Co-creators Jon Shockness, Dana Marie and Anthony Cole started Baseline Love as a community yoga event in an apartment loft on Larimer Street, but because of an unexpected fire in the loft, moved the events to 3 Little Birds Salon. Unlike most yoga studios, Baseline Love is offered in a hair and beauty salon that has art from local artists hanging on the walls and barber chairs and shelves of cosmetics lining the floors.
“[Baseline Loves’ location] applies to your daily life and learning how to apply [yoga] to any situation,” said Talie Ayers, former owner of 3 Little Birds Salon. “We’re in a salon, so how would you relax there, because in your life and in your day you’re going to have something that knocks you off. Maybe or maybe not, but it kind of shows you that no matter what, you don’t have to listen to meditation music to get to that place of being present in your life and in your changing lifestyle.”
What sets Baseline Love apart from other yoga events is that it is unstructured and always changing. Typically, yoga studios are quiet and set a calming mood by playing soft and slow meditative music, but Baseline Love turns that idea on its head. The style of the class rotates from week to week to complement the different levels and skills of those who attend. One of the Baseline Love yoga instructors, Kristin Poulton, offers styles that include Vinyasa flow yoga, gentle yoga, restorative yoga and meditation, so that no one class is exactly the same as the one the week before.
“I think that the idea is that yoga can sometimes leave a bad taste in your mouth and maybe add this intimidation that’s not real, and we want people to feel that anyone at any level of life could come in and enjoy and we can adapt it and adjust it to anyone,” Ayers said.
In addition to the distinctive class dynamic at Baseline Love, the music selections are also different from other neighboring yoga studios.
“The music we play is just like indie-cool shit,” co-creator of Baseline Love, Jon Shockness said.
In the past they have had live performances from local musicians like Denver’s Sur Ellz, and more recently the music has included playlists including a variety of hip-hop, indie-folk music and pop music. The music that flows through each class creates a relaxed and positive atmosphere that doesn’t aim to create competition between the yogis but instead boosts acceptance and body awareness.
To further create a positive and inclusive environment, Shockness started implementing a sage circle at the end of each class to create more of a sense of community among the attendees. Shockness said that the sage circle is used to burn off negativity and cleanse and clear the mind and soul.
“(Jon) started doing a sage circle at the end which, I think makes Baseline Love unique. Most yoga classes don’t do that at the end. I think that it allows you to further absorb your experience and be able to communicate it if you want and set an intention for the week,” Ayers said.
Sage circles, small and intimate classes, nonstandard music and practicing in a beauty salon makes the yoga experience at Baseline Love unique.
“We say (classes start at ) 7 p.m. but it’s 7:30 p.m., so if you’re like a stickler for time you probably won’t like Baseline Love,” Shockness said.
Check out Baseline Love if you want to experience an intimate, lively and relaxing yoga atmosphere all in one.
Baseline Yoga is located at 3 Little Birds Salon, Denver Colorado on Mondays at 7:30 p.m. A minimum $5 donation is recommended.
All photography by Brittany Werges.