Today we've been working on Svarga Dvidasana- bird of paradise.
It is a fab pose for balance, for stretching those ham strings and those hips and in general feeling free whilst in a bind.
Like all knotty balance-y poses I love the fact however advanced your practice is you do need to concentrate to stay here. And by thinking only of standing for a couple of minutes we get a wonderful release from the usual stressful thoughts churning around in our brains.
Some tips of achieving this pose are on this fab you tube clip.
Like most yoga teachers I start this from Parsvakanasana bound. And we step up to the front of the mat (the back leg to the bound front leg) maintaining the bind, then we stand up (on the unbound leg) and eventually kick up. Build it up during the practice though!
A good tip is to do it with your bum against a wall and you can see what you need to work on. What is holding you back from the full pose is either your flexibility or your balance. If it's flexibility you will still be hunched over against the wall, if it's your balance you will be kicking up no problem!
Work on poses like Parsvakanasana, baddhakonasana and hamstring stretches like paschimottanasana to improve your flexibility.
Work on classic balances like Vrksasana or better still Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana which also stretches hamstrings and hips in the balance but is easier.
And most of all, just enjoy the free mind and don't give yourself a hard time if your legs aren't there today or ever!