New event offers yoga, food, and a little magic from the Belden Witch
Minturn resident Jocelyn Laferriere is using her talents as a yoga instructor and self-described witch to reconnect people with themselves, nature and their local community.
This month, Jocelyn Laferriere, also known as the Belden Witch, started an intimate community event in Wolcott that combines yoga, food, nature and a little magic to help participants recenter and revitalize after a strenuous pandemic year.
Laferriere has always felt a deep connection to the sensory and emotional world, and was first drawn to use her skills as an empath to help others during her 14-year career in the hospitality industry. During her most recent job as manager of the Minturn Inn, Laferriere regularly found herself supporting the spiritual and emotional needs of her guests.
“Managing the inn for four years was a more intimate situation, so people would come in, and I would find them all of a sudden opening up to me, and sharing really personal stories about their lives,” Laferriere said. “Now, I’m starting to combine all those aspects of food and beverage and hospitality with the things that fill me up, which is the spirituality side of things.”
Laferriere recently became a full-time yoga instructor and spiritual guide, and has started her own company under the brand The Belden Witch. The name was given to her by a regular at the inn, who worked maintaining the now-shuttered Belden mines and was often helped by Laferriere’s “witchy” remedies.
Her latest event offering is a riverside yoga and brunch retreat, located at the Colorado Angling Co. in Wolcott. The first of three classes took place this past Thursday. The intimate space hosts a maximum of 15 people, who participated in a 75-minute yoga class by the water before indulging in a lavish brunch catered by the co-owner of Edward’s Village Bagel, Anthony Mazza.
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“I think it’s important to create spaces where we can eat well, live well and be well,” Laferriere said. “It all has to do with this idea of connectedness. You are not just connecting with the earth, but with everything within you, and we’re bringing together this idea of oneness and healing the body. Yoga is not just asana, it is mental, it is spiritual, it is a full body experience, and I want people to have that in my classes.”
Laferriere has completed 500 hours of training as a yoga instructor with Arrunya Yoga School, and lead the class through a series of classic yoga flows. She also incorporates elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine in her signature style of teaching she calls Daoyin Flow, a slow Vinyasa style with elements of Qigong and breathwork.
“The things that these gentle somatic movements are bringing out of people emotionally and energetically are powerful,” Laferriere said. “If I can do that for an hour of your day, it’s like a cherry on top of this much bigger cake that you have the opportunity to find within yourself. It makes me really happy.”
Following the yoga class, participants got to refresh with mimosas made from fresh-squeezed orange juice and grapefruit juice before filling up their plates with colorful and delicious brunch items. The whole group then sat together at a picnic table under a shady tree, taking in the cozy cabin-by-the-river environment and getting to know one another over a freshly prepared meal.
“I want people to have a safe space to feel at home in their bodies and in their community,” Laferriere said. “Just talking to a stranger after being locked up in your house for however long is so refreshing. Usually at the end of these events, they’ve met somebody new and released something within themselves during class that allowed them to connect a little deeper.”
Laferriere will be offering two more riverside yoga and brunch events, one Aug. 26 and another Sept. 9. Attendees are also encouraged to bring swimsuits for a dip in the river after class. The cost of the event is $175 per person, and reservations can be made at TheBeldenwitch.com.