Vail Daily letter: Quest for perfect yoga
Vail, CO, Colorado
Last spring, at the beginning of the off-season, I was on a quest for the perfect yoga practice. That’s an easy task, one might think, but in this exercise-crazed mountain climate there are yoga studios spanning from Vail to Gypsum. A visit to each studio was necessary to access the instructors and the spaces.
What exactly was I looking for? Perhaps just someplace to test my flexibility and to eventually make my exercise haven.
I had previously only practiced “TV Yoga” – my own version of casual yoga, which included a sip of coffee as I pondered the difficult poses while sitting on my mat in front of my widescreen TV. It was time to get serious and discover the true benefits of yoga in a studio with other yogis.
Living in Gypsum also posed a problem. Traveling to Vail for an hour of exercise didn’t make much sense, but I was willing to make the trek since I was looking for a studio where I could learn, enjoy and benefit from the practice with a sense of comfort and familiarity.
The yoga studios in Vail were wonderful with a structured and posh environment, and I soon discovered that doing yoga for an hour in an actual studio was a true challenge to my out-of-shape, middle-aged physique.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
I loved the exercise and the burn to my muscles. I was shocked at how exhausted I was. Plus I was truly amazed at how much more difficult studio yoga was compared to my “TV Yoga.”
I tried Ashtanga Yoga, Dharma Yoga, Hot Yoga, and the practice of Vinyasa Flow. I loved the general spirituality of the exercise. And after two or three classes at each studio, I moved westward.
Eventually, I experienced the discipline of yoga at nearly every studio I could find in the Vail Valley. It was a challenge, I dare say (at least to my aching muscles and stretched tendons).
But the mission led me to become a regular student at the quirky little yellow house known as Yoga Off Broadway, in the heart of Eagle, with owner and Yogi Kelly Marshall.
Yoga Off Broadway is not only a retreat for those local yogis seeking a powerful, more cardio-based yoga, but the recent addition of new instructors and classes have rounded the experience into a total yoga connection.
Spiritual classes begin the mornings at 6 and are followed throughout each day with a series of practices that range in intensity and are designed for all levels and expertise.
A complete description of classes and styles can be found on the Web site http://www.yogaoffbroadway.org.
The majority of the classes at Yoga Off Broadway are based on the Hatha style of yoga with a Vinyasa flow technique that invites students to flex and stretch their muscles in a challenging yet spiritual way.
Incorporating a short warm-up, intensive flow series (including sun salutations) as well as a cool down period, most of the Hatha flow classes involve a demanding workout engaging the core in addition to every muscle group.
The spiritual side of the exercise incorporates the practice of breathing as well as the philosophy and structure of the postures.
The studio itself has a serene and natural appeal with bamboo floors and mirrored walls.
But for the untrained and talentless yoga student like myself, the façade isn’t the draw. Rather it is the spontaneity of Kelly Marshall and her menu of daily yoga practices, the inherent discipline and structure of the exercise along with the sense of comfort and affordability.
Yoga Off Broadway certainly isn’t a snobby, upvalley studio. It is a funky downvalley yoga retreat that offers everyone a feeling of familiarity and delivers a powerful yoga workout.
A workshop series on “Relationships and Meditation,” by Hindu priest and meditation teacher Sri Dandapani, as well as an open house is scheduled this weekend.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-328-YOGA for time and location.