The 7 Most Advanced Yoga Poses on the Planet


n the world of Yoga Poses there are those that we start with and those that we grow into.  Advanced Yoga Poses are the latter for sure! 

Like all things, there is a beginning and then a journey and yup, eventually an end.  Yoga is probably one of the most obvious practices where the journey from beginner and beyond play out.  That’s what makes yoga so analogous and amazing as an awareness tool for our own lives.  

Beginner Yoga Poses are just what you would imagine, not quite as difficult and an entry into the seemingly daunting but then slowly comfortable world of asanas.  Intermediate poses are what we graduate into of course after we’ve become comfortable enough with the basics.  After both the beginner and intermediate phase comes Advanced Yoga Poses, again, which is the move into mastery of asanas and yay for yoga, the self.  

There are many poses out there, approximately 84 poses in fact, but not all are card carrying members of the Advanced club.  The 7 Most Advanced Yoga Poses on the Planet are:

  1. Flying Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Galavasana)
  2. Crane Pose (Bakasana)
  3. Scorpion Handstand Pose (Vrschikasana)
  4. Mermaid Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
  5. Eight-Angle Pose (Astavakrasana)
  6. Toe Stand Pose (Padangustasana
  7. Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)

This isn’t an exhaustive list of advanced yoga poses for sure but it is some of the most popular and widely used within Vinyasa based practices.  Below is a bit more info surrounding Advanced Yoga Poses and then we’ll give you pictures of the forms for each of these poses.  Enjoy and we hope this helps you grow with your practice!

Article Topics

What is the most advanced yoga pose?

This definitely comes down to personal opinion and may even be affected by one’s own flexibility but many consider the Eight Angle pose to be the most difficult pose.

What makes a Yoga Pose hard?

What makes a yoga pose hard will vary from person to person as well, but generally it’s the combination of three factors needed to get into and sustain the pose: strength, balance and flexibility.

What are advanced asanas?

More than anything advanced yoga poses (or asanas) are more difficult variations of basic and intermediate poses.  As defined above, an advanced asana requires more strength, balance and flexibility.  As a yogi’s practice progresses each of these three areas will enhance allowing for more complex movement and pose achievement. 

The 7 Most Advanced Yoga Poses on the Planet

While not all Advanced Yoga Poses are included in the below list these 7 continue to show up on lists of Advanced Yoga Poses over and over again.

1. Flying Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Galavasana)

A challenging arm balance as well as hip opening pose, Flying Pigeon definitely makes the list as one of the most advanced yoga poses out there.

Advanced Yoga Poses - Flying Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Galavasana)

2. Crane Pose (Bakasana)

Not to be confused with its sister pose, crow pose, crane pose is a straight armed balancing pose requiring strength as well as great pose to learn the importance of maintaining awareness of your drishti (gaze)!

Advanced Yoga Poses - Crane Pose (Bakasana)

3. Scorpion Handstand Pose (Vrschikasana)

An inversion and handstand pose with legs bent and toes pointed down.  Don’t forget to keep your arms straight and gaze forward.

If you want to learn how to do the basic handstand pose check out the steps to doing a perfect handstand!

Or if you want to go deeper, there are short online handstand courses as well…

Advanced Yoga Poses - Scorpion Handstand Pose (Vrschikasana)

4. Mermaid Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

While seemingly more simple than many of the other Advanced Yoga Poses on this list, the Mermaid pose requires a high level of flexibility and patience as you slowly maneuver into and out of this pose. 

Advanced Yoga Poses - Mermaid Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

5. Eight-Angle Pose (Astavakrasana)

Named after the sage Astavakra who was bent in 8 places this balancing pose is an advanced pose that requires a large amount of arms, legs and core strength while at the same twisting the body to allow for the legs to open to the side. 

Advanced Yoga Poses - Eight-Angle Pose (Astavakrasana)

6. Toe Stand Pose (Padangustasana)

Another advanced pose that requires a large amount of core strength, balance and flexibility all at the same time.

Advanced Yoga Poses - Toe Stand Pose (Padangustasana)

7. Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)

It may take a person years to work into this advanced pose.  Peacock Pose requires a great deal of balance and especially core strength as you extend your legs behind you.  One of the most difficult aspects is hand posture (pointed backwards) which will come with time and practice!

Advanced Yoga Poses - Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)

How can I practice Advanced Yoga?

Begin with Basic Yoga Poses, progress into Intermediate Yoga Poses and then of course make your way into these Advanced Poses. You can even download apps that help you learn yoga! It’s fun to play with each of the poses and variations of them and don’t be discouraged if you fall out or if you’re only able to make it halfway into each pose.  Take them one step at a time and give yourself plenty of time (days, weeks and months) to build the strength, flexibility and balance needed to finagle your body into the right place.  Happy Practice!

Caleb Sharbono is a writer, bio-hacker, wellness advocate, and yogi. Caleb, who grew up on a small Montana ranch, joined the Navy at 17 to study cryptology. He later graduated from the US Naval Academy with a Minor in Mandarin, a Bachelor's in General Engineering, and a Major in English Literature. Caleb's interests and career cover diverse industries and disciplines. Caleb lives in San Antonio and is a Certified Yoga Instructor. He is also studying Zen Buddhism, practicing Holistic Psychology, and working towards his 300-hour yoga teacher training.


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