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RiNo Yoga Social, A Collective of Independent Yoga Teachers

RiNo Yoga Social, A Collective of Independent Yoga Teachers

RiNo Yoga Social

RiNo Yoga Social, located in the River North neighborhood of Denver, is unlike any other yoga studio in Denver.

RYS is a collective of independent yoga teachers with the mission to “keep the practice of yoga fun, creative, and accessible while empowering yoga teachers to build their own businesses.” What this means is that…it is a shared yoga space and event center where teachers rent the space to have the creative freedom to create yoga and meditation experiences that fit their unique talents, strengths, and visions.

At RYS you can find all kinds of yoga classes and styles from traditional Vinyasa (one breath to one movement), to Yin (a mostly seated meditation with physical postures giving you a deep stretch), to Restorative (a highly relaxing class mostly laying down supported by lots of props), to Trauma Informed Yoga (led by a trained Yoga Therapist), to Buti Yoga (a dance inspired yoga class) to Mala making classes, and so much more.

Each class has affordable drop-in rates or is donation-based, so that anyone can afford to make yoga a part of their day and regular self-care regime.

The building where RYS is located has a lot of history. It constructed to be a church in 1921 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 for it's unique Renaissance architecture. The yoga studio is located in the basement of this building with exposed piping and bricks giving it a very industrial and earthy feel.

To decorate the walls, they commissioned Robin Munro, owner of Colorado Crush graffiti street festival, and his team tag glow in the dark chakra's on the brick walls.

To visit their website, and check out the schedule visit rinoyogasocial.com.

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Op Ed: A Few Benefits to Including Aerial Hammocks in Your Yoga Practice

OP ED: A FEW BENEFITS TO INCLUDING AERIAL HAMMOCKS IN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

If you haven't tried aerial yoga yet, it's fun! And, unlike any other yoga-inspired class you've taken. Plus, there are some real benefits to working with and flowing with an aerial hammock.

Here are just a few of them, in my opinion:
~ You're in the present. Working with silk hammocks requires some concentration and balance. In combination with paying attention to your breath, aerial helps clear the mind, which reduces stress. 

Aerial Yoga at Atherial in Denver

~ It's strengthening. Pulling yourself up by your arms, stepping into the hammock, getting into plank with your feet in the hammock...and other movements facilitate an experience where you are using your own body weight to make it all happen. 

~ It's a safe place to get inverted, and practice handstands. Inversions (or, poses where your head is below your heart) are proven to be good for increasing blood flow throughout the body, which naturally helps our circulatory system. From a handstand perspective, the hammocks can help you get a feel for the proper alignment needed to stick a handstand - which is stacking your hips, torso, and shoulders directly above your hands. 

~ The hammocks act like straps in certain postures like dancer (pic) to help deepen your stretch.

This post is sponsored by Atherial Yoga as a part of the 2018 Studio Partner Program.

Author: Founder of Unlimited Yoga Denver, Lynn Koves

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Improve Flexibility & Calm Your Mind with Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga Denver

If you haven't tried Yin before, here's a bit more information on the practice: 

~ Unlike many styles of yoga that include a lot of movement ("Yang" styles of yoga), Yin is a mostly seated or laying down experience. 

~ The purpose of Yin is two-fold: 1. To calm the mind and internal chatter. Give the brain a break, and find a meditative state. 2. Physically, many people think of Yin as a deep stretch. By applying a healthy amount of stress to the connective tissue around our joints, over time we can increase our flexibility and mobility. 

~ Each posture is held for 2-5 minutes, although advanced practitioners will sometimes hold for much longer (like 20 minutes).

~ Yin is different than Restorative Yoga that uses a lot of props to create a fully relaxing experience. (Because they are both seated, some times people get them confused)

~ Finally, some thing to note is that Yin poses should never be painful, although it is normal to feel a mild to moderate sensation in the areas where stress is being applied. 

Yin is one of my favorite classes to each. I love that my students walk out of class and say things like "that felt so good" or "I'm so relaxed". It's a great feeling to be able to help people relax and feel good in their bodies.

To find a Yin class locally, you can find them at many studios in Denver including Kindness Yoga (7 locations; accept donations), RiNo Yoga Social (RiNo), Whole Yoga (Uptown), Elevate Yoga (E. Colfax), Samadhi (several locations throughout Denver and Englewood), The Freyja Project (LoHi)...and I'm sure many more. 

Author: Written by founder of Unlimited Yoga Denver, Lynn Koves

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All About Fascia and What You Need To Know About It

All About Fascia and What You Need to Know About it

Blog sponsored by our friends at Atherial Fitness, in Northwest Denver

Blog sponsored by our friends at Atherial Fitness, in Northwest Denver

“If you’re feeling discomfort, that’s the fabric breaking up your fascia!”  This is something aerial yoga instructors say often, but you may be wondering, “what is fascia?” and “do I want to break it up?”.  Yes you do! This article will explain why. 

What’s Fascia?

