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A long-term practice is all about continually refining even the most basic poses. As your body awareness improves, alignment becomes your touchstone. As an experienced yogi, you can go into any class and make it as challenging as you want by tuning into your body on a deep internal level and working on the minute details of each pose.
When you do asana consistently over time, getting stronger and more flexible, increasingly challenging poses become more accessible. It’s a lot of fun to discover that your body is capable of doing things you never thought would be possible. However, it’s important not to become fixated on the results of this experiment called yoga. You don’t want to find that you're deriving your self-worth from your ability to do handstands or from others’ reactions to your ability to do handstands.
Advanced poses include intense backbends (wheel pose, for instance), inversions (like forearm stand) and arm balances, often combined in complex ways. Standing balances and binds, such as bird of paradise, are also in the mix.
In Ashtanga yoga, you have to become proficient in each pose in the established sequence before you go on to the next. That’s not true in most other types of yoga, so it’s not unusual to find difficult poses being introduced in intermediate classes.