As we welcome July, we are excited to share its pose of the month and class schedule!
In its second month, the pose of the month is a pose selected by one of our teachers; she then shares her thoughts about and experiences with it to our community. As the month unfolds, teachers take up the challenge of incorporating this pose—or variations of it—into their class sequences for all but our yin and restorative classes.
We look forward to exploring this month’s pose with you, and we are grateful to Debbie Marquette for contributing its information!
July’s Pose of the Month
Utkata = powerful, fierce
Asana = pose
Utkatasana is a standing pose in the backbending category that strengthens the feet, ankles, calves, thighs, hips, and spine while stretching the shoulders and chest. We commonly refer to Utkatasana as fierce pose, chair pose, and awkward pose.
All of the common names are easily understood when we practice this asana. The full expression of Utkatasana asks us to take the awkward position of standing firm with knees bent as though sitting in a chair, engaging the core muscle while softening the tailbone, and lifting the arms and chest upward with fierceness and purpose. It quickly become obvious that this is a heat-building, character-building pose of great intensity.
And it’s just that bit of intensity and awkwardness that I experience while practicing Utkatasana that makes me feel vulnerable and transparent. If I look closely, I see that the pose mirrors my values and attitude toward life. Taking my practice off the mat, can I stand strong in awkward, intense situations while lifting and opening my heart to the circumstances that surround me? That is the real practice.
Join the 4yoga community this month as we explore the challenges and rewards of Utkatasana through healthy alignment, modifications, and variations.
July updates and events:
- July 4th class with Debbie Marquette. In town on Independence Day? Join Debbie Marquette at 9 a.m. for our traditional mixed-level holiday class. Please note that, although this will be the only class on the holiday, the schedule for all other days remains the same.
- Registration open for all three @the Museum classes. If you would like to practice hatha yoga, yin yoga, or meditation at The Downing Museum in July, sign up now to reserve your space! Check out this post to learn more about all three classes and their teachers. Or, if you’re ready to register, follow these links: Yoga@the Museum, Yin@the Museum, Meditation@the Museum. Please note that registration for these classes closes when the class is full or at noon on the day prior to the class, so be sure to register early to ensure you can join us.
- Drop-in meditation classes continue. Alice Simpson offers drop-in Mindfulness Meditation classes on the second Saturday and second Tuesday of each month for our usual $5 class fee. Whether you are new to meditation or an experienced meditator, please join Alice on Tues., July 9, at 5:30 p.m. (in the lounge in the back of the building—because tai chi meets in the studio at this time) and Sat., July 13, at 2 p.m. (in the studio). Read more on this earlier post.
For a full list of July classes, please see the calendar page—or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place. We also post the day’s classes each morning on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.