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What if you could do all three?
The River Yoga has partnered up with Red Rocks to offer Yoga on the Rocks—an outdoor yoga experience at the amphitheater where you can breathe and make shapes in the great wide open. Finished with your flow? Bring a fanny pack and hike the many trails through Red Rocks Park! Hello Colorado summer, we see you.
We chatted with Danielle Barbeau, yoga instructor, and owner of The River Yoga, to learn more about Yoga on the Rocks, how the partnership came to be, and what to expect from a peaceful practice at the incredible Red Rocks:
Collectively, our mission at The River Yoga is "to provide exceptional yoga experiences, excellent educational programs, intentional partnerships, and a hOMe where community and individuals are encouraged to live into their fullest potential." My mission as a studio owner is to always keep people—students, teachers, and staff—at the center of all we do. I am beyond grateful to have such an incredible group of humans to learn from (and with), and I care deeply about providing opportunities for growth and development for my team. We place a lot of emphasis on personal development and continuing education at The River. I know that most of my staff members will eventually go on to do other great things in the yoga world and beyond. My greatest hope is that my team always feels seen, heard, and lovingly challenged in striving for their most audacious dreams and goals.
Denver is such a collaborative city filled to the brim with active, creative people. My absolute favorite part of being a studio owner and leader in the Denver community is the opportunity to tap into that energy and collaborate with other studio owners, entrepreneurs, and yogis. I've always believed in collaboration over competition, but in Denver, I've been able to put that belief into practice with tremendous results. We have been collaborating with Fitness in the City since the early days of The River and have been fortunate to expand that collaboration and membership reciprocation to include High Ride Cycle, Bar Method, and most recently The Spot Bouldering Gym.
Despite how it might look, I didn't initially set out to own a yoga studio. That's a much longer story, but I like to think that The River found me. Every day since, I've said yes to possibility and opportunity while also working hard to ensure we have a strong foundation to build from. When I tell people I own a yoga studio, I think they often imagine me practicing yoga all day and meditating. In reality, running a yoga studio is like running any other business. In the early days, I was the teacher, manager, HR department, accountant, marking team, sales, and often the handy gal all in one! Growing the studio and community has challenged me to hone my leadership skills and live my mission, vision, and values. I credit so much of our success to my staff and to the yoga students who call The River their yoga home. Each time I’m faced with a new challenge, it's the people who keep me going.
I believe the greatest teachers also see themselves as forever students. For me, teaching yoga keeps me accountable to the practice in all forms, from asana and pranayama to the restraint, discipline, and mindfulness I strive to incorporate in my life off the mat. I feel truly honored each time I'm able to guide others through a yoga practice, and to learn along with my students.
The magic of Yoga on the Rocks would not be possible without the incredible vision and wonderful team at Denver Arts and Venues (DAV). We were fortunate to be selected by DAV as a yoga studio partner way back in 2016. We are now in our fourth year of leading classes Yoga on the Rocks, but I'm still blown away every time I step on the stage at Red Rocks. It's such an honor to work with DAV and lead classes in such a beautiful, iconic location.
1. Arrive earlier than you think you need to so you can get a great spot, soak in the beautiful view and good vibes, and visit the vendor village. I would recommend parking no later than 6 am.
2. Yes, Yoga on the Rocks is early, but it's so worth it. There's nothing like moving and breathing in unison with over 2,000 people, followed by savasana to the sound of birds, while laying under the big blue Colorado sky and those gorgeous red rocks.
3. Your ticket gets you a free week at The River, so be sure to see us before September 30th at our studios in Five Points and The Golden Triangle. If you're a member, pass your ticket off to a loved one so they can come practice with you!
Ready to step up your savasana? See you on the mat this summer at Yoga on the Rocks!
If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.
To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.
Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you. And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!
The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!
Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.
Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.
Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.
So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.
Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you.
While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.