It looks better than it felt - both legs had fairly good height considering it's not a pose I have been working on, but I can see from the image that I need to work on bringing my torso in deeper to my leg.
We can always go further...
I started practice with this pose tonight because I had my sights set on doing the Light on Yoga Week 31-35 sequence
and thought it best not to add a stray into the sequence.
After Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana and some Lotus preparations, I did a good thorough practice, starting at 7.15pm and finishing at 8.45pm (by which time it seemed too late and I felt too wasted to prepare anything for dinner, so I skipped it entirely).
To come home from work, and spend the entire evening doing a yoga practice, well...perhaps I really am a yogi.
A 20 breath Headstand and all the subsequent variations lasted 10 minutes in total, even though I couldn't get into the Padmasana variations on either side tonight.
After 10 minutes my head was feeling pressurised, probably a result of the extra 2 kilos I put on last week (pre-menstrual raw food binge).
The Shoulderstand sequence kept me inverted for another 17 minutes.
Taken together, that's 27 minutes - nearly half an hour twisting my body into strange contortions while balancing upside down!
And then I roll backwards over my head (Chakrasana) to come up onto my feet and uncurl up to a standing position.
Perhaps I really am a yogi...
Not too much to write about for this practice.
I did it in a military style, just doing what came next, mostly holding for 5 breaths in each pose, not wasting time, not exploring too much, just doing it and moving on.
The only poses I missed out were the Padmasana variations in Headstand (though I tried hard to get into them on both sides) and Kukkutasana (I substituted Tolasana for this).
I loved the seated Padmasana sequence tonight, my legs were tied up in a tight Lotus knot and I squeezed the juice out of every variation until my a sweet agony drenched my hips.
And Parsva Dhanurasana was an unexpected joy - its a strange pose that usually feels ugly. Tonight I saw and felt the simple pristine beauty of curving into the backbend while laying on my side, the body can stretch open more easily in the Parsa variation than in the standard Bow pose where it's lifting against gravity...
Quite often I skip the pranayama at the end of the sequence but tonight I did 5 minutes of Nadi Shodana Pranayama before Savasana. After a bit of a rough start, my breath became finer and my attention more curious. The breath seduced me in to its harem and I gladly stayed there enjoying its delights.
Lying in Savasana a few minutes later, I took the time to observe the effect of the practice: my body was sparkling and twinkling like a Christmas tree.
It reminded me of this saying:
'Be humble for you are made of earth
Be noble for you are made of stars.'
To give expression to our divine nobility and earthly humility in every moment of life is to be a yogi. We are human yet we are God.