Nobody believes me when I say that I started out as a very stiff yoga practitioner. They think I have been practising for long this way:) I think, part of the reason I can teach tough poses to my students is that I started badly, started late and was stiff, very stiff and very stupid also... Kinesthetically:) All this gives me a lot of patience with my students, plus I can see their mistakes clearly, anticipate the problems they are facing and give solutions that has been experimented thoroughly on my own body. I see a lot of great yoga practitioners who can slip in and out of poses easily, but do not seem to be intuitive about the pain, the limitations, anxieties of a beginner that way. I keep hearing of teachers who can do great stunts and also have seen teachers that way, while training: but I never hear of their students getting anywhere close to it! Of course, the majority of teachers are satisified teaching a watered-down, aunty-ji yoga meant for the very sick .. Everybody gets the yoga they deserve:)
So, though some great yogis can make rather a display of their practice, they don't reach their students to that great, `secret' place. So here, in Mumbai, u have largely bad and mediocre teachers on one side, who don't know much and for whom the self-styled halo and money is a good draw. Then you have great `yogis' , most who prefer to travel abroad and rather not stay in this city with its power yoga fixation -- and who are unable to lift their students to their level. So, between the devil and the deep sea:)
About this pose: my dream is a comfortable Hanuman pose. Though I can slip into a split, I still cannot let go off my hands for a namaste, overhead. So, am working on that from vaious angles... This, upavista konasana, is one way to get there. After my warm-ups, staying close to the wall, sliding down, into a wide side split... Mmm, somedays, my feet reach back to the wall and I stay there.Some days I am grinning and just bearing it:) Working on it, working on it .. So, yes Upavista Konasasana helps somewhat to start me closer to that, no doubt. So soon, the full glory of the Hanuman-leaping-the-ocean-pose:)
About this pose and the split:
Pain in this pose: It is intense in the saddle region and the back of the knees. So do not split too wide, but keep within the range where your knees won't feel that tearing pain. In such poses being gentle with yourself will take u much faster to the final pose...
Preparing: The wide-legged plough, plus the lunge will help get you started.
Conclude with: with the butterfly always. That is important to relieve the extreme stretch in this sensitive spot. Titali is soothing...