Ploog-0314This month’s pose, Utkatasana (ooot-kah-tah-sana) or Chair Pose, demands that our legs and booty be actively engaged. Chair pose challenges the body to become stronger. While holding the pose, we can feel a muscle burning sensation in our lower half that signals that the posture is working. It is within the challenge of holding the pose that our spiritual work is ignited. The fire in our quadriceps is the light guiding us toward inquiry.

What comes up for you as you are facing a new challenge or uncomfortable feeling? Observing your reactions during a pose is a powerful tool for your spiritual growth. Once you have chosen a spiritual path, you know that spiritual growth and personal discovery can be uncomfortable. In fact, growth only happens outside our comfort zone. Luckily, as life throws challenges, rewards, trials and triumphs at us, we can choose to create ease throughout all of the experiences. Create awareness while you hold chair pose this month. Remove any stress attached to challenge and meet the process of growth with ease.

Bring your feet about 4 inches apart. Toes point straight ahead and heels point straight back. It is important that your feet be as straight as possible. Take your tailbone and pubic bone down so that your low back is long and your tummy is engaged. Reach your arms straight out from your shoulders parallel to the ground. Palms face down. Roll your shoulders back and down. Ribcage pulls into the spine. Your drishti (gazing point) is straight in front of you. Bend at the hips and knees as you squat back. Act as if you are reaching for a chair behind you. Your knees point directly forward, not in or out. Your knees follow the toes. Reach your knees back over your ankles. Reach your chest over your hips; 70 percent of your weight is in your heels.

Take 10 breaths repeating the mantra, “I approach challenge with ease.” Release by pressing your heels into the ground and pressing your ankles apart as you straighten your legs. Release your arms to your side. Bring your palms together over your heart. Namasté.

Michelle Ploog is an ERYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) certified in Kripalu Yoga and Baptiste Power Yoga that inspires students to live a life of passion and purpose. During her eight years of teaching, she has taught yoga to an array of students from professional athletes, celebrities, women in recovery from sex trafficking, and adolescents coping with depression.  She has coached and trained yoga teachers as a facilitator for multiple teacher training programs, featured workshops and immersions around the country.  Her intention for teaching is to create a transformational and opening experience for students to embrace their inner light of greatness. For more about Michelle, please visit www.michelleploog.com and facebook.com/michelleploog.

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