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Start the year off strong by taking on Yoga Journal’s top challenge poses of 2014.
Adho Mukha Vrksasana
2. Bird of Paradise
Bird of Paradise (Svarga Dvijasana) is a challenging standing balance that incorporates hip opening, core and back strengthening, hamstring lengthening, and expanding into infinite possibility. Claire Missingham can help you get there.
3. One-Footed Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya I
Eka Pada Koundinyanasana I
Natasha Rizopolous shows you how to find length, stay centered, and lift step-by-step into the One-Footed Pose dedicated to the Sage Koundinya I (Eka Pada Koundinyasana I)—a demanding arm balance that helps you build a strong core, shoulders, and legs.
4. Balance Pose Dedicated to Kasyapa
While all arm balances require core and shoulder strength, this balance pose dedicated to Kasyapa (Kasyapasana), also requires shoulder and hip flexibility. In fact, the hardest part of Kasyapasana isn’t building strong abs and arms, but rather getting enough motion in your shoulders and hips to hold your foot while firing all the muscles that keep you afloat in the pose. Jason Crandall shows you how.
5. Jump Through
Learn this hallmark of a traditional Ashtanga practice with Kino MacGregor. The good news: Jumping through is much easier than jumping back for new students to master! And once you begin to feel steady progress, you will feel a dramatic shift in the strength and endurance of your entire practice.
6. Firefly Pose
Follow Kathryn Budig’s fool-proof plan for getting into Firefly Pose (Tittibhasana)—an impressive arm balance that deepens hamstring and hip flexibility, opens the chest, and helps you find new strength and perspective.