you exhale you step one foot back about two feet. 
  • Your front foot points directly forward, and your back foot turns to the upper corner of your mat. 
  • Again breathe in to lift up and out of your waist, then exhale to pyramid pose by hinging at the hips to pull your heart towards your front toes as much as  you extend the tail behind you.

Practice quick intermediate yoga classes with me in my No Time For Yoga series.

Extended Side Angle

Extended side angle deeply opens the side body, while also strengthening the core and legs. This is the perfect pose to strengthen and open your entire body.

  • Start in warrior ll, take an inhale where you are, then exhale to extended side angle by reaching your front hand as far forward as you can, before resting the hand or elbow down. 
  • Keep breathing here, using the inhales to spiral open the side body, and the exhales to scoop your front hip underneath you to maintain a long spine.
  • For more, reach the top arm forward with the palm facing down.

Practice fun and fast intermediate flows with me in my No Time For Yoga series.

Triangle Pose

Triangle pose is somewhat similar to extended side angle in that it also targets the side body, core, and legs. However, this posture also lengthens into the hamstrings, as well. 

  • Start standing with your front foot pointing forward, and your back foot parallel with the back of your mat. 
  • Take an inhale to draw your front arm as far forward as possible, while bumping your back hip behind you.
  • Use the exhale to find triangle, allowing the top hand to land on your thigh, shin, or ground, still maintaining plenty of space in both sides of the body as you fold.

To get deeper into the hips, check out my Journey To Splits program.

Revolved Triangle Pose

Revolved triangle pose is an effective posture for strengthening the legs, opening the hamstrings and hips, while stabilizing the core, and opening the chest. Yes, there’s a lot going on here! 

  • Start in triangle pose, taking an inhale to find more space across the chest with your wings spread. 
  • Exhale to revolved triangle by placing your top hand inside or outside of your front foot, and lifting the previously grounded high skyward. 
  • Keep breathing, knowing that you can always place your bottom hand onto a block to find more space in your twist.

Try fun fiery flows with me in my No Time For Yoga series.

Crescent Twist

Crescent twist is a posture that really improves balances through tonifying the core and legs. Plus, it lengthens the spine, and creates more space in the chest and shoulders with the twist.

  • Start in crescent lunge with arms high, taking an inhale to lift up and out of your waist line. 
  • Exhale to crescent twist by bring your hands to prayer. And hooking the opposite elbow to your front leg with your outer thigh.
  • Keep breathing, working on corkscrewing your heart towards your thumbs as much as you hug your glutes together underneath you to stabilize. 

Try more twisty flows in my 21 Day Chakra Reset series.

Prayer Twist

Prayer twist strengthens the legs and core, while also opening the shoulders and chest. Plus, it’s the perfect pose to master before moving on to twisted arm balances. 

  • Start in chair pose, taking an inhale to lift your bottom ribs away from the tops of your hip bones. 
  • Exhale to prayer twist by bringing your hands to prayer, and hooking an opposite elbow to knee. 
  • Keep breathing as you work on keeping the twist through the center, by making sure your knees are in one line and rotating your heart into your thumbs.

Skandasana

Skandasana has got to be one of my favorite postures, and it’s one you’ll see a lot in my classes. It’s a great pose for a variety of transitions, while also being a deep hip opener. 

  • Start in a wide legged fold, taking an inhale to lift up halfway with hands under shoulders. 
  • Exhale to skandasana by rotating your toes out and heels in as you walk your hands over to one side, and sinking your hips towards your heel.
  • Keep breathing, playing with the balance of uniting your thumbs to heart, knowing it’s absolutely okay if your heel is still lifted high.

Practice more hip opening sequences in my Journey To Splits program.

Camel Pose

Camel pose is a backbending posture that not only opens the entire front line of the body, but also works to strengthen the back body, as well. 

  • Start kneeling with your hips lifted over your knees and your toes tucked, taking an inhale to lift your chest skyward as you place your hands to your low back.
  • Exhale to camel pose by squeezing your glutes to send your hips forward as much as you continue to lift from the chest.
  • Keep breathing and stay here, or reach your gaze up and then back, landing your hands onto your heels for more sensation.

Learn how to do a backbend from standing HERE.

Wheel Pose

Wheel pose is a deep backbend that helps to open the thighs, hip flexors, belly, chest and shoulders. While also building a lot of strength the glutes, hamstrings, and shoulders, as well.

  • Imagine your setting up for bridge pose, lying flat on your back with your knees bent, feet planted at hip-width distance and all 10 toes pointing forward.
  • Place your hands on the ground by your ears with your fingers pointing towards your shoulders so that your elbows poke up to the sky.
  • Press into your points of contact, then take an inhale to come to the crown of your head first. Stay for the exhale and ground deeply into your hands and feet.
  • Stay right here, or inhale to wheel pose by pressing so much into your hands that your arms work towards straight as you lift your chest and hips skyward.
15 Intermediate Yoga Poses

Let me know which intermediate yoga pose you’ve enjoyed the most in your practice lately in the comments below. 

For more, join me in my online yoga studio!

xx,

K

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