Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
Want to add some challenge to your practice? Working toward peak poses is a great way to spice up your flow—and we break four of them down for you here. Whether this is your first challenge-centric practice or you consider yourself a peak pose pro, you’ll be able to find a pose that is right for you and your ability level.
Outside+ members get access to the full text of all of Yoga Journal‘s practice content—including poses like the ones below—to help you reach new heights. They also get access to our complete archive, from inspirational stories to sequences by best-in-class teachers. Not a member? There’s never been a better time to sign up.
Searching for a peak pose with a ton of variations? This pose gives you just that. These prop variations of Eka Pada Koundinyasana II, which is also called Hurdler’s Pose, Albatross, Flying Splits, and Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II, will give you new insight into this complicated peak posture. This guide includes warm-up poses (to make sure your muscles are ready) and a video of how to get into the peak pose using a variety of props. Practice it here.
Are you looking to nail one of the most complex asanas ever? We’ve got you covered. Visvamitrasana is an arm balance, standing pose, side bend, and twist—all in one posture. We break down all of the elements for you in this step-by-step guide, so you can (safely) build to the peak pose. Practice it here.
Think a steady and strong Lord of the Dance is impossible for you? Think again. The use of props in this prep practice can help you explore your flexibility in the pose. Props also ensure that you can more honestly observe your body (and its movement) as you practice. So grab a bolster, blanket, chair, strap, or block, and follow along. Practice it here.
Yes, this asymmetrical yoga pose will challenge you—it is a peak pose after all—but it can also re-center and re-energize you. This posture demands a lot, asking you to move your limbs in different directions, at the same time. But besides the physical benefits, this pose also impacts your brain. Practicing Gherandasana helps you build and improve bilateral integration—the ability to move both sides of your body at the same time. Practice it here.
Also from Sarah Ezrin: Jump-Throughs Made Easy (Really!)