There are four types of tissue in our body: muscle, nervous, epithelial, and connective. Fascia is a connective tissue.  It exists throughout the entire body and it helps to support your muscles, bones, and organs. Fascia has been described as being similar to a spider web or like the white part of the orange after you remove the peel.

Fascia is made up of three components. The first is collagen which is a type of protein. Collagen fibers are long, strong, and can support ten thousand times its own weight. Collagen provides structure and support which keeps our muscles and bones in place.  The second component of fascia is elastin. Elastin allows the tissue to stretch (like when we do yoga poses) and it absorbs shock (from running, jumping, etc.).  The final component of fascia is ground substance.  This substance allows muscle fibers to slide over one another with ease. An interesting fact about ground substance is that it changes from gel to liquid when pressure is applied. This process is called thixotropy.

Finally, there are different types of fascia.  Superficial fascia which exists close to the skin, deep fascia which exists around muscles and bones, and visceral fascia which is around our organs.

How Do We Keep Fascia Healthy?

Fascia needs to be cared for just like our muscles and bones do. Otherwise it can become distorted making us more susceptible to various medical issues like chronic pain after injury, plantar fasciitis, and IT Band Syndrome.  Thirsty fascia will pull itself together very tightly and cause puckering in the skin (cellulite).  Fortunately there are a couple of different ways to keep our fascia healthy.

1. Staying Hydrated. Fascia needs hydration to be in an optimal state. Just like a car engine needs oil to work properly, our fascia needs water. An engine without oil will freeze up and stop working. The same thing happens to our body and our fascia when we aren’t properly hydrated. Water ensures our fasciastays well-lubricated and malleable which makes movement easier overall. 

With that being said, drinking more water won’t necessarily solve all of our issues.  As mentioned earlier, fascia is like an intricate spider web and it has many valleys, nooks, and hidden pathways. In order to hydrate these hard-to-reach areas, we need to work into our soft tissue and make the pathways more accessible.  There are many ways to work into our soft tissue, including massage, use of a roller ball, and aerial yoga.  In aerial yoga, the fabric works on our soft tissue through compression and release, ultimately opening up fascia in the part of the body we are working on.

2. Movement. Our fascia will also freeze if we don’t move around.  Sitting at a desk all day, poor posture, and tension from chronic stress all result in our fascia becoming hard and immobile. We can combat these effects with movement.  One way to implement more movement into your day is by rolling around in bed before you get up in the morning.  Stretch out and wiggle around before you get your cup of coffee to keep your elastin (a component of fascia) healthy and happy.

Another component of fascia, collagen, is very strong and made to withstand pressure.  Because of this, a quick stretch won’t change much.  We can work into these strong fibers by holding gentle stretches for longer periods of time (3-5 minutes). This is why Restorative and Yin yoga is so beneficial for the body. As we hold poses for a minute or longer, the tissue begins to release. 

Atherial Fitness offers unique Restorative and Yin Yoga classes which work to keep fascia healthy.  During these classes, you’ll hold postures for longer periods of time which helps to release tight collagen (a component of fascia).  Plus the fabric is a great tool for self-massage. As your body weight is transferred to the fabric, you’ll work into your soft tissue, break up those hard-to-reach pathways, and give your body the space to hydrate more efficiently.

Sources:

https://www.realbodywork.com/lesson/anatomy-of-fascia/

https://www.runnersworld.com/advanced/a20784481/understanding-your-fascia/

https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/the-top-5-ways-fascia-matters-to-athletes

https://ashleyblackguru.com/what-is-fascia/

http://stretchcoach.com/articles/stretching-fascia/

About the author: Jen Callahan is a Denver-based yoga instructor.  She teaches aerial yoga and aerial restore classes at Atherial and also serves as the Community Marketing Manager for the studio. Connect with her on Instagram at @jendoesaerial.

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5 Ways Aerial Yoga Can Lead to Gains in Your Mat Practice

5 Ways Aerial Yoga Can Lead to Gains in Your Mat Practice

If you’re looking for a new way to take your mat practice to the next level, consider aerial yoga. Aerial yoga gives you the space needed to challenge balance and strength in a new way.  The fabric is used as a prop, just like a strap or block, and will help you gain the skills needed to make progress on your yogic journey.  Read on for five ways aerial yoga can lead to gains in your mat practice.

5. Gain Confidence in Your Own Ability

One of the first things you’ll learn in an Aerial Basics class are the various locks which keep you safe and secure in your hammock.  Even with this new knowledge, it will still take time until you feel comfortable in the fabric and begin to trust your new skills. Many new students are amazed at their ability to get into a pose for the first time and it’s always a great moment to see people go from “I could never do that” to “I can’t believe I’m doing it!”  This newfound trust and confidence in your own abilities carries over to the mat practice, too.  Soon you’ll have the confidence to attempt (and nail!l) difficult poses, like Scale or Bird of Paradise.

4. Improved Balance

Aerial yoga is a major balance challenge. Tree pose, for example, can be done standing entirely in the hammock. While you’re completely secure in your locks, the hammock still moves around and can throw you off center.  This will challenge your balance in new ways. As you become more stable in moving, aerial variations of poses, you’ll notice greater stability in the mat version, too.

