Heron Pose vs. Compass Pose

Yoga is a crazy thing, what is easy for one person can seem impossible for the next.  I have a friend who can pop up into Crow Pose like nobody’s business.  Meanwhile, I find extended-hand-to-big-toe pose to be pretty easy and yet I learned that some seasoned practitioners find it hard.  Interesting.

For me, this dichotomy is best expressed with the above postures – Heron Pose and Compass Pose.  Heron is seen as a basically easy pose.  My top leg is meant to be perpendicular to the ground.  I can’t for the life of me get the alignment right – my back is curved and the idea of getting my head any closer to my leg is impossible.  I chalk it up to my lack of core strength, as always.  Rather than just using that excuse, I should be finding classes and poses that would help me cultivate power but it’s hard.  And I’m human.  Heron pose is meant to strengthen the hamstrings – I have no problem there.  Ah well, practice and all is coming.

Meanwhile, Compass Poss is a great little posture that I love – even though it is more often than not described as a challenge posture.  I will admit, the first time I saw it I didn’t think I would ever make it into the full expression.  It is a beautiful hip opener and I have learned through many, many classes that I am fine in that area.  Compass is also good for the hamstrings and shoulders.  I think the big difference for me is that Compass opens the heart and body while there is a compression that comes with the lack of ability in Heron.  The closed nature of the posture coupled with my inability to feel any kind of peace in the pose makes it that much harder for me.  One or the other and I will breathe through it.  Both and I’m kind of stumped.

At the end of the day – this is the beauty of yoga.  This is why we call it yoga practice, not yoga perfect.  I will keep trying to get into Heron Pose while my friend keeps carrying on conversations with me in Crow.  And hopefully, one day, I will get my head to touch my knee.  One day.



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