I had another damn good practice this morning. I won't bore you with the whole sequence this time. Here are the highlights:
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana:
I was about to practice my usual variation, pressing the back foot down with the hand, and swiveling the fingers forward to open the shoulder, but I had a sudden compulsion to try a deeper version of the pose. I put the rear foot in my elbow crease, and reached up and back to touch the fingers with my opposite hand. This was a first for me! I remember trying it once in a Yoga Today class long ago, but being utterly denied, so I was quite pleased that I was able to enter the asana with ease. With the right leg forward, it was really quite nice. I was comfortable, and it was elating achieving a new position. And such a beautiful one, at that. The second side was less nice. My right front hip was clenching a bit, pulling me off balance, but still, it was not terrible. I'll probably try to work on this for the next few days to feel it out and polish it up.
Practiced this a few days ago, and experienced some trembling and tension. Today was different. Hanumanasana was very stable, and after one breath with hands in prayer position, I reached the arms up and gazed up for 5 breaths on each side. The imbalance in the hips today was much less pronounced than it had been on Thursday. I felt really good about this one.
I used to practice ustrasana quite a bit, but it seems to have been edged out of my practice by more novel asanas. I've been bringing it back, however, over the past couple of weeks. Today, I pressed my hands into the sacrum, pushing my hips forward, dropping back as much as possible and bringing my awareness into my upper back before lowering my hands to my heels. What a difference! The backbend felt very deep, but without the compression in my lumbar spine. I'm guessing all the shoulder opening I've been doing has helped me with this one, as well.
Bakasana to Tripod:
I've been practicing taking bakasana, then lowering to a tripod, and coming back to bakasana three times in a row, holding each position for 3-5 breaths. It's an excellent strengthener for developing focus, coordination and control in the core. I know I want to be moving slowly and paying attention when lowering onto my head. Protecting the brain case is a good motivator for controlled movement.
Adho Mukha Vrkrsasana:
Really starting to get the hang of this handstand thing. My jumps are bolder and more graceful. I'm starting to catch my balance before my feet come to the wall, and then just lightly bouncing a heel to regain my balance every breath or so. The deeper understanding of the bandhas I've gained from my handstand and headstand practice has begun to seep into my vinyasas. Jump backs are getting more floaty and less hoppy. Hang time is happening. My body feels light. All good things.