Our UK team sets the record straight on how to sit in stillness.
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The first time I ever stepped into a yoga studio, I had only taken two classes before— one at Red Rocks of all places! Not only was the class size smaller than Red Rocks, I thought the instructor would find all the flaws in my flow. Plus, I am a full-figured woman so I certainly didn’t have any “yoga” clothes and what if everyone else in class looked like a lululemon model? I was intimidated, to say the least.
So, I decided to try a yoga studio in Boulder. I had looked up the schedule beforehand and knew that the C1 class sounded like my best bet. For one thing, it wasn’t heated and the course description said that it was a “foundation-building yoga class that will work every muscle through movement and breath at a moderate, but intuitive pace.”
I found a spot in the back of the class, a place where I wouldn’t have to make eye contact with myself in the mirrors. I unrolled my mat and took a seat. A bald man, around my age, took a seat on the mat at the front of the classroom facing the students. His name was (and is) Raj. Throughout the class, he picked up on all my cues of hesitation and would promptly head over to me without missing a beat. Raj would continue to instruct the others, but he showed me ways in which poses were more accessible in my body. I felt completely supported. He provided such a welcoming experience that I didn’t even realize I’d been sold on yoga. And believe it or not, four years later, I would complete Yoga Teacher Training under the tutelage of Raj!
As you can see, your first experience can make oh or break your relationship with this ancient modality. Getting to know your body better and finding your breath for moments of peace in this frenzied world is priceless. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of studios and classes across the Mile High region to help you begin on your path to yoga, no matter what experience you might have on the mat!
Location: Westminster, CO
Deal for New Visitors: Varies by studio
Recommended Class for Beginners: PodFlow 1
This class is 85 degrees with no added humidity. You will flow through sun salutations and sequences that build strength and flexibility. The class is different each time, but is always accessible to a beginner as you continue to grow with your flow.
Location: Longmont, CO
Deal for New Visitors: 30 days for $30; 4 weeks + 4 classes for beginners (including a new yoga mat) for $90
Recommended Class for Beginners: Yoga 101 Beginner Series
On Wednesday nights, this series explores anatomy and yoga philosophy. It will prepare students for a healthy and safe practice by focusing on proper alignment and breathing techniques in a welcoming and inclusive environment.
Location: Boulder, CO
Deal for New Visitors: 25 days for $25
Recommended Class for Beginners: Activate
Heated to 92 degrees (I’m sweatin’ just thinking about it), Activate is described as a “slow flow.” Bulldog Yoga’s philosophy is all about making yoga “more approachable and accessible… not intimidating.” They believe the focus should be on what you want to get out of your time on the mat. Don’t forget to pack a towel and water!
Location: Denver (Uptown), CO
Deal for New Visitors: One month of unlimited yoga for $30
Recommended Class for Beginners: Yoga Basics: An Introductory Class
Offered on the first Sunday of every month at the Uptown Studio, this course will help students “break down fundamental yoga postures and basic flow, terminology, and general class structure.” It’s the perfect combination to elevate your practice!
I hope this list is the perfect starting point to get your toes onto a mat, and into the world of yoga in the Mile High!
For the first time ever, the globe will be watching surfing take center stage at the 2020 (postponed to July 2021) Olympics. People from all over the world will be appreciating the sport, many for the first time.
This symbolizes the surfing community breaking through centuries of negative stereotypes. Though conditions play a big part in the sport, the biggest hurdle the athletes will have to overcome to see success is mental. The winner will be the one who chooses their waves wisely with their understanding of the conditions and ability to intimidate and therefore overcome components. Meanwhile, they will be challenging themselves to emerge from crashing barrels, fly into the air, and land on the shifting surface gracefully. No big deal.
You’ve probably heard the invention of a wave pool, which creates the perfect man-made wave. In 2007, Kelly Slater founded his wave company with a passion to build the perfectly rideable wave at his surf ranch. It was debated whether the Olympics should be held in the ocean or on a manufactured wave, with many differing opinions on what would be right. The decision was made, and the event will take place in the sea, at Tsurigasaki Beach in Japan, about 40 miles east of Tokyo, where the rest of the 2021 games will be hosted.
As you watch, take a moment to reflect on the century of effort for this to happen. This initiative can be traced all the way back to the 1912 summer games that took place in Stockholm. Duke Kahanamoku, known as the father of modern surfing, won three gold medals in swimming, and while accepting his medal, he expressed that it was his dream to see surfing be added. To add fuel to the fire, International Surfing Association, recognized as the surfing world's governing authority by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), began lobbying for the inclusion of surfing in the Olympics in 1955.
Surfing is a multidimensional sport unlike any other. Nothing compares to paddling out to the serene silence that awaits beyond the breaking waves. Once you get out there, you immediately escape the many annoyances ingrained in everyday life—the constant notifications on your phone and laptop, your back-to-back schedule, answering to other people. You’re no longer on the time that your watch reads, you’re on mother nature’s time. You’re also no longer in control of your surroundings. Now, all you can do is surrender and wait for the next set to come, while trying to position yourself for when it does.
The high from catching the perfect wave is so addicting that surfers would fail on one hundred in a row just to catch that one. After you catch that perfect one, you replay it in your mind for the rest of the day.
A successful session is reliant on so many factors of mother nature—a force way bigger than us. For ideal conditions to exist, a good-sized swell must approach from the right direction, the wind must be flowing offshore, and you have to time your session right with the ebb and flow of the tide.
The sport is always teaching you life lessons. It is humbling, even if you’ve been practicing it for many years. One reason why it takes so long to master is that the conditions are going to be different every time you get out there. You might have caught a million yesterday, but today makes you feel like a kook because you can’t land one decent wave.
The community of people that you become a part of when you surf is special. A shared obsession with the ocean that brings you to dive into the water at dawn to get a session in bonds you quick. When you’re out there, you’ll find yourself interacting with people of all ages and backgrounds. People enjoy sharing the stoke of the sport. When you see someone out there teaching somebody new, you’ll encounter them cheering at the top of their lungs when they catch a good wave, and as you look around, you’ll see smiles all across the lineup. The other day, I caught a long wave in to be met with a cheering crowd of locals who frequent the spot that I do. When I got to shore, a local showed me their secret stash of hot packs to access in case I, or someone else, gets stung by a stingray when they aren’t around.
Being out in the ocean and abiding by her rules gives surfers a deep love and connection to nature. It’s common to see sea animals out there, like dolphins, stingrays, and fish. When you have an encounter, it’s a reminder that we are invading their territory. It sucks when you see trash floating in the water, or on the sand in its route to the water. It’s a sad reminder of the negative impact that humans can have on natural environments. It inspires you to pick up trash and advocate for sustainability so that we, as a collective, can take care of the beauty that we are lucky to have access to.
Tune in to see surfing break into the biggest international sporting event in the world beginning on Saturday, July 24th.
Do you live by the ocean? Paddle out with an instructor.
Don't live by the water, but still want to train for your next surf trip? Consider these classes.
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