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Beginner's Guide to Yoga in Denver
Local
Published Friday Aug 09, 2019 by Karstee Davis

The Beginner’s Guide to Yoga in Denver 

Yoga
Expert Advice
Personal Growth

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!


YogaPod

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.

 
Full Circle Yoga 

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.

 
Bulldog Yoga

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! 

 
CorePower Yoga

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!

 
Samadhi Yoga

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!

Karstee Davis
Written by
Karstee Davis
Writer + Yogi
About the author
Karstee Davis is a writer + yogi living in the Boulder, CO area. She has written for Folk Rebellion, The Endometriosis Foundation of America, and CO Yoga + Life Magazine. You can find her at www.purifiedoutlook.com or on Instagram @purifiedoutlook.
intuitive eating tips
Wellness
Published Tuesday Oct 22, 2019 by Connie Weissmuller

5 Things You Might Not Know About Intuitive Eating

Nutrition
Food
Expert Advice

Intuitive eating is an approach to eating that has nothing to do with diets, “lifestyle changes,” cleanses, or anything of the sort. It is a powerful way of giving trust and peace back to your body and mind, likely after a time of giving that trust up to external means of control such as using apps to count calories and steps, or intentionally trying to manipulate your body size. 

Intuitive eating, in its truest sense, is supportive of one’s mental, emotional, and physical health. However, as diet and wellness culture have co-opted the term, there has been some misinformation that actually isn’t in line with intuitive eating at all. As a Registered Dietitian and nutrition expert, I’m here to hopefully clear up some blurry lines and share with you some ways to get accurate information about intuitive eating.

If you see someone promoting intuitive eating as a means for intentional weight loss—run!

Here’s the thing; intuitive eating isn’t used for weight loss. Weight change may be an outcome of intuitive eating, but we have no idea whether that means an increase, decrease, or no change in weight. If someone is promoting intuitive eating as an explicit weight loss, slim down, or detox strategythat’s a red flag.

This is why many intuitive eating informed dietitians, counselors, and therapists suggest ditching the scale. The scale doesn’t tell you how well you are eating intuitively, and it certainly doesn’t give you helpful information regarding your health. At the end of the day, intuitive eating helps you move towards a healthy weight that is right for you. That’s also called your set point weight. It’s different for everyone. Intuitive eating is the nutrition paradigm supported by the larger paradigm of Health At Every Size, which respects body diversity, challenges scientific and cultural assumptions related to body size, and encourages finding joy in moving one’s body. There’s so much nuance, which is why there is value in working with a professional well-versed in intuitive eating and Health At Every Size

1
If you see someone promoting intuitive eating as a means for intentional weight loss—run!

Here’s the thing; intuitive eating isn’t used for weight loss. Weight change may be an outcome of intuitive eating, but we have no idea whether that means an increase, decrease, or no change in weight. If someone is promoting intuitive eating as an explicit weight loss, slim down, or detox strategythat’s a red flag.

This is why many intuitive eating informed dietitians, counselors, and therapists suggest ditching the scale. The scale doesn’t tell you how well you are eating intuitively, and it certainly doesn’t give you helpful information regarding your health. At the end of the day, intuitive eating helps you move towards a healthy weight that is right for you. That’s also called your set point weight. It’s different for everyone. Intuitive eating is the nutrition paradigm supported by the larger paradigm of Health At Every Size, which respects body diversity, challenges scientific and cultural assumptions related to body size, and encourages finding joy in moving one’s body. There’s so much nuance, which is why there is value in working with a professional well-versed in intuitive eating and Health At Every Size

It’s not just the hunger and fullness diet; there is so much nuance!

Often times, intuitive eating gets the most attention from “honoring hunger and fullness,” which is a huge part of intuitive eating, however; it’s not that simple. There are plenty of instances I can think of within myself, or with my clients in eating disorder and chronic dieting recovery, where you simply don’t get appropriate hunger and fullness cues.

Your body sends amazing signals when it needs nourishment, yet the culture we live in tells us that those innate signals can't be trusted. This can lead to diminished hunger and fullness cues from dieting, skipping meals, or following the bogus rule of no eating after 7 pm. This is where working with a professional to gain back appropriate cues is helpful. 

Sometimes we have to eat when we aren't hungry just for the simple reason that we need energy and nourishment. This can be uncomfortable. For example, before exams and presentations, while I was in school, I had no appetite, but I knew that my brain needed fuel. I practiced the gentle nutrition piece of intuitive eating and ate anyways to perform my best academically. This is just one example where it’s not merely honoring hunger and fullness. 