3. Gain Strength for Better Chaturangas

During an aerial yoga class, you’ll use the fabric to explore different variations of exercises like fabric-assisted pull-ups and planks.  Other aerial movements will require you to pull yourself up to get into the full expression of the pose.  All of this work will challenge your muscles in a new way and help you to become stronger overall.  After a few aerial yoga classes, you’ll notice mat postures like downward-facing dog and chataranga are easier to maintain.

2. Difficult Poses are More Accessible

Handstand, Scorpion, and Standing Splits are all difficult postures that become more accessible in aerial yoga. All of these poses are done with the hammock secured around the waist and legs.  Through this secure lock, you are able to enter the pose with the knowledge that the hammock will catch you and stop you from falling in all directions.  By practicing the postures in this way, you are able to build the foundation needed to nail the pose on your mat.

1. Reminds You Not to Take Yourself Too Seriously

Aerial yoga classes carry a different vibe then mat yoga classes. In a mat class, the room is laser-focused on the flow and yogis rarely make a sound outside of the Ujayi breath. This isn’t the case in an aerial yoga class where sounds include cheering (as other students support your efforts to get into a challenging pose for the first time) and giggling (as you find joy in movements you probably haven’t done since you were a kid).  We can bring this lighter energy back to our mat to remind ourselves that it’s ok if we aren’t where we want to be today.  Each day is different and we improve our lives and our practice when we remember to honor where we are in each moment.

 If you want to try aerial yoga and live in the Denver area, try out Unlimited Yoga partner, Atherial Fitness! Their supportive community and amazing instructors earned them the Best Place to Learn to Fly award from Westword this year. As an added bonus, all Unlimited Yoga subscribers get $12 classes at Atherial (40% off!). Use the code “UYFALL2018” when you sign up for class to get your discount. 

About the author: Jen Callahan is a Denver-based yoga instructor, Marketing Manager for Atherial Fitness, and aerial aficionada.  She currently teaches yoga to climbers at the Denver Bouldering Club and will soon be certified to teach aerial yoga. Connect with her on Instagram at @jendoesaerial

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How Yoga Helps Us Relax (And Why We Need To)

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How Yoga Helps Us Relax (And Why We Need To)

How Yoga Helps Us Relax (And Why We Need To)

Authored by: Annie Martens, Teacher at RiNo Yoga Social and Owner of Cosmic Kundalini 

RiNo Yoga Social

Whether you’re new to yoga or not, you’re probably familiar with that blissful state of peace after a deep practice. Why is that? And how is it that we often lose that relaxed feeling within hours, or for some, even minutes? Read on to discover what it is about yoga that actually makes us so relaxed, and why it is terribly important to be relaxed.

 Part of the basic truth of why we feel so darned relaxed after yoga practice is that the space and time it sets up for us allows us the freedom to rest. In a society heavily dominated by the need to “get more done,” work harder, make more money, get more followers, subscribers, clients, whatever — there is rarely a moment to rest just for the sake of relaxation. Rather, we reward ourselves with time to rest only after we accomplish said tasks. Haven’t you ever said something like, “if I can just get the last two things on my to-do-list done, then I can relax!” Oddly, in the name of relaxation, our life becomes about doing more. (1) In a yoga or meditation practice, the mind is stimulated in a way where it is allowed and advised to focus on only one thing — the breath or  bodily sensations — and suddenly all of that other mind-stuff gets to sit on the back burner.

When that happens, the brain changes. We can look at sleep as an example, because sleep is perhaps the most relaxed state you ever enter on a regular basis. During the deeper states of sleep, the brain enters what is called the Theta (deep) or Delta (deepest) brainwave state. In these states, the brainwaves rest somewhere in between 7 and 0.5 cycles per minute. That is extremely slow compared to the cycles in normal waking life, the state you are likely in right now, where Beta brainwaves can reach 100 cycles per minute. Unlike Beta, the slower states allow the body a chance to restore. It releases human growth hormones that maintain healthy metabolism and reduces cortisol levels, a stress-inducing chemical that accelerates the aging process. (Stay away!)

Can you imagine what it would be like if we didnt enter these slow, deep brainwaves states that occur during sleep?! Life would be so stressful, we’d be tired all the time, and don’t even get me started on insomnia. We absolutely need to enter these slower brainwave states that are vital to our ability to relax, heal, rejuvenate, and some even say to experience empathy and compassion. (1)

But what about when we are not asleep? In a meditative yoga practice like yoga nidra, seated meditation, or a very mindful asana sequence, the brainwaves can slow down enough to reach Alpha, (8-12 cycles), or perhaps even Theta (4-7 cycles), allowing the body to restore in similar ways that it does in sleep. And ta-da! You leave feeling AH-MAZING! You just gave your whole body a beautiful gift, the chance to do what it is designed to do — to take care of itself, something it certainly cannot do when it is put under stress or is sleep deprived.

