Eka pada raja kapotasana, 1 leg king pigeon pose. I have always avoided the full expression of this shape. I generally visit it as a deep hip opener, but seldom much more than that. I've experimented with using a strap to access the back foot, but more as a means to open the quadriceps than to explore the realm of backbending. Lately however, I find myself magnetically drawn to this pose. I seek all the ways in which I can practice the pose without collapsing into my lower back and in a way that is painfree. But the desire to find this shape is driven from the inside out and as a result I am discovering so many new things about my breath and my body.
My yoga practice used to be about poses I could do and poses I couldn't do. I would get stronger at those that came naturally and I would avoid those that required deeper study and work. But now the unknowing is what lights me up. It connects me to my inner teacher, something that only comes as a result of direct experience. It's not always pretty, but it's practice.