If you scroll through the yoga tag on Instagram, you'll probably come across a myriad of yogis twisting themselves into seemingly impossible and wildly impressive poses.
Some call it "pretzel yoga," and have attempted to twist themselves into these advanced poses, while others just gawk from afar, admiring the acrobatic asanas.
No matter where you are in your practice, these incredible postures take time, commitment, and dedication. But they are achievable by anyone and everyone, and are in no way impossible.
Elite Daily spoke with yoga teacher Adell Bridges, whose wonderfully pretzel-esque poses will definitely blow your mind.
After years of practice, she's ready to impart her wisdom to her fellow aspiring yogis.
She tells Elite Daily,
Advancement in postures comes mostly through practice and repetition. Keep showing up, stay dedicated, and know that with practice, it will come. But start with a strong foundation. If we rush into something we're not ready for, then the repetition we practice can be harmful rather than helpful.
When you repeat the same pose over and over, Bridges explains, you are building the muscles and fascia, as well as the neurological pathways in the brain, which are all responsible for movement.
If your repetitive movements are built on a strong foundation, then you advance.
If you build them on incorrect alignment, however, then you may plateau in your practice, or even come across injuries and detrimental setbacks.
If you're struggling with a specific posture or transition, find a teacher who understands the fundamentals, and work with that teacher to understand what's holding you back.
According to Bridges, with dedication, self-love, and proper instruction, anyone can work their way up to advanced asanas.
Listen to your body and remember, these things take time -- never push or force anything.
Here are five mesmerizing poses that will inspire you to get on your mat and #PracticeEveryDamnDay.
1. Forearm Wheel Variation (Urdhva Dhanurasana)
Hannah Taha is an incredible yogi from Cairo, whose backbends are basically from another world.
To begin your journey to a slinky spine, try adding bridge poses and shoulder openers to your daily routine.
In time, you'll feel your back muscles opening up and getting used to the new movements, and you'll be on your way to bendy brilliance.
2. Leg Over Shoulder Pose (Eka Hasta Bhujasana)
Talia Sutra shows you how the pretzel lifestyle is done with this amazing asana.
This pose is all about those open hips, so don't be a stranger to pigeon pose. Hold that baby when you're answering emails or watching Game of Thrones to work toward Eka Hasta Bhujasana.
And, if you have some extra time, my personal favorite hip-opening sequence is this 15-minute flow.
3. Pose Dedicated To The Sage (Eka Pada Koundinyasana)
That balance though, girl!
Adell Bridges shows true strength and stability in this stunning shot.
Proper balance in your arms requires focus, even breathing, strength, and flexibility.
Practice this baby using your Drishti or Yogic gaze -- finding a non-moving object to focus on -- to help you hone in on that focused mindset.
4. Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrksasana)
This is just f*cking badass.
I mean, come on -- Hannah GypsyOn shows everyone who has ever doubted a woman's amazing strength how it's freaking done.
If you're looking to advance your handstand practice and one day be at this level, start adding handstand drills and core work to your fitness routine.
And honestly, just scroll through GypsyOn's feed, and let your jaw drop all the way to the floor.
5. Forearm Stand (Pincha Mayurasana)
Last but not least, Sutra once again puts the slay in "Namaslay" with this perfect Pincha.
Forearm stands require a lot of arm strength, so commandos are where it's at.
To gain the back flexibility for that toe-to-head action, work on your cobra pose, seated spinal twists, and forward folds.
Happy flowing! Have fun and explore, but always remember, safety comes first.
And, above all, always listen to your body.