Damn good practice today. My hips were knotted and tight, but I was feeling resilient, so I worked a few high lunges into my surya namaskaras and practiced some long holds in warrior I and II, extended side angle, trikonasana, and ardha chandrasana (first five breaths with leg extended, then another five with a backbend, hand clasping the foot). Then crescent warrior to revolved side angle (variation with hand to the floor outside the front foot-- not binding yet in this one), and utthita hasta padangusthasana A, B, and then with a twist, grasping the outside of the foot with the opposite hand and extending the leg. I did all of this work with one asana in mind: parivritta trikonasana.
Revolved triangle. Oh, how I despise you, the way you brutally illuminate every asymmetry in my body, from shoulders to hips to ankles, then try to steal the breath away from me while I am distracted, struggling to find balance. But I know your game. I'm onto you.
The game, or the way to revolved triangle, I am learning, is other twists. Surprise! I know... so obvious. Sometimes I wonder where my mind is, but it's just so easy to fall into a rhythm of favorite asanas... the blissful ones that make me feel like my practice could go on forever, just riding the breath into stillness. But I have gained a new appreciation for twists after revisiting the ashtanga primary series, first in a set of Yoga Today classes, then in Swenson's Ashtanga Yoga: The Practice Manual, specifically the marichyasanas. So compact, they produce some good heat from deep within the core. They have also revealed to me sensational knots in and around my hip flexors. I've been practicing marichyasana A, C, and D (wrist binding in A, not binding in C or D), and it seems to be helping. The hard knots in my hip flexors are gradually softening, and I'm sensing that this tension I'm facing in the seated twists is the root of the problem in parivritta trikonasana. Not to mention, my core is much stronger because of the navasana sets and jump throughs, which I also picked up reviewing the primary series, allowing me greater length in the spine.
It's still not exactly blissful, but today's revolved triangle was not horrible. I stayed a couple of extra breaths trying to solidify the correct positioning in my hips, tucking the front hip under. On my weak side, which in this position is with my right leg forward, I'm still not able to really ground through the left heel, and because of this I feel as though I'm tipping forward. Perhaps it's weakness in the left leg coupled with tension in the outer right hip. I don't know, still working on it... but the point is that I am, in fact, working on it, instead of relegating revolved triangle to the dungeon of undone asanas.
Hmm... what else is down there in the dungeon?