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February 2020
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Saturday Night Yoga Party with Mochi Camaya
Modo Yoga
434 6th Avenue, #2
New York, NY 10011

Sat, 6:00 PM To 7:00 PM

The clock in the Jefferson Market Branch tolled six as Yoga Sleuth and his fellow students reclined in Savasana. Then, we heard the door to the well-­heated Studio A at Modo Yoga creep open with a long and pronounced squeak.

"That noise didn't come from my butt!" said Mochi Camaya, entering to much laughter. "Welcome to your Saturday night party! Keep the joy in your back pocket, right there and accessible, at all times."

We remained in Savasana while Lion King alum Mochi guided our breathing. "Starting and finishing your practice off in Savasana, body at complete rest with 100 percent awareness; and in between, fun shapes to tap into that challenge, to allow your body to be a tool for liberation. You showed up, ­­first asana accomplished!"

We entered into the standard Modo sequence with our breathing exercises to calm all the systems and connect body and mind, interlaced fingers rising from belly to heart to overhead on an inhale, then lowering in prayer on an open-­mouthed exhale.

"Invite this breath from the souls of your feet to the heels of your hands," encouraged Mochi. Then came the juicy Crescent Moon side stretch. "Lengthen your body to find your depth," said Mochi. "Grounding down with the heel, stay anchored."

We brought our arms straight forward for Powerful Pose; my own eyes were my drishti as I gazed into the mirror, sat into an imaginary Chair, and balanced on my toes. "Stay lifted in your chest," said Mochi, “Think of expressing this posture from your heart and find your stillness."

Coming to stand at the center of our mats, we progressed from Eagle Pose to toppling Tree to Dancer's Pose, then turned to face the windows to mimic the trees outside. Now it was time for the core work. After a mid­-class Savasana, we brought knee to armpit for Wind Relieving Pose, then brought that ankle against the other knee.

After the other side we brought one leg four inches from the ground and, hands behind head, twisted to the opposite knee, commencing bicycle kicks. After 10 on each side, we stretched an arm outside the opposite knee and pulsed 10 times. It was only then that we came to our first down dog and proceeded four rounds in vinyasa flow.

We wound down with Sleeping Hero, Camel, Pigeon and seated spinal twists, sealing our practice with a folded over Cobbler's Pose.

"I only have you for 60 minutes," Mochi reminded us with regret. "Sorry!" (So were we!) But we gratefully wiped our brows, took a sip of water, and returned to Savasana once more.

"So every posture you have done to this point has readied you for here," said Mochi softly. "This is what you work your way towards. The culmination of it all."

Classes at Modo are $20, with a $2 rental each for mat, mat towel and shower towel.

-Jim Catapano for Yoga Sleuth

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