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In our February blog post, 5 simple Yoga Poses for Women, we share how poses like the Tree Pose and Downward Facing can be really beneficial for women. If you’ve been practicing, you’re probably ready for a few more challenging poses. In this article we explore 5 more yoga poses that, while slightly more challenging, are also great for the feminine physique.  Practice the complete series of 10 poses at least 3 times a week for optimum health.

Fierce Pose: Stretches spine, improves posture, and strengthens quads, knees, and ankles.

Start in standing position. Step your feet hip-width apart and press down through your toes. Raise arms to the sky, palms facing each other, bend your knees and sit your butt back as though you were sitting into a chair. Pull your abdomen in and put your weight into your heels. Keep your knees from extending past your toes. Hold for 5 deep breaths. Rest for one minute. Repeat.

Garland Pose: Great for relieving tummy troubles and cramps. Stretches lower back, hips, and ankles.

Start in standing position. With feet slightly wider that hip-width bring the palms of your hands together in prayer pose. Turn toes out and squat down. Keep your palms together and gently press your elbows to the insides of your knees. Hold for at least 1 minute.

Boat Pose: Strengthens core and quads.

Start in a seated position. Bend at the knees, feet flat on the floor. Balance on your sit bones by leaning back into the pose. Raise your legs so calves are parallel to the floor, knees bent. Extend arms forward, parallel with the floor, palms facing each other. Keeping your chest high and your core engaged, begin to straighten your legs. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Repeat 5 times.

Bridge Pose: Opens the chest, re-energizes the body, strengthens hamstrings and buttocks

Start by laying on your back. Bend your knees keeping the soles of your feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Point toes straight to the front of your mat. With arms at your sides, gently press into your feet as you raise hips. Allow your chest body to expand with each breath. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Repeat 3 times.

Half Lord of the Fishes: Improves digestion and stretches hips, shoulders, back, and neck.

Start in a seated position with legs stretched in front of you. Bend the left knee and bring the sole of the left foot just outside of the right hip keeping your foot on the floor. Place left hand on the floor just behind your left hip. Lift your right arm to the ceiling. As you exhale, bend the right arm and place the right elbow to the outside of your left knee. Press the right elbow into your left leg to help twist the upper body. Remember to breathe.  Look to the wall behind you. Hold for 5 to 10 deep breaths. Repeat on the opposite side.