Hip Opening -- with Pictures!

I finally had a day off of work again yesterday (maybe I'm just lazy, but a 5 day work week seems like a little much), and I celebrated with an appropriately luxurious practice-- long holds and alternative flows, keeping things interesting. My practice seems to have fallen into a deeply worn groove, consisting of essentially the same sequences every day, and my time spent on the mat has swollen to almost three hours at at time. Yikes!

This would be fine -- great even -- if I didn't have other things to do. Unfortunately, I need to study subjects other than yoga and even work for a living, sometimes. The problem is that once I start to like a certain asana or flow, I don't want to go one practice without it. Silly of me, I know, and very much failing in non-attachment, so I've been trying to pare things down and mix them up a little more.

After practice yesterday, my sweetheart was kind enough to take some long awaited yoga photos for me! (As you may or may not have noticed from the new profile pic.) I've never had anyone take pictures of me practicing asana. It was an interesting experience. All of my practices are spent completely alone, with the exception of the few classes I have attended, so it was a little strange to have a spectator. But he did an excellent job, of course, and was very patient with me (envision me in a flying pigeon growling why aren't you taking pictures?! while he tries to figure out the flash). I think they turned out quite nicely. Here's one of the eka pada rajakapotasana variation with the foot in the elbow that I've been writing about lately:

Looks okay, right? The left hip could come down a little more, and I guess my shoulders could be more square to the front, but this is a new pigeon variation for me, and I must say it looks almost as beautiful as if feels-- the form of the asana, that is. The front of my hips are finally starting to open up, as the much-improved hanumanasana below will reaffirm:

and setting up on the other side (weak side)...

Trying to maintain the inward rotation of the right leg here. Does it look turned out to you? Or splayed out to the side? It feels very different on my weak side, though vastly improved from just a few months ago.

Finally, here's an eka pada koundinyasana I for you... 'cause it's fun! And just for the hell of it:

Open hips and yoga pics! Oh, happy day!


  1. Fun pictures! My hips will never be that open :D

  2. Totally off topic but I love love love your ink. Any chance of a closer pic or the backstory to it in another post one day?

    My hips, like Babs's, will never be that open either, but that's OK, I love to see people's that are :D

  3. Never say never, Ladies! And Rachel, I'll see if I can't put together a tattoo post here for you. The piece on my arm is inspired by the 8th verse of the Tao te Ching. It's actually in the sidebar on the right, toward the bottom. If you scoll down, you can read it.

  4. AMAZING photos! Please come to my house and help me learn arm balances, handstands, splits and all of the other things you can do and I can't (yet?)!

  5. Yay, great pictures! Looks like your hard work is really paying off! ;) LOVE your e.p. Koundiyasana - rock star!

    The best class I ever did on Hanumanasana was an Anusara class - with your love for really working a pose, I bet you would really like their style. They are not so much vinyasa oriented but they take you deeper into poses than you ever imagined you could go. You should check it out if there's one in your side of town.

  6. oooooh -- dig your beautiful sleeve! :)