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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!
The intentions we set in our daily lives are often methods for healing wounds, whether they’re self-inflicted or have been passed down to us by others. Developing a conscious practice to get rid of negative thoughts or feelings we’re holding onto can help us move in a more positive direction toward letting go, healing, and being present.
Moving intentionally within our bodies allows us to fully notice how they feel so we can acknowledge and target the right areas. Some days we struggle to work hard enough while others, we push ourselves too hard! We do this both in class and in other areas of our life. It's important to remember to understand our bodies’ rhythms or fatigue while making space for our humanness, feelings, or need to be vulnerable.
Here are a few simple guidelines for following intentions during your workout:
Remember that just like in life, taking a moment to pause and build the appropriate foundation will undoubtedly support you to be 100% successful on your journey. At The Dailey Method, we refer to this kind of mindful exercise as a “meditation in movement” and begin our practice with intentions. During the warmup, instructors encourage students to set an intention for their workout, even if it’s just a focus on breath, and then revisit it during their final resting pose. Often, we associate these goals with our Word of the Month, a specific theme to help guide our practice each month. But there are so many intentions to choose from—moving with your breath, moving with grace, forgiving yourself, shining your light out, the options are limitless, and you can alter them each day depending on where you are right here and right now.
“Personally, I am so grateful for this process being part of my Dailey practice,” says Jill Dailey, founder of The Dailey Method. “It is a built-in opportunity for me to stay in the present, and when I wander (because of course I do!) a tool to guide my presence back to the here and now.”
When the workout gets challenging or you feel like giving up at any point during class, set an intention to pause and remember the fact that we are all on this same path, doing this exercise together. You have all the tools you need to be successful—even if it means taking a quick rest or resetting your alignment! Don’t compare yourself to others; just focus on yourself and your goals for the workout. Remember why you’re there.
As you leave class, move with deliberation and show up at your next appointment, event, family gathering, or grocery shopping excursion as the greatest version of you. You just rocked your class and brought effort, strength, perseverance, and commitment. Acknowledge that and bring it with you. Don't forget about the intentions you set during class; figure out how you can apply them to other areas of your life!
Make moving with intention part of your next workout by taking a class at The Dailey Method near you today!