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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 CorePower Yoga in Boulder. I know what you’re thinking: CorePower for your first in-studio class? But, I work in Boulder and I knew that the CorePower across the street offered a free week. 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: Aurora, CO
Deal for New Visitors: One Free Week
Recommended Class for Beginners: C1
As I mentioned above, C1 classes are not heated (which I appreciated, as a newbie). The flow is reliable; it is the same, no matter who is teaching it and no matter where you are! This is nice as a beginner because, through repetition, you will be exposed to and learn some essential yoga Sanskrit with English translations. You can start to build confidence in the solid foundation you are establishing!
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!
When you think of self-love what do you think of? Bubble baths, walks on the beach, facemasks, or what? Self-love can mean so many different things but when we think about self-love, we have to acknowledge loving ourselves both on the outside and on the inside. The way that we show ourselves love is one of the most important things we will ever do.
How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love?
As self-love defines and redefined itself for you over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Don’t we love this one? Loving ourselves has a lot to do with the boundaries that we have for ourselves, with others, and for others. Take time to think about your own emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual needs when setting boundaries that reflect your personal needs. Boundaries don’t have to be big and scary; they are here to remind us that you get to have your lived experience and still have expectations about how you’d like to be treated and what you’d like to feel.
When thinking about your boundaries, ask yourself:
In a world where perfectionism and curated existences have been rewarded, begin to cultivate compassion for yourself. You are a soul having a human experience and it’s totally okay if things are not perfect.
Mindfulness exercises such as Breathwork, self-care activities, and self-compassion, all help train the mind, emotions, and even the body’s stress chemicals to be able to deal with undesired situations. Self-compassion means, can you be nice to yourself? Can you find empathy and kindness for yourself in the middle of what feels chaotic, stressful, or unwanted? Self-compassion means that we get to make mistakes, have our plans not work out the way that we wanted, and we still get to celebrate that we are doing the best that we can and it is enough.
When thinking about self-compassion, ask yourself:
In every sense of the word “nourishment”, begin to learn what nourishes you and what depletes you. Nourishment doesn’t just mean food for yourself; it means that whatever you are consuming whether it be media, podcasts, people, energy, information, etc. all impact the way that we think, feel, and experience life.
Nourishing yourself definitely goes right along the lines of having your boundaries intact and practicing self-compassion.
When thinking about nourishment, ask yourself:
That’s it. Those are the foundational steps to cultivating a self-love practice that you can ease into your daily routine. Come back to these questions often, because like anything else, self-love is a practice and it takes effort, time, and intention to maintain.