In ultra-fit Boulder with its tight lululemons and #yogisofinsta pressure, it’s easy to get swept away by the athleticism of yoga. It’s easy to fixate on the most impressive poses, the flexed abs below the crop top and the dripping sweat of a grueling flow.
But slow down, Boulder town. You need a little yin with that yang.
There are many health benefits to restorative and slower “yin” yoga classes, too. In fact, restorative yoga may actually benefit your other sports and the harder-core yoga classes you love to show off in. Experts say restorative yoga can help balance the nervous system, boost the immune system, improve your flexibility, increase body awareness and promote healing.
Although the yin classes may not get as bright of a spotlight as a loud and grunty Core Power class, they’re just as prominent in Boulder.
Here are a few great slower and gentler yoga classes to try in town.
Fusion Healing Yoga, The Healing Studio, 18 Garden Center, Broomfield, insightfulinspirations.com
Here’s a unique healing yoga class like no other. It’s a slow yoga flow class that also includes acupuncture, massage, energy balancing and aromatherapy. While students slowly move through postures, the four different practitioners work with students, one on one, to help balance their needs using the different therapies. This isn’t doing a Sun Salutation with acupuncture needles sticking out of your armpits. It’s subtler that that; you may get a poke here and there, take a rest between poses and then rejoin the group after your needles are removed. The class is hands on, personalized, relaxing and holistic.
Nomadic Yogis at Elevated Yoga Studio, 324 Main St., Longmont, elevatedyogastudio.org
Every class in this studio is healing and special in one way or another. There’s yin yoga, Body Wisdom Yoga, yoga with meditation, yoga-massage (a fusion of yoga and massage), Acu-Yoga (adding in acupuncture), Taoist Yoga (using ancient Chinese cultivation techniques of “chi” via postures, breathing, meditation and more) and more. Maggie’s Yoga is especially great for someone needing some TLC. It includes essential oils, breath awareness and meditation. “Renewal and healing for the stressed, anxious or exhausted,” the class description says.
As the studio explains, “You do not need to be flexible, strong, slim, healthy or a gymnast to practice yoga in our studio.” The class fees here are super inexpensive for the quality of intimate instruction you receive. The studio (a small, warm, cozy, sweet space) is a total hidden gem in Boulder County and worth the drive from Boulder.
Studio Be Yoga, 2077 30th St., Boulder, studiobeyoga.com
Studio Be Yoga is the place for healing yoga in Boulder. It has so many different classes to choose from. There’s Therapeutic Yoga (which aims to reduce physical discomfort and stress and increase energy and openness — not just in your muscles but also your lymphatic, endocrine, nervous and circulatory systems).
There’s also the unique Biodynamic Yoga, based on Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, which involves recognizing the energetic field created when people come together. And complementary Biodynamic Therapeutics classes, individualized, slow-paced sessions designed to spark healing, peace, connection and relief from stress.
Stretch and Reset is great for people who want to improve flexibility using a flow, myofascial release (ooh, feels so bad-good), alignment and more. If you have an injury or are new to yoga, this one’s for you.
We especially like Therapeutic Yoga Practice With De. As the studio describes it: “This practice is about quieting our busy mind.” Yes, please. Now, shh.
Yoga Loft, 633 S. Broadway, Unit N, Boulder, yogaloftboulder.com
Yoga Loft is packed with some incredible options for a slower healing yoga class.
Our fave is Kaiut Yoga. If you don’t know it, make sure you get to know it. Kaiut Yoga is all about subtle movements, and it’s ideal for people with stiffness, chronic pain and even injuries. It is designed to help the body age gracefully and without pain, but people of all ages can benefit from it.
Yoga Loft also has a more traditional, passive Yin Yoga class, Yoga Nidra (a guided relaxation done while lying down) and Restorative Yoga (which uses props and slow, nurturing postures).