My hips are incredibly tight and I really should have been prepared for the chaos that would ensue when attempting these poses. However, being optimistic and a little stupid, I set out on my hip opening journey. I began my "practice" with some sun salutations, triangle pose, side angle pose, pigeon pose, lizard pose and a few others. I was working my way up to Parivrtta Surya Yantrasana (aka Compass Pose). I was doing quite well (especially for not having done any yoga in over two months) and was confident I would be able to manipulate my body into this really awesome posture.
I read over the little snippet of how to get into the pose, wrapped my mind around it, and then set out to try it. So I took a few breaths and tried to center myself and focus on the task at hand. Needless to say, it did not go well. I felt like a pretzel that had been mangled in the twisting machine--it was not a pretty sight. I learned that not only are my hips way too tight for this particular posture, my sides and hamstrings aren't quite stretched out enough either. The guy in the picture below looks elegant and beautiful. I looked wretched and hysterical. All I could do was laugh and resign myself to the fact that it's going to take a lot of practice and a lot more stretching to turn myself into a compass!