To top it off, most of the teachers hold the first part of each posture longer than the second part. Seriously. Most of the teachers get so caught up in delivering the dialogue (the instructions) in the first half pose they hold it easily 20-30% longer. So there I am, holding a pose longer on my stronger side...no problem....and then I have to try and do it on my weaker side and I'm tuckered out at this point....I don't have much left!
This is especially true in "Standing Head to Knee". Standing head to knee is a difficult posture to begin with, it could take weeks if not months to simply stay in the first part of the pose for 1 full minute (picture 1 above). At the point that you are strong enough to kick your leg out parallel (picture 2 above), it could take weeks and months to bend your elbows down to your knees (picture 3 above).
I've been able to the pose on my right side for a long, long time, but my left side has eluded me. I hadn't even been close for months after I got it on my right side, maybe even a year, until....
I learned about "stacking". To practice standing on your hands you have to stack your shoulders above your hands, then stack your hips above your shoulders and then up go your legs "stacked" above your hips. What does this have to do with my yoga pose? Well, it demonstrated to me how to identify the part of the pose that's the "trick". "Stacking" is part of the trick of balance!
So, the next challenge, the "head to knee" part. This was hit and miss for the past year. Lots of times I would blame it on the fact that the teacher held me in the first part of the posture twice as long not leaving me with much for the second, more difficult half....and let me tell you I get pissed when that happens....anyway.... I think I finally put all the pieces of the puzzle, "the trick" together!
Now I had the balance, all I had left was to stay in that 'sweet spot' and build my strength endurance. I visualize my standing leg to be as solid as a tree trunk with roots growing down into the earth....and here's the really cool part that made all the difference....I also visualize the leg that's kicking out as a horizontal tree trunk with roots growing into the mirror in front of me keeping me solid horizontally and vertically. I'm rooting in both directions.....aren't I smart?
Sure there are a few other little things but for the most part I think I can check this posture off the list.