Wasn't going to post this one but am so blown away by the side grab and how effective it is that I want to shout it from the rooftops.
A week ago I was holding on to my toes, perhaps the balls of my feet and didn't see how I was going to get in any deeper without help (even began employing ropes and strapping myself up). After a few days of the side grab, I'm brushing my heel with my fingers and am convinced I'll be able to latch on any day now.
If you go to a Shala six days a week then your probably getting help reaching your heels (if it's not too busy), but if you only go once a week, or not at all then reaching the heels can seem..... well.....out of reach. We try different contraptions, ropes, straps, walls....even chairs, which all get in the way of the practice, but you don't need a thing for the side grab.
Why do I think grabbing the heels is worth chasing after? I was happy with reaching my toes, balls of my feet, but it's not a lot to grab on to. If you want to draw yourself in deeper or have an opposing force to help you take your thighs more upright the toes aren't much help, especially when your hot and sweaty, your hands just begin to slide off no? The heel, though, gives you something to latch on to.
So another big thank you to Boodiba for posting her Kapo video which is where I first saw this done, you can find it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMgoKZH3Dkk&feature=channel_page or here http://boodiba3.blogspot.com/2009/04/its-really-hard-in-lot-of-ways-to-watch.html