In an Ashtanga and a Vinyasa flow class, we will be doing a lot of jump back and jump through. Being able to do a smooth jump back and jump through will help to keep the flow in the practice.
Whenever I do a jump back during a vinyasa, I have this problem of going straight down to Chaturanga Dandasana. Instead, I will hover in plank before going into Chaturanga. At first, I thought that it was due to not having enough arm strength but the funny thing is I would be able to go straight down to Chaturanga from Chakrasana.
I have been viewing some videos on instructions for the jump back (thanks to Youtube!) but still have problem executing the pose in my practice. Recently I found the video below on vimeo.Blanca Aviles - Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga from Van Yang on Vimeo.
I noticed that as she pressed her palms into the ground, she draws her hips up to her belly, rounding her back and leans forward before gracefully jumping back into chaturanga. By drawing her hips up, she was creating a lot of space between herself and the floor and at the same time, engaging her core. I have tried this out in my self-practice yesterday and noticed that I am able to go straight into chaturanga but the execution of the pose still needs some working on to have a more soft and graceful landing.
From my research for the pose, I managed to find this great article “Pick Up and Jump Back” by Maty Ezraty which provides more insight on how to execute the pose and I would like to quote this from the article. “Let this journey be a metaphor for your life. With the grace of your breath, start at the beginning, move with awareness, and open yourself up for the ride. Step by step, you'll get there.”