And the scary thing is, the less time we spend in a relaxed state, the harder it is for us to enter it. This relates to what we call in yoga philosophy samskaras — or deeply engrained habit patterns. Unhelpful samskaras (tendencies) are difficult to dissolve, but it can be done. The good news is, helpful samskaras become just as engrained, and once part of your regular lifestyle, they are easy to maintain. For example, the more time you spend meditating, the easier it is to do again. The more time you spend in a relaxed state, the easier it is to maintain even in a stressful situation. It is possible to stay calm and at ease in a high-energy, fast paced world. All it takes is practice and the ability to recognize just how important it is for your health.

Yoga is not just about flexibility or having a fit body, it is about your ability to experience the external world with a calm, relaxed internal state of mind. The more we engage in yoga practices that slow down the brainwaves, the more easily we are able to enter a deeply relaxed state of mind at any time! Not just in a yoga-setting… So, do you want to live a healthy and happy life? Then you better relax, my yogi loves.

1. Desai, Kamini. Yoga Nidra: The Art of Transformational Sleep. Lotus Press, 2017.

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What is Yoga Therapy? Teacher Alexi Neal Weighs In

What is Yoga Therapy?

Yoga Therapy is a mind-body modality of healing that approaches life’s challenges with the assertion that each of us carries within us the potential to heal ourselves. There are many different types of Yoga Therapy- some that use yoga similar to the way you would physical therapy- prescribing certain poses, breathing techniques and meditations to work with the conditions presented. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is based on Carl Roger’s humanistic psychology, which asserts that your felt experience is your highest authority, and that transformation comes not from a prescribed set of poses, but from your own inner Truth.

Who can benefit from Yoga Therapy?

Some people come to Yoga Therapy to explore a physical concern, like chronic pain. Some people come because they're integrating trauma, experiencing anxiety or suffering from depression. Still others come because they feel stuck or off track in their life. Yoga Therapy offers a way for every part of you and your experience to be healed.  

What does a session look like?

Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy sessions are offered one-on-one, in a safe and supportive environment. The practitioner will guide you into an embodied experience completely informed by what is happening in your body right now, offering options for exploration, but with the only goal being to bring you into closer connection with your own felt experience.

So, how does this work?

So how does this work? Terms like “inner Truth” always carry with them a vague “wooey” feeling, no matter how much we may want to feel connected to it. There are more scientific studies and reviews coming together every year that supports this work, but this one in particular speaks to a different way of being that can lead to this transformation.

The study (1) was headed by Norm Farb and published in the Oxford Journal of Social, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Farb and others wanted to look at the way we think about ourselves and our experience. It has long been theorized that there are two distinct mental pathways that we can experience at any given moment, narrative experience and direct experience.

Narrative Experience is our most common way of being and thinking. The analytical mind plans, remembers, worries, hopes, and projects. The contents of our thoughts are mostly about the past or future. This is a very important way of being – it allows us to move through our lives and make decisions.

Direct Experience, on the other hand, is a rarer phenomenon. The continuous narrative quiets down and ceases its planning, and the moment is experienced as it is, without analysis or judgment. Sound familiar? It has long been the goal of yoga practices to turn on this neural pathway!

So what happens when we slip into direct experience? The study showed that participants relatively new to mindfulness practices experienced less activity in the prefrontal cortex (the most advanced part of our brain, responsible for the continuous monologue of thought). Those participants who had continued the practice regularly also showed an increase in activity in the right hemisphere of the brain, especially in places responsible for creative, non-linear thoughts!  

Transformation and Change

So, being supported in dropping in to Direct Experience in Yoga Therapy, means we can access new ways of thinking about ourselves, our concerns, and come up with creative solutions for transformation! In a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy session, we use the tools of embodied movement, yoga poses, breathing, hands-on assists and support to facilitate moving past the Narrative Experience, into this quieter, more creative way of being. One of the most powerful ways of dropping into this space is finding what we call edges – places of powerful sensation where new information can be learned and changes can begin to take place.

While in this space, we talk about what you’re experiencing, so that your felt experience can be externalized, validated and processed. At the end of our session, you’ll have the opportunity to figure out what happens next, integrating the experience into your life in meaningful, tangible ways.

Ready to give Yoga Therapy a try?

Alexi Neal of The Neal Center for Counseling and Yoga Therapy is currently offering heavily discounted sessions while completing her hours for certification. That makes this the perfect time to try the work! You can also join us at the Free Therapeutic Yoga & Info Session on June 13th or June 27th!

1. Norman A. S. Farb  Zindel V. Segal Helen Mayberg  Jim Bean Deborah McKeon Zainab Fatima Adam K. Anderson; Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, Volume 2, Issue 4, 1 December 2007, Pages 313–322, https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsm030

 

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Unlimited Yoga Produces YOGA + PLANTS, A Summer Yoga Series

Yoga + Plants

In the summer of 2017 Unlimited Yoga evolved from an online resource only, to organizing a few in-person yoga events, including the summer yoga series, YOGA + PLANTS.