3
It’s not just the hunger and fullness diet; there is so much nuance!

Often times, intuitive eating gets the most attention from “honoring hunger and fullness,” which is a huge part of intuitive eating, however; it’s not that simple. There are plenty of instances I can think of within myself, or with my clients in eating disorder and chronic dieting recovery, where you simply don’t get appropriate hunger and fullness cues.

Your body sends amazing signals when it needs nourishment, yet the culture we live in tells us that those innate signals can't be trusted. This can lead to diminished hunger and fullness cues from dieting, skipping meals, or following the bogus rule of no eating after 7 pm. This is where working with a professional to gain back appropriate cues is helpful. 

Sometimes we have to eat when we aren't hungry just for the simple reason that we need energy and nourishment. This can be uncomfortable. For example, before exams and presentations, while I was in school, I had no appetite, but I knew that my brain needed fuel. I practiced the gentle nutrition piece of intuitive eating and ate anyways to perform my best academically. This is just one example where it’s not merely honoring hunger and fullness. 

It’s not just about eating donuts all day.

Another common misconception is that intuitive eating is all about fun food all the time. The truth is that yes, in order to make peace with all foods, there’s often a “honeymoon” phase, if you will, with certain foods that have been off-limits. Those foods are typically deemed “bad” in our culture, so that’s why you might see more photos of those on Instagram to normalize them. After that honeymoon phase, all foods are fair game, and there’s eventually a great balance in the diet of fuel food and fun foods. Fun foods, like donuts, get old after a while when there are no restrictions (mental or physical) around them, so that’s why intuitive eaters have no moral dilemma when presented with a donut. They eat it, or they don’t because they know that donuts are fair game whenever the craving hits. 

4
It’s not just about eating donuts all day.

Another common misconception is that intuitive eating is all about fun food all the time. The truth is that yes, in order to make peace with all foods, there’s often a “honeymoon” phase, if you will, with certain foods that have been off-limits. Those foods are typically deemed “bad” in our culture, so that’s why you might see more photos of those on Instagram to normalize them. After that honeymoon phase, all foods are fair game, and there’s eventually a great balance in the diet of fuel food and fun foods. Fun foods, like donuts, get old after a while when there are no restrictions (mental or physical) around them, so that’s why intuitive eaters have no moral dilemma when presented with a donut. They eat it, or they don’t because they know that donuts are fair game whenever the craving hits. 

It’s a process, and it takes time.

The last big misconception is the notion that you can become an intuitive eater overnight. Tapping back into your body’s innate intuitive nature takes time. Just learning to re-trust my fullness cues took me what I think was about half a year. Finding joy and peace in moving my body took so much longer after years of using exercise as punishment or to manipulate my body shape and size. It takes time to release the mental rules and rigidity around eating. It takes time for your body shape and size to fall at the range that’s right for you. It takes time to appreciate size diversity and maybe even grieve the loss of the body you had when dieting or restricting. This process can take years, and it’s imperative to give yourself a whole lot of self-compassion and grace, because you are surrounded by a culture that tells you dieting is the norm. It’s hard to swim upstream, but I promise you, it’s a lot more peaceful than living in diet culture. 

Feel free to follow and reach out to me on Instagram at @constancelyeating or if you would like to work with me in-person in Denver, or virtually, check out Nourished With Hannah to learn more about Hannah and me! 
 

5
It’s a process, and it takes time.

The last big misconception is the notion that you can become an intuitive eater overnight. Tapping back into your body’s innate intuitive nature takes time. Just learning to re-trust my fullness cues took me what I think was about half a year. Finding joy and peace in moving my body took so much longer after years of using exercise as punishment or to manipulate my body shape and size. It takes time to release the mental rules and rigidity around eating. It takes time for your body shape and size to fall at the range that’s right for you. It takes time to appreciate size diversity and maybe even grieve the loss of the body you had when dieting or restricting. This process can take years, and it’s imperative to give yourself a whole lot of self-compassion and grace, because you are surrounded by a culture that tells you dieting is the norm. It’s hard to swim upstream, but I promise you, it’s a lot more peaceful than living in diet culture. 

Feel free to follow and reach out to me on Instagram at @constancelyeating or if you would like to work with me in-person in Denver, or virtually, check out Nourished With Hannah to learn more about Hannah and me! 
 

Connie Weissmuller MINDBODY
Written by
Connie Weissmuller
Registered Dietitian
About the author
A registered dietitian who loves helping people achieve food and body freedom, Connie specializes in the treatment of eating disorders, intuitive eating, and body image from a Health At Every Size lens. Working with clients to overcome food and body struggles, she is all about giving you the tools you need to find what healthy means to you.