I have never experienced anything quite like Yoga on the Rocks. That one hour of my life was so serene, so peaceful, and
yet incredibly fulfilling all at once. I had initially heard about Yoga on the Rocks from the instructor of LacyFit, Amy Lacy. The program is put on by Core Power Yoga and co-sponsored by Whole Foods (excellent combination). Amy had participated with a group of friends at the end of July. The pictures she posted were incredible! Thousands of people from all over Colorado, and beyond, participating in a massive outdoor group yoga session, while the sun bathes you in light on the steps of Red Rocks… yes please! Personally I am not a huge yogi, but I have done a few videos at home and sessions with friends. This type of experience, however, was completely up my alley.
After learning there were three classes left for the summer, I checked
my calendar and called my two main yogi friends, Ade and Tessa. Ade and I bonded over joblessness and hiking after moving to Boulder, Colorado post-completion of our respective graduate programs. Tessa is my longtime friend from high school who initially moved to Colorado shortly after I did, then spent two years in Istanbul, Turkey, and just moved back to Denver this July! It was meant to be, we were all free on August 16th!
Knowing I would have to awaken prior to the sun, I figured this would be a good opportunity to seize the day, and asked if the ladies would also like to join me for a hike around Red Rocks after yoga. Thankfully they were on board, so we had a whole morning of stunning scenery and physical fitness ahead of us.
Red Rocks is about 25 minutes southwest of Denver proper, nestled in the foothills of Morrison. These naturally occurring jagged red rocks quite literally set the stage for an outdoor amphitheater. There’s really nothing quite like it! I remember visiting Red Rocks on my very first trip to Colorado in 2007. Little did I know then that I would live a short drive away someday.
I picked up Tessa early that morning and Ade drove down from Boulder and met
us at the amphitheater. The sun was just peeking above the stage and thousands of yogis were laying out mats, stretching, and taking pictures of our surreal surroundings. The early goers got free Core Power Yoga mats and awesome bright orange sunglasses. Obviously we all put those on immediately. People-watching was awesome, mostly for the incredible yoga pants all over the place. The program started just after 7:00am, and it was truly a perfect morning: barely a cloud in the bright blue sky, light breeze, and sunny. It was the best Saturday morning I have had in a long time.
Although not the most challenging yoga class, it was designed for yogis of all strengths and skill levels (good for a novice like me!). The poses focused all areas of the body, and the instructor was very cognizant of the wide array of experience throughout the amphitheater. She had us repeating throughout the class, “Where are you? Red Rocks! What are you? Alive!” At first it seemed like a silly chant, but looking around, it meant so much more. Very few people in the world get the chance to do this, and what a perfect day and way to celebrate just being alive.
At the end of the class, Whole Foods stations were located at the top of the
amphitheater with fabulous giveaways and snacks. We grabbed some vitamins, protein milk, granola and yogurt, Justin’s nut butters, and some snack