YOGA + PLANTS was created with the vision of combining two healthful activities - yoga & plants, to create fun experiences that bring the yoga community together to plant seeds, (literally and figuratively) for a life, diet and home filled with plants and flowers.

To make things even better, 10% of proceeds from the yoga events were donated and re-invested back into the community by supporting Urban Peak, a local shelter for youth in Denver and Boulder who are either homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless.

The series, by design, was a collaborative effort between Lynn at Unlimited Yoga, professional gardener Eric Rooney of Rooney Bloom, studio owners Jessica Lyn Young and Brett Rezek of Evolve Yoga Denver, and a handful of rockstar up-and-coming yoga teachers (Addison Gumbert, Tiffany Adams, Aly Ballow, Jaclyn Fu, and Emily Tella).

Proudly sponsored by Stillwater Brands, doTERRA Essential oils and Beekeepers Naturals, between and May and the end of July, attendees of YOGA + PLANTS enjoyed yoga, smoothies, and plant-based learning and activities from gardener Eric on topics such as -

Indoor plants that require little to no sunlight: 

Yoga + Plants: Indoor Plants Day

Gardening 101 and how to keep various plants alive and thriving:

Yoga + Plants: Gardening 101

The importance of protecting bees and how we can help:

Yoga + Plants: Saving the Bees day

The medicinal properties of plants, including cannabis:

Cannabis Day at Yoga + Plants

How to arrange flowers to create beautiful arrangements:

Floral Arrangement class at Yoga + Plants

About smudging, and the materials to create your own herbal incense:

Yoga + Plants: DIY Incense Day

The mechanics of terrariums to foster plants, including a succulent terrarium project:

Succulent Terrarium Day at Yoga + Plants

About air plants, the simplicity of taking care of them, and a DIY old picture frame project:

Yoga + Plants: DIY Air Plant Project

Enjoying the relaxing nature of lavender flowers, along with lavender snacks and the materials to create a lavender-infused spray to use before bed or anytime:

Lavender Day at the Grow Denver for Yoga + Plants

To hear about future Unlimited Yoga events, including YOGA + PLANTS, subscribe to Unlimited Yoga’s weekly Denver and Boulder email newsletters. 

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The Evolution of Evolve Yoga Denver

Zebra Mats_Evolve Yoga_Denver_HR_WDP_6108_2016waynedavis_.JPG

After a couple years of beach living and studying at the Miami Life Center under Patrick Nolan, Evolve founder Jessica Lyn Young fulfilled a long time desire to live in the mountains when she moved to Colorado in summer of 2015. Her past life as a busy executive in the chaotic NYC fashion industry couldn’t be more different than the calm and laid back Denver atmosphere; Exactly the kind of environment for which Jessica was searching. Denver seemed the perfect spot for establishing her dream Rocket Shala. With not a single Rocket studio within a hundred miles, Jessica accepted the challenge: establish a Denver Rocket culture by creating a home for Ashtangis. A place to share her love for Ashtanga yoga, teach through her passion of Rocket and create a more balanced, calm and rewarding life for herself in the Rocky Mountain Region.

Hidden directly in the center of the quickly developing Green Mile on South Broadway district, Jessica found the ideal area to introduce a new wave of yogi style to the Denver scene. The conversion of the Evolve Shala from dilapidated framing shop to gleaming yoga studio was a 5 month challenge, but well worth the wait for a June 2016 Grand Opening. With the addition of the Evolve Community Garden summer of 2017, the Evolve shala has transformed into a welcoming home for yogis and gardeners alike. A place to meditate, practice, study and share, the Shala is an oasis of calm surrounded by city blocks of concrete jungle. Once inside the garden walls, it’s easy to forget that this green and lush space secretly sits on the bustling Broadway Avenue.

Recently acquiring a business partner has been essential to the progression and continued growth of the Evolve space because as everyone knows, running a business alone is a daunting challenge. Allowing for Jessica to spend more time studying and perfecting her practice in order to be the most effective Rocket teacher possible, Brett Rezek joined on to manage the ‘non-yoga’ aspects of the operation. A long time student herself, but not a teacher, Brett’s passion for yoga was inspiration enough to join the Shala. Wanting to share her new found love of Rocket, Brett is excited to create, alongside Jessica, not just another yoga studio, but a third space where her native Colorado community can practice together, grow food, relax, share stories, and become a family.  

This post was co-authored by Jessica Lyn Young and Brett Rezek, owners of Evolve Yoga Denver. Evolve Yoga Denver, located on South Broadway in Denver is an Ashtanga-based yoga studio with Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Rocket, Yin and other regularly scheduled yoga classes.

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Denver’s First and Only Rocket Studio - Evolve Yoga Denver

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Ever wondered, what is Rocket?

Rocket is a condensed form of the traditional Ashtanga series which consist of 90 poses in 90 minutes, a vinyasa between each pose. Recognizing that the modern westerner doesn’t have the time or necessarily the strength to complete the entire 90 minutes of the Ashtanga Primary series, in the 80’s, Larry Schultz created a shorter class which was later dubbed Rocket by Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead because “It gets you there faster.”

