Practicing yoga in direct sunlight is hard for me. I’m a delicate flower (or a flexitarian vampire, one or the other). Still, as a Denver-based health blogger, I consider it my duty to experience Colorado’s biggest yoga events firsthand, and Yoga Rocks the Park definitely qualifies. June’s Free Day, taught by Kindness instructors Lindsay Gonzalez and Helios Walker (and featuring live music from Something Underground), drew a record-setting 1000 participants. I was in the nosebleed section, holding tree pose in the shade of the posture’s namesake flora.
Erik Vinneau sowed the seeds seven years ago. “It came from me being in teacher training all winter long, all sweaty in the studio, and just wanting to get outside,” recounts Vinneau. “Me and some people in the class made a poster, put it up around town and we decided we wanted some yoga and live music outside in the park. That was the first Yoga Rocks the Park. We had 30 people that day in Denver. This coming year, we’ll be in 20 cities across the United States, with more than 20,000 people in attendance.”
Though Colorado is technically blessed with 300 days of sunshine a year, Yoga Rocks the Park is a summer event. Consequently, its 2014 season is coming to a close. Fortunately, you’ve still got three chances to do dancer pose at Sunken Gardens Park. Lisa Richards and DJ Orpheus lead a free day September 7. September 21 features the Koffi Togo Company along with Kindness boss Patrick Harrington. And Gina Caputo and DJ Drez will helm the September 28 season finale.
“I think people have a love/hate relationship with social media. You may keep up with others on-line but as humans we crave real face to face, heart to heart connection. Being in the outdoors at Yoga Rocks the Park frees people up to be themselves, let go of some of the pressures to fit in that are sometimes felt at the studio and commune with others in nature. We are filling a very basic human need and love all the smiles, hugs and laughter we see each week.”
Plus, there’s free samples in YRP’s Wellness Vendor Village. For further information, YogaRocksThePark.com