As my community class warmed up Monday night in Whitefish, we settled into our Tadasana with hands at heart center, and I offered up the opportunity to have the intention, "I Heart Chaturanga." (Pronounced cha-ter-on-gah.) I'll admit, there were a few chuckles... and more than a few concerned glances! With that intention, who knew how many Chaturanga's my class had in store for them?! But we collectively "tried on" an imaginary sweater with the logo I Heart Chaturanga emblazoned on the front, took a few breaths to seal in the intention, and moved into class.
When I started doing yoga years ago, Chaturanga (a fancy word for a tricep push-up)— for me — was a strugglefest. Now looking back, I know it's because the full expression of the pose (or movement) takes a lot of shoulder and core strength, which I had to build over time. So just starting out, a yogi push-up wasn't the most desirable pose in my yoga practice... it's tough! And tiring! But it's a critical part of the flow, and I couldn't exactly avoid it, either.
Going back to Monday night, the class moved into half pigeoon pose, and I asked the group to think about what, in their life, might represent Chaturanga — that can-be-difficult, stubborn, exhausting pose that you can't avoid — off the mat. A co-worker, a project, a relationship maybe. And then, just as we do in half pigeon (breathing into the resistance of the pose), how can we find ease in even the most stubborn parts of our lives?
In my life, my to-do list proves to be my Chaturanga off the mat. Never-ending, hard to look at, stress-inducing chicken scratch that I can't avoid — even writing about it makes me cringe! So this week, I'm looking for ease and testing out Bullet Journaling. Do any of you use that method? (Email me back and tell me about it!) When I first read into this "handwritten to-do list system," I was put off by all the rules and codes... but then I found this woman named Kara on Instagram and her photos got me stoked to try it out.
So what is a Chaturanga in your world that you can build in some ease this week? Especially with the holiday, stay cool — breathe — and have fun.
Originally hailing from Wisconsin, Mollie is a cheesehead transplant to Northwest Montana, with degrees in Retail and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, she lives off the grid, half the year in a Tiny House & half the year in a yurt — both of which she and her husband, Sean, built by hand. Nonprofit Executive Director by day, Mollie also owns and teaches at Yoga Hive — a chain of community yoga studios in the valley.