Bottle Rocket is an accessible and comfortable class for all levels and is accompanied by music. Traditional Ashtanga practice does not contain music, but rather focuses on the sound of breath. For a student new to Ashtanga, Bottle Rocket is the best way to adjust to the meticulous Ashtanga style in a more modern way. 

Evolve Yoga Denver is the first and only Rocket-based studio in the Denver area. Popularized on the continental coasts, Rocket has yet to find a grand following throughout the country. It is however one of the fastest growing forms of yoga and for good reason. Rocket is intensly cleansing, promotes visible growth in your practice, contains fun and challenging inverted postures and maintains a strong traditional foundation, honoring one of the oldest forms of Indian yoga: Ashtanga.

This post was co-authored by Jessica Lyn Young and Brett Rezek, owners of Evolve Yoga Denver. Evolve Yoga Denver, located on South Broadway in Denver is an Ashtanga-based yoga studio with Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Rocket, Yin and other regularly scheduled yoga classes.

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The Basics of Ashtanga Yoga

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Ashtanga yoga is a meticulous practice popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois as a modern form of traditional Indian yoga. The quintessential power yoga, Ashtanga poses are meant to purify the body and mind by generating a detoxifying, internal heat. With synchronized breath and movement, not only does the mind find a deeper focus, but the muscles strengthen and tone with each posture. The countless vinyasas throughout the series also contributes to the overall fitness aspect of the practice.

Ashtanga flows are a structured class of repeated vinyasas and power poses including several inversions (poses where your head is beneath your heart) and seated positions. The room is not heated, and there are no weights. It's just you, your mat, and the wall for support if need be.

Ashtanga is a get strong fast, cardio type yoga, for people who want a challenge, and are okay with structure and routine. But like any class on the mat, the challenge comes from within. You can just as easily cheat your body and mind out of an incredible, detoxifying and strengthening experience. Ashtanga IS for everyone, but is not for quitters. Is not for the lazy, nor is it a ‘relaxing’ hour of stretches. It is a challenge, it is powerful and it is strength building.

Traditional Ashtangis have high expectations for their practice, but the Ashtanga series patiently teaches perfection and self improvement, starting with the most important part of yoga: the breath. After learning to breathe – something we could all work on – yogic postures become more attainable, maybe even more comfortable. Breathing through vinyasas and subsequent, consistent poses is the perfect metaphor for breathing through life challenges. With breath control, we calm our minds and relax the body: A better position with which to approach any number of challenges.

This post was co-authored by Jessica Lyn Young and Brett Rezek, owners of Evolve Yoga Denver. Evolve Yoga Denver, located on South Broadway in Denver is an Ashtanga-based yoga studio with Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Rocket, Yin and other regularly scheduled yoga classes.

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Unlimited Yoga Teacher Spotlight: Emily Tella

CoAsana Yoga At Sloans Lake

Emily is an up-and-coming yoga instructor in the Denver area. Emily, along with three other teachers co-founded CO Asana Yoga Collective, a group of certified Vinyasa yoga teachers who joined together in pursuit of a common goal: to create a cOMmUNITY where yogis of any stage can practice their art of expression, and to offer a welcoming environment for those looking to try yoga for the first time. They bring innovative and accessible yoga to Denver via donation based classes held throughout the city.

Emily taught YOGA + PLANTS: Saving the Bees - Pollinator Plant Project class with Unlimited Yoga in the Summer of 2017.  Her classes are also frequently included on Unlimited Yoga Denver's page for free & donation-based yoga in the Denver area. 

Here's more about Emily and her teaching practice  >>> 

UY: Where did you do your yoga teacher training, and what drew you to that program?

ET: I completed a 200 hour intensive Yoga Teacher Training program at Kindness under the amazing guidance of Ginny Biddle, Lindsay Gonzalez and Elle Beau. I had been feeling restless in my routine and was desperate to do something more empowering. Kindness became my home studio when I moved to Denver almost three years ago and I knew some friends who loved the YTT program. I met Ginny before one of her classes in the South Broadway studio and asked her a million questions. After class I asked her to put me on the list and resigned from my full time job the next morning. It was the best decision I’ve ever made.

UY: What made you want to become a yoga teacher?

ET: Teaching yoga is the best way to deepen my personal practice. By communicating poses to others, it helps me understand them better myself. Yoga is so special because it’s an incredibly personal practice surrounded by an aggressively supportive community. My goal as a teacher is to showcase those benefits to those who may not be comfortable enough to visit a traditional studio, so my friends and I founded CO Asana Yoga to give ourselves opportunities to practice teaching classes in spaces like schools, apartment buildings and city parks. We began almost a year ago and haven’t stopped since!

UY: What style(s) of yoga do you teach?

ET: Vinyasa and Align & Flow

UY: Where can people find you? 

