Continuing the triangle transformation

My year-long Triangle Transformation. Top left photo May/June 2013; bottom left December 2013; right May 2014.

My continuing Triangle Transformation. Top left photo May/June 2013; middle left, December 2013; bottom left, May 2014; right, December 2015.

When I applied for Piedmont’s Yoga Teacher Training in May/June 2013 an optional part of the application was to include a picture of myself in Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose), which is the picture in the top left photo, taken May/June 2013.
Once in the teacher training our long-term anatomy project was to pick three yoga poses that we were able to do but found challenging.
My three poses were Utthita Trikonasa (pictured); Dolphin; and Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby).
The middle left photo is the first photo I submitted for my long-term anatomy project.
We took the first set of photos of our three poses and did a write-up on the poses.
Over several months we explored our three poses and learned about our bodies in the poses in terms of alignment and feeling, whether emotional and/or physical.
There is a vast improvement between the first and second pose. I learned to eliminate hyperextension in the front leg without losing strength in the pose. I found a better spot for my head and neck. And I found more extension in my side body.
(If you want to learn more about eliminating hyperextension in the knees in poses liked Extended Triangle, read a blog post I wrote up a little more than a year ago.)
In the third photo, which was the second photo I submitted for my anatomy project, I worked toward having my hand closer to the floor with the block going down one height. My extension in the side body continued to get longer. I wasn’t super jazzed with the placement of my top arm.
My first Triangle Transformation post was written in August 2014 exploring the first three pictures.
In my most recent picture, from last month, the block has gone down another height, the extension in my side body continues to get longer and more parallel to the mat, my top arm is a nice extension of the bottom arm. My head and neck could be a little more relaxed. (I suspect me taking my own picture this time around didn’t allow for me to get that head where I wanted it as I got into the pose in time for the timer to click away on the camera.)
The transformation is phenomenal. But it also takes time. I have made a lot of progress and change in this pose. This is over a year and a half’s time. I practice yoga almost every day. If my hand makes it to the mat that won’t be my end goal of this pose.
That’s the great thing about yoga. It’s a practice and it continues and changes and evolves over time.