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Friday, June 19, 2009

The Wire highlights Summer Yoga in the Park Series

Article in The Wire, June 19, 2009 featuring our upcoming Family Class!
Prescott posturing
Written by Sarah LaChance
Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Yoga in the Park offers every style under the sun

For those who visit, live or work on the Seacoast, Portsmouth’s Prescott Park has long been a destination for all sorts of daytime activities, from a game of checkers on the bench, to a stroll along the flowerbeds, to unwrapping a sandwich on the pier. Now every Tuesday at noon, from June through August, Prescott Park also provides an opportunity to gather around the fountain and practice some yoga.

On a recent Tuesday, under blue skies dotted with stray clouds, students arrived for the first class of the summer. They unfurled yoga mats and beach towels of yellow, bright pink and orange floral in a semi-circle. Most were dressed in typical gym garb of shorts and tank tops. One student, having dashed from the office, simply rolled up her pant legs and loosely tied a button-down shirt at her waist. In the center of the circle, instructor Deborah Levine, of Yogarising, led a series of postures focusing on core strength, with an emphasis on breath and fluid movements. She welcomed students of all ages and abilities.

“Instructors are able to adapt postures based upon the abilities of their students,” Levine said.

Series founder Sara Curry, of Bikram Yoga Portsmouth, first heard about yoga classes held outside in Florida parks from one of her students in Burlington, Vt., and thought it was a wonderful idea. When Curry later moved to the Seacoast, she established the Portsmouth Yoga in the Park series as a way to get to know the local yoga community, disciplines, practitioners and instructors, alike.

“The number one goal of Yoga in the Park is to make yoga accessible to more people,” Curry said. “We’ve had a bunch of students try yoga for the first time in the park and have lots of people who attend every session every year.”

Each week, students arrive without knowing who will be teaching or what style of yoga they’ll be practicing. Thirteen yoga studios collaborate on the series, offering classes in the Bikram, Family, Gentle Hatha, Hatha Flow, Ashtanga, Restorative and Kripalu traditions.

The only class specifically scheduled in advance is the June 30 ChildLight Yoga session. This style of yoga is tailored to families, although children are welcome at any of the classes and can often be seen playing or watching nearby. One student in the inaugural class practiced as her infant watched and eventually climbed into her lap during a few of the postures.

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