Yoga is not just yoga, in the fittest city in America.
Boulder is home to a huge annual yoga festival, the Hanuman Festival, which draws hundreds of yogis from around the globe, including some of yoga’s biggest stars.
A handful of famous yogis also call Boulder home, including Richard Freeman, who has been doing yoga for almost 50 years and is considered one of the most influential yoga practitioners in the nation.
Other people with Boulder ties on the 100 Most Influential Yoga Teachers in America list:
- Rod Stryker, who travels the world teaching meditation and yoga and is the author of “The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom.”
- Noah Mazé, founder of Noah Mazé Yoga, began his yoga journey with Freeman in Boulder.
- Amy Ippoliti, who has taught at some of the best yoga schools in the country and who co-founded 90Monkeys.com, an online school for yoga teachers.
Add the quality of yoga instruction to the vast number of yoga studios, on top of Boulder’s reputation as a Buddhist hotspot (it’s home to the Shambhala Center and Naropa University, a Buddhist-inspired school founded by a Tibetan Buddhist teacher), and it’s no surprise that yoga is everywhere here and you can find all kinds of unusual yoga classes that provide a unique ways of practicing it.
If you want a great, more commonly practiced vinyasa, ashtanga, Baptiste, kundalini, Bikram (that’s hot yoga) or even a slower-paced yin yoga class, Boulder County is bursting with options.
If you want something totally unique and unusual (and quite possibly an only-in-Boulder experience), BoCo’s got your back, too.
Here are some of the region’s most unusual yoga classes you can try on your next visit to town:
Unnata Aerial Yoga
You’ve seen aerial silks and slings in the circus. This version of yoga incorporates the fabrics hanging from the ceiling into suspended yoga practices. Fans say it deepens your stretches, provides an extra muscular challenge and is a great way to decompress your spine. Oh, and it’s super fun. Our favorite place to do it is at Figure Yoga in Louisville, just east of Boulder. The head instructor here is one of the few who is actually certified in Unnata. Translation: She’s the best.
Boulder loves yoga. Boulder loves slacklining (you know, balancing on a flat strip of webbing pulled tight, often between two trees in a park). In Boulder, it’s only logical to combine the two. The YogaSlackers have Colorado roots and regularly teach at the Hanuman Festival. One well-known, Boulder-based YogaSlacker is Raj Seymour, who teaches around town. Also check the Colorado Slackline Club for YogaSlackers workshops or contact Rocky Mountain Slackline.
AcroYoga is one part yoga, one part partner acrobatics and with a dash of Thai massage. This is a playful and fun way to challenge your balance and strength with a partner (and at least one spotter). Plus, it looks super impressive. No need to have a partner to attend class. You’ll usually be paired with someone who’s about your size. Seymour is also well known for his AcroYoga classes, and Yuki Tsuji is a local celebrity for her incredible acro feats (and her welcoming personality in class).
Not to be mistaken for AcroYoga, Acu-Yoga is a unique fusion of yoga and acupuncture. No, you don’t try to do the full sun salutation covered in needles. Students are led through postures while an acupuncturist makes her way through class treating one person at a time. You stop doing yoga, lie down, get your needles inserted and removed and then re-join class. This is surprisingly calming and opens you up both physically and mentally.
Fusion Healing Yoga
Because sometimes Acu-Yoga isn’t enough, there’s also Fusion Healing Yoga. This has yoga. This has acupuncture. But it also has aromatherapy, massage and intuitive energy balancing. There’s nothing quite like this experience. Prepare to get deep, deep, deep and leave utterly relaxed and connected. You’ll have to trek to Broomfield for this offering, but it’s worth the short drive. Plus, it’s on the way to Denver and close to the Flatiron Crossing Mall.
Beer and Yoga
Beer and yoga may seem like an unlikely partnership, but not if you’re a Boulderite. Many of the local breweries offer yoga in their tasting room or partner with yoga teachers to provide a refreshing brew reward after class. Check out Brewhouse Yoga at Sanita Brewing Co. for one of the many options. Also check out classes offered by Littleton-based Outlaw Yoga, which has a regular presence in Boulder. Often, these classes fuse yoga, live music and beer. Boulder-style nightlife.
Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga
In the summer, the Boulder Reservoir becomes speckled with stand-up paddleboarders. Those not satisfied with just standing and paddling (a challenge, in and of itself) add yoga to the mix. Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga (or SUP Yoga) is a peaceful but truly challenging way to test your balance and zen. The good news? If you biff it, you just fall into the water. On a hot summer day, you may intentionally flip your board to cool off.
Yoga in the Park
With so much blue sky and warm summer weather that often surprises visitors, you’ll want to be outside as much as possible in Boulder. You can find outdoor yoga classes at many parks, including Chautauqua. Yoga in Your Park is one of the many companies that arranges yoga classes under the sky.
Yoga on Horseback
When in the Wild West, hop up on a horse and open your chakras. Yoga on Horseback is offered in Boulder as a special therapy that fans say touches participants both mentally and physically. The teacher will guide you through the postures, focusing on your breath and also your partner: the massive beast you connect and work with. Horses are considered to be intuitive and are often used in therapy for people of all abilities and backgrounds.
Just like yoga in the park is a natural extension of Boulder’s love of the outdoors, so is a yoga hike. Various companies will take you on trail hikes, often into the mountains, so you can immerse yourself in nature. Along the way or at the end of the trail, you will pause to do some salutations to the actual sun rising above you. The trek through the wilderness is calming and truly enhances the meditative quality of the practice.
You can also find yoga outdoors at the nearby Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Yoga on the Rocks is wildly popular and not too far from Boulder.