- Padangustha Padma Utkatasana (AKA Toe Stand, AKA Padangusthasana in Bikram Yoga)
- Ganda Bherundasana (AKA Formidable Face Pose)
And then there are the ongoing pose projects, namely Adho Muka Vrksasana (handstand) and Pincha Mayurasana (forearm stand). Both are coming along nicely. I practiced Pincha for a while on Sunday waiting for students to show for my evening class and enjoyed some nice long holds. I think this pose may be just around the corner for me. I'm taking a new approach to handstand, spending at least 10 breaths in a handstand at the wall without even trying to balance away from the wall for the first 10 breaths. I concentrate on the fundamentals of the pose: maintaining the bandhas, exploring the manipulation of pelvic tilt, using the fingers, and keeping the shoulders aligned. After this, I move a foot or two away from the wall and practice catching handstands without touching the wall, holding whenever possible. I have noticed that my free-standing kicks are much more controlled after spending 10 breaths in the supported handstand. The muscles of the core and legs are all ready and warmed to perform their function in achieving balance. I've been catching handstands more frequently, staying for longer counts. I think I'm well on my way to achieving my resolution.
While it's fun to have project poses in my practice, asanas to work on and build a sequence around, the truth is that all of the poses are ongoing projects. As with any art form, the work is never really finished. The purpose of the practice, if it can be said that there is a purpose beyond simple necessity, is only fulfilled if we approach each pose with the same focus and attention to detail every day, with every practice. Favorite poses may bring us to the mat, but once there, it is our duty to let go of what we desire and engage wholeheartedly in what we need.