When I do my Ashtanga 2ND series I include all of the Vinyasa Krama Bow sequence. It's pretty much the same as the first part of Intermediate anyway just a few more salabhasana variations etc. It includes Viparita salabhasana & Ganda Bherundasana. It's a little different than how they're done in 3rd series, in VK the hands are clasped. I tried both clasped and unclasped and found clasped easier, a little more control.
I saw my toes!, how cool is that, there you are wrapped up in trying to deepen your bend, thinking about moving your feet closer to your head and all of a sudden your pinkies come into view, "well hello", quite disorientating first time it happens. Almost burst out laughing. Thing about it is, you never know how close your feet are to your head. Sometimes I've thought they were close then checked the video and found they were still miles away. When you see your toes it's like wow, that close, OK now if I can just see a little more of them and then bring them towards my nose they should end up closer to the top of my head. Still a way to go of course, but it's coming.
It all felt very relaxed this time, quite comfortable and I was happy with the exit, more control, almost floaty, if i could just get that in my clunky Karanda exit....
M thinks that the Vipparita Salmbhasana in the screenshot above looks more like the Japanese Shachihoko (tiger head/ carp body), found atop castles, than a locust.
After these your into Dhanurasana and then I pick up 2nd series as usual. Managed to land on my heels using the hands locked begin head method, not getting in as deep as as the walk your hands in to your heels pushing up all the time approach but I like this new approach.
Oh and talking about seeing toes I managed to see and touch my heels (even hold onto them with my fingertips) in Urdhava Dhanurasana walking in. Feet could perhaps be a little, just a smidgin, straighter, I mean you hardly notice but if you look carefully you might notice they're a little SPLAYED.
So backbends went well yesterday and of course I slept like a baby, a real baby IE. waking up every hour.