Not that the current one is perfect, far from it. However, at least I know how much more I can work on it. And the initial thrill in attempting a pose and getting somewhere close to it, has now gone, and maturity keeps me craving for improvement all the time:)
I realised when trying this pose out, that in the difficult poses, 50 per cent of your challenge is dealt with if you can enter the pose well. And the rest of the work is perfected when you can maintain the advantages gained by this entry.
I realise the shabbiness comes from not understanding this. And even as a teacher I appreciate how much effort you must invest to watch a student's entry and correct their mistakes then and there. Otherwise, they will not know enough, and keeping repeating mistakes. Of course, with some students, they will argue they feel better to enter a pose in the way they "feel comfortable in". This is more annoying, than outright rebellion in the class, simply because much of what we try on the mat is not about feeling comfortable. That feeling comes much much later, and when you start, you have to understand that much of what is done in a good yoga class cannot be comfortable simply because you have never stood on your head or your arms!!
So, for this pose I realised you need to
- have the arms far back before settling into the pose. I prefer a distance of a foot between hands and feet.
- the hips have to be thrust back and kept that way even after settling into the pose
- the lift of your toes have to be confident.
- U have to have a strong base in other arm balancers.
- and I like that if you keep your arms straight, it is easier to push your legs into them.
- working up the legs into a straight line, that will come only with practice because it is a very demanding pose.