Catvāri cringe

By: Jessica Lynne Trese (Moore)

In Ashtanga Yoga, we do most of our practices in the Mysore room. This personal and healing practice initiates a deep moving meditation. Each day we have the opportunity to travel along the path inward, learning about ourselves and finding the grace to approach the tight spots with ease and balance. It’s beautiful.

Then there are the led classes… Many Ashtanga teachers would recommend attending a led class once a week as a way to tap into the pace and rhythm of the vinyasa count. Led classes ask students to start and end together and try to keep a collective pace for the duration of the class. This pace is held within the vinyasa count.

Ekam Inhale.
Dve Exhale.
Trīṇi Inhale head-up.

Here it comes…. Our dread in led classes, the outrageous Catvāri Exhale. Where our teacher expects us to pause and complete the exhale while hovering in chaturanga, and it seems like we’re staying here FOREVER before the teacher releases us into the sweet expansion of up-dog.

Why does this pose have to be such a big deal?
Why can’t we just slide right into up-dog and hang out while everyone catches up?
What is our teacher really asking us to practice here?

Maybe what our teacher is trying to get us to practice has absolutely NOTHING to do with chaturanga.

Maybe what our teacher is trying to get us to practice is something much more powerful, much more liberating than any single yoga pose.

Maybe our teacher is trying to get us to practice presence.

Our teacher’s simple request. Try to reside with this moment, and absorb all that is this moment. Then, we will move on to the next moment together. Linking moments of presence together with the breath.

There is a deep peace, which can be experienced when surrendering to the present moment. Allowing for the experience of the present moment, without rushing is liberating. Freedom in the present moment.

Practice, practice.

About Jessica

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