We Tried It – Yoga Rocks the Park

Photo Courtesy of Adventure UAV

This is a part of our ongoing ‘We Tried it’ series where we test out weird and wonderful things to do or see in Colorado. Go here to see what else we’ve tried. Comment below and let us know what we should do next.

Yoga is becoming an increasingly popular form of working out these days and Denver has jumped on the bandwagon. However, yoga classes usually come at a cost and have you stuck inside of a closed room. Yoga Rocks the Park gives you the chance to practice your yoga flows in an open park, in this instance at Sunken Gardens Park, for free.

The Background 

Photo Courtesy of Adventure UAV

Yoga Rocks the Park was created by Erik Vinneau and celebrates 10 years this year, gaining more and more attendees over the years. Christina Pischel, the current director of the Colorado division of Yoga Rocks the Park made her mark this summer in her first year running the event.

“I own Foursee Apparel and have been a vendor at [Yoga Rocks the Park] the past four-five years so I have been a part of the family for a long time. When the previous owner was looking for someone to take it over I jumped at the chance!  I love the park and the community. I look forward to it every year. The fact I am able to continue the Denver tradition is so exciting and I’m very thankful.”

Yoga Rocks the Park is able to continue to be free as the result of support from vendors. The vendors vary with each event from local to national brands. This year Yoga Rocks the Park was mainly sponsored by Yoga Download, an online organization that gives yogis avenues of furthering their yoga journey with resources, classes and more. At each event, Yoga Download has also given away a year of free yoga and swag to an individual at Yoga Rocks the Park.
Pischel strives to find the best sponsor for each individual event to really create a whole rounded experience. “I work with each sponsor to figure out their vibe and what will make their event special and showcase their company.”

This past event, an event dubbed ” Yoga Rocks the Park: Bring Your Dog to Yoga Day” was sponsored by PawsCO, a non-profit animal adoption organization and Pure Spectrum, a CBD company that has introduced a new pet line to help with a pet’s anxiety, pains and more. Shelly Swanke from Pure Spectrum represented the company at Yoga Rocks the Park and coincidentally also taught the Vinyasa flow for the event.

The Experience

Photo Courtesy of Yoga Rocks the Park – Denver on Facebook

The rainy morning started with a meditation guided by Kevin Lockwood from The Lotus Meditation to give a calm atmosphere then moved into an invigorating yoga flow led by Swanke as the sun peaked out from the clouds.

Swanke, who has been teaching yoga for nine years was surprised when she also was asked to guide the yoga flow portion of the event. “Christina asked me to teach and I was like wow me? I really enjoyed teaching the event. It is the biggest arena I have taught in.”

Swanke also praised DJ K-Nee for matching the flow of the yoga class, slowing down when the flow was at a more calm spot and speeding up as the class was building heat. As for the pups that attendees brought along? They all were surprisingly relaxed, a couple barks were heard now and then but the yoga flow and music seemed to calm them.

Photo Courtesy of Adventure UAV

After the yoga flow finished, attendees took to the vendor village, which was full of local brands and national brands such as Honest Tea, Naked Juice and RX Bar. Each vendor had purchasable goods, classes to sign up for and fun swag that was given out. Attendees even had a chance at trying their hand in aerial yoga courtesy of Atherial.

The Verdict

If you want to attend a low pressure, free yoga class, then Yoga Rocks the Park is a perfect opportunity to continue your yoga journey. Yoga Rocks the Park has one more event for the season that is sponsored by Yoga Pod Denver West. You can participate in meditation guided by Ali Sweeney from The Lotus Meditation and a yoga session taught by Alex Sandoval and Leda Olmstead with music from DJ Jillian Keaveny. The event will also feature a closing ceremony with two shamans, Diana Suemi and Shakuntali from Russia. The vendor village will also up its game with around 35 vendors available to peruse. You can register here.

If you want to continue experiencing yoga through Christina Pischel, you can also check out Friday Night Yoga Club, which Pischel dubs “the sister to [Yoga Rocks the Park]” which runs from September through April and makes its way through 17 different studios around Denver.

Photography courtesy of Adventure UAV and Yoga Rocks the Park – Denver

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