Everything generally went well with these two "new" postures (I use quotation marks, because I used to do them, then took them away from myself after my injury last year. And now I'm giving them back to myself :-)), as far as I could see. The one hiccup was with the standard vinyasa entry into Dwipada. In his book on the Intermediate series, Gregor Maehle says that the standard way to enter the posture is to jump both feet around the upper arms, just like you would do to get into Bhuja Pidasana. However, I kind of lost him after that; to me, he seems to be saying that ideally, you need to be able to put one foot behind the head after the other (left foot first, then right foot) while your legs are still on your upper arms, and to do so without letting your butt touch the ground.
Which sounds great, except I can't do it! After a couple of what must be very comical-looking tries (I wonder what the cockatiels, in their infinite wisdom, are thinking as they observe my totally futile attempts to get my legs behind my head while suspending my butt off the ground, and failing miserably), I gave up, sat my butt on the ground, and methodically put the left leg behind my head, followed by my right. I don't think I look half as poised as Sharath does in this pose, but well, it's not about how you look, right? :-)
Anyway, do any of you seasoned Dwipada-Sirsasana-ers out there know what the standard entry into the posture is? Do you have to be able to put both legs behind your head while keeping your butt off the ground?
In an attempt to get more advice and useful information about Dwipada Sirsasana, I also looked up some videos online. The first thing I found (which was also the last; I don't have the patience to sift through tons of Youtube videos) was Kino's instructional video on this formidable pose:
Besides the astounding ease with which she enters and exits the posture while talking you through it (she makes it look like putting your legs behind your head is something that you should be able to do at about the time you started walking...), there are also two very interesting points Ms. MacGregor brings up that strike me as very valuable:
(1) She talks about touching the feet together when bringing the second (right) foot behind the head, and letting the feet do some of the work from there. This strikes me as a very intelligent way to proceed; besides helping one to get the feet lower down the back body, it also cultivates the kinesthetic intelligence of the body.
(2) At several points throughout the video, she emphasizes that the posture is just as much about building upper-body strength (especially strength in the upper-back, which is vital in supporting the weight of the feet) as it is about hip and hamstring flexibility. This is a very important (and probably also oft-overlooked) point of the asana practice: Flexibility without strength is a dangerous thing. I think Maehle talks about this in his book as well.