ET: Sloan’s Lake Yoga classes are every Sunday morning (8:30 & 10 AM) and Wednesday evening (6 PM) through the end of September. Find out more at coasanayoga.com/schedule/

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Unlimited Yoga Teacher Spotlight: Aly Ballow

Aly is an up-and-coming yoga instructor in the Denver area. She teaches regularly at RiNo Yoga Social, and in June 2017, headlined an International Day of Yoga celebration in City Park.  Aly is also studio director for LoDo Massage Studio, and the mom to a gorgeous fur baby Golden Doodle name Bowie. 

Aly taught her famous "Glow From Your Soul" flow at YOGA + PLANTS: All About Lavender class with Unlimited Yoga.

Here's more about Aly and her teaching practice  >>> 

UY: Where did you did your yoga teacher training, and what drew you to that program?

AB: My training was with Kim Zamoff, a Baron Baptiste instructor, based out of Orlando, Florida in a studio called Warrior One. That studio and all the students/instructors in it became my family. I love that this practice brings community together like that. I think that and the overall health/self-love of a committed yoga practice is what drew me in!

UY: What made you want to become a yoga teacher? 

AB: I competed in gymnastics for 13 years of my life in Tallahassee, Florida. When I discovered yoga in my early 20s, I was reintroduced to the love of postures and challenging myself physically/mentally. Once the meditation aspect of yoga was introduced to me, I knew this practice was going to change my life. I felt the urge to share this knowledge/experience with anybody who may be on the same path... looking for something bigger/brighter within themselves. 

UY: What style(s) of yoga do you teach? 

AB: I enjoy teaching power/hot power classes most! Restorative, meditation, partner, and flow classes are a few others I love to teach. Recently diving more into workshop classes spotlighting arm balances and handstands too.

UY: Where can people find you? (for in-person classes and online) 

AB: Check out the calendar at www.rinoyogasocial.com and follow my FaceBook page - Glow from your Soul Yoga for information on my upcoming classes and events.

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Unlimited Yoga Teacher Spotlight: Tiffany Adams

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Tiffany Adams is founder of Kindred Yogis, a yoga company that aims to create a safe space for beginners, experts and everyone in between to delve into their personal yoga practice. Kindred Yogis wants to provide the space to explore your mind, body, and soul through fun and powerful sequences. 

Tiffany taught YOGA + PLANTS: Indoor Plants & DIY Herbal Incense. 

Here's more about Tiffany and her teaching practice >>> 

UY: Where did you did your yoga teacher training, and what drew you to that program? 

TA: I completed my 200 RYT with Kindness Yoga. I moved to Colorado in September of last year and was asking around about different studios in the area. Kindness was one of two that was recommended to me. After attending a few classes at Kindness, I just knew this is where I wanted to get my training. Their sense of community was obvious and exactly what I was looking for. I also loved that they offer the mentor program after you have graduated which I also completed. It just seems like they really care about their students and community. I truly believe I was fortunate to learn from some of the best yoga teachers! 

UY: What made you want to become a yoga teacher? 

TA: I took my first yoga class in 2012. After a handful of classes I already saw the benefits of the practice. I began to crave the calmness and alone time that yoga provided in my busy lifestyle. The more I did it, the more I needed it. I began to not only feel physically better but emotionally as well. I became aware of just how important it is to take care of yourself. I believe yoga is about challenging yourself, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Yoga allows me to be happy with who I am, where I am in my practice, and to see what in life really matters. All the while yoga encourages me to challenge myself to continue to grow and forever evolve. I was excited and energized in a way that I felt the need to share the love I had for yoga with others. This is when I realized the next step was to guide yoga practices. Here I am today doing just that and I am so lucky to be doing/sharing what I love.  This journey really has just begun.

UY: What style(s) of yoga do you teach? 

TA: Vinyasa, Align and Flow, Foundations and Gentle Yoga.

UY: Where can people find you? (in-person classes and online) 

TA: I can be found weekly at RiNo Yoga Social, and Koko Fitclub Denver. I would like to begin hosting yoga classes and events at neighborhood parks in the Aurora and Denver area. More information about me and when/where to find me can all be found at www.KindredYogis.com. Also you can follow me on Instagram at @tiff.yogi.hooper or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KindredYogis

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Unlimited Yoga Teacher Spotlight: Jaclyn Fu

Jaclyn is a multi-passionate entrepreneur and the founder of two companies. CHEERFLOW, an Uplifting Morning Yoga Party for Charity, donates proceeds from each event to organizations like the ACLU and Sierra Club. Jaclyn is also Founder of Pepper Bra, a bra company redefining the perception of small chests with a bra that celebrates the body you got. She met Lynn with Unlimited Yoga at an Off The Mat service event at Urban Peak on a Saturday morning, and the rest is history.

Jaclyn taught YOGA + PLANTS: Floral Arrangements & DIY Frame + Air Plants projects.

Here's more about Jaclyn and her teaching practice >>> 

UY: Where did you did your yoga teacher training, and what drew you to that program? 

