Hizzah for Groupons! I scored a great deal on 30 days of unlimited yoga at a nearby studio, one I’ve never patronized before, but one that more Baltimoreans need to know about because it supports and nurtures yogis of ALL levels.
While attending a new yoga class (or doing anything new!) causes me slight distress, as my Cancer-driven (the astrological sign, people!) emotions definitely react to any change in this creature-of-habit’s schedule, I remained mostly excited to cash in Day 1 of my Groupon at Utkatasana Yoga.
The studio itself, the floor on which we place our mats and actually practice yoga, was very small. As I opened the door and entered, I literally stood in the studio. Though this surprised me, I immediately felt welcomed by this space, a space that beckons people right off the streets and into a yoga practice. After I checked in with the warm instructor and her laid-back, yet passionate assistant, they told me I could store my belongings in the basement. The basement? Yes, that tiny little studio fooled me, as just a few declining stairs led me into a cool, funky, welcoming basement/lounge. Complete with changing rooms, fuzzy chairs, a plush sofa, and intriguing reading material, this chilled out, inviting area complemented the minimalistic yoga space above.
The class itself comforted and energized me. I felt comforted by its vinyasya style, the kind of yoga that I usually do. Athletic, heart-pumping, and fast-paced, vinyasa serves as one of the most effective styles of yoga to burn calories and strengthen muscles. Mentally, vinyasa yoga grounds our racing thoughts, as we must become fully conscious of our breath to help us keep up with the pace of the class and enter each pose. If we allow our thoughts to ravage our minds, we risk sloppily moving through poses, losing our breath, and feeling exhausted. The instructor of the class I attended spoke of just that, as she told us to take deep, deep breaths and quiet our minds. In short, Utkatasana Yoga totally vibes with my own yoga philosophy and teaches the style I generally prefer.
Though the other yogis in the class all seemed to know each other, a common occurrence in the (mostly) inclusive yoga world, many smiled at me, said hello, and introduced themselves. In no time I felt comfortable around them, which relieved me especially because we practiced some sweaty yoga in that studio and I bumped into my neighbors a few times.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my 80 minutes of vinyasa at Utkatasana. The space, the instructor, the students, and the financially prudent deal (all hail the Groupon!) offered me a wonderful and beautiful experience