Anyone who practices yoga regularly knows that nailing a new pose is one of the best feelings, period (next to getting your savasana on). Whether it’s finding a solid backbend in wheel or holding a perfect handstand, that sense of accomplishment and self-trust is worth all the hard work. We asked five yogis to share their proudest poses with us and how they finally mastered them.

@yogawithbriohny

“Some view a challenge as hard work and some embrace a challenge and think it’s fun! Why can’t it be both? This was so true for me on my journey to handstand. Handstands are my favorite because they are different for everybody and they teach you a lot about who you are, on and off the mat. They are also an amazing way to deal with the f-word… FEAR. When you conquer fear, you conquer the handstand. And once you know that feeling, you know you can take on everything that life throws at you. So if you are on your journey to conquer the handstand, remember to enjoy the process. Someday soon, you’ll get there. Right now you are having fun. 😎”

@carlingnicole

“Full dancer is one of those poses that combines flexibility & strength in such a powerful way! It took precisely that balance to finally find this shape in my body, and I love the feeling of equanimity this pose brings to my practice. It wasn’t one moment or a single trick that helped me understand this posture—it was all about creating stable foundations and intuitive exploration along the way.”

@joshkrameryoga

“The straight handstand is an elusive pose—although it appears simple from the outside, years of dedication and refinement have gone into it and there are years more to go. For me it symbolizes the attention to detail we should place into each and every yoga pose. There is complete body awareness down to the tiniest detail, yet it all comes together to create an asana that is serene, aligned and still. Years of effort to create a pose that looks effortless.”

@chintwins

“This is one of our favorite shapes that we have created together. It is not a complicated asana or partner pose, but simply two souls supporting one another. This image is a reminder that in our practice and in our lives we must always balance the effort we put into accomplishing something and the ease in which we use to carry it out. To achieve this we need to accept our strengths and weaknesses and recognize the same in others. We can be strong and lift each other up and also let go and trust that others can carry us.”

@gabriella.dondero

“I’m very proud of my whole practice, but the pose that’s taught me the most is the handstand. I love that it’s a pose with no finish line—there is always room for improvements. I never thought I could achieve a handstand—I never even wanted to attempt it. I told myself I can’t, I won’t, I’m not strong enough. I wasn’t a gymnast, I wasn’t flexible, so this was not for me. One day, after years of trying to avoid it, I caught float and the rest was history. Finding a handstand has not only humbled me, it has taught me to believe in myself. The biggest lesson that I’ve learned through my journey to handstanding is that I can do anything I put my mind to. Like the quote, ‘If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.’ So, never stop practicing, always believe in yourself, dream big and trust the process! You are on your way.”