Sometimes, yogis can look a lot like contortionists, what with the pretzel poses and insane balancing skills they possess and display. It’s important to note that while there are advanced yoga postures that may look like gymnastics (Mark Singleton’s book, Yoga Body,¬†explores this), they are actually still part of the yoga asana tradition.

It’s also important to remember that not every yogi is able to perform and practice these postures. That’s okay. Here are some crazy yoga poses. Have you tried any of these before?

Scorpion (Vrichikasana)

Scorpion is also practiced on the hands or forearms near a wall in lower versions. This pose is taken to the next step by touching the toes up to the head.

Tortoise (Kurmasana)

The Tortoise Pose deepens the Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend by bringing your arms under the thighs and your forehead down to the floor.

Locusts (Salabhasana),

Many yogis find that the traditional¬†locust pose, performed with feet just a few inches above the floor, is an important part of their practice. It’s also a good way to strengthen the back. In this extreme locust expression, the feet are lifted into the air and sometimes touch the head.

Lotus in Peacock, Padmasana Mayurasana

Do you find Lotus or Peacock by themselves not challenging enough? Combining the two poses creates a pose that is almost impossible to achieve.

Wheel Pose with Elbows

When practiced with awareness and precision, the traditional¬†Wheel Pose is a backbend that many intermediate and advanced yoga practitioners can safely and easily achieve. The wheel is best done on elbows. It’s a mind-bending (and body-bending) expression.

Frog (Bhekasana)

Frog is reserved for double-jointed yoga practitioners. This pose is absolutely crazy and looks impossible.

Foot behind Head (Eka pada Sirsasana).

Some students who are new to yoga joke that they will have to place their feet behind their heads. Of course, this is not the case, but others may do so in this foot-behind-head expression.

What do you think of these postures? Have you ever tried them? Are you planning to?