JF: I completed my 200-hour yoga teacher training at QiFlow in spring 2016. I had just moved to Denver around the same time and discovered their Edgewater studio nearby. I was drawn to QiFlow's program because of its unique Entrepreneurship component -- the training included creating our own yoga class series that we had to develop and teach to family and friends. It exposed me to the business side of yoga and started putting teaching experience under my belt very early on in the process.

UY: What made you want to become a yoga teacher?  

JF: I had a huge fear of public speaking and a large part of doing yoga teacher training was to learn how to "own" a room and comfortably hear my own voice for an hour. I didn't intend to start teaching in the beginning but by the end of the program I loved it! I love that yoga is an opportunity to shift and reset your perspectives on how you see yourself and others. Self-awareness is such a powerful thing and I am honored to guide others on the journey.

UY: What style(s) of yoga do you teach? 

JF: Vinyasa yoga, lately with a touch of yin.

UY: Where can people find you? (in-person classes and online) 

JF:  QiFlow on Wednesdays at 4-5pm

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Introducing RiNo Yoga Social

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Introducing RiNo Yoga Social

INtroducing Rino yoga social

RiNo Yoga Social is not your average yoga studio.

RiNo Yoga Social, located in the River North neighborhood of Denver, is a "shared space yoga studio", born from the desire to empower the brilliant yoga teachers in our community to build their own unique businesses, while fostering fun, creative and powerful yoga practices.

This is a space for teachers to materialize their vision - whether that is a weekly mindful vinyasa class, monthly gatherings combining yoga with dance, an inversion workshop, or even a teacher training. We embrace all forms of wellness practices, welcoming not only yoga into the space, but fitness, dance, meditation, hooping, acro and aerial practices as well.

Our mission is to cultivate positive change in the community and hold a space for growth and abundance. 

The building where RYS is located has a lot of history. It constructed to be a church in 1921 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004 for it's unique Renaissance architecture. The yoga studio is located in the basement of this building with exposed piping and bricks giving it a very industrial and earthy feel.

To decorate the walls, we had Robin Munro, owner of Colorado Crush graffiti street festival, and his team tag glow in the dark chakra's on the brick walls.

He also created a beautiful Tibetan mural in the back room exposing rolling mountains and enchanting waterfalls and rivers.

The entire studio floor is covered in Zebra Yoga Tiles as well! This flooring is made from recycled materials, and has the perfect amount of give for any style of class. Also making it much more supportive on the muscles and joints. The space is equipped with an excellent sound system and is completely sound proof allowing instructors to play their music without disturbing surrounding businesses. This space is also equipped with yoga mats, blocks, straps, blankets, dressing rooms, and restrooms for everyone's convenience.

Come practice with us! Click here to find out about all the upcoming classes.

For pricing, every instructor creates their own method of payment and packages for their classes. (We don't sell monthly memberships or packages like most yoga studios/gyms)

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This is #WhyIYoga with CorePower Yoga

A few of the reasons I Practice yoga

Create your own #WhyIYoga images to share @  https://www.corepoweryoga.com/whyiyoga

Create your own #WhyIYoga images to share @ https://www.corepoweryoga.com/whyiyoga

Yoga, for me, is an incredible de-stressor. Going to class allows me to leave my worries at the door, relax and breathe.  I'm also routinely inspired by teachers' positive words and stories, a couple of times even to tears. 

Fortunately, I'm not a very stressed out person. But I still love yoga's ability calm my internal chatter and allow me to think more clearly and happily. 

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Yoga is a great full-body workout, in my opinion. In part because local teachers are really good at putting together sequences that address muscles groups throughout your body, including those that don't often get stretched when you run, bike, etc. 

Personally, one of my favorite kinds of yoga is hot yoga, where the room is roughly 95 degrees. Especially hot yoga gives me a really deep sweat. 

Create your own #WhyIYoga with the CorePower Yoga photo tool . If you share to Instagram, tag @unlimitedyoga and #WhyIYoga of course :)

Create your own #WhyIYoga with the CorePower Yoga photo tool. If you share to Instagram, tag @unlimitedyoga and #WhyIYoga of course :)

I've had an incredible time going to all different types of free, donation, donation for a cause, and other yoga events and classes in the Denver area. And you can too! We are #blessed to live in a city with a very lively yoga scene that provide a ton of different experiences. 

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Work Exchange Programs for Free & Discounted Yoga in Denver and Boulder

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One way to get involved with yoga studios on a part-time basis, and also earn free or discounted yoga classes, is to help out studios with what is commonly referred to as a karma yoga program.  

Karma Yoga is known as the path of 'action',  or the path of 'self-less service'. According to The Art of Living, it is also "of putting in 100 percent effort, without being attached to the outcome. " 

Most often, karma yogis help out with front desk activities or help clean the studio for a couple of hours a week or month in exchange for the ability to participate in studio offerings. 

It is a really good option for people that face financial challenges, that would love to maintain a practice at a certain place. 

A couple of places in Denver / Boulder that sometimes offer this option are: CorePower Yoga, Yoga Pod, One Yoga Denver, and Denver Bikram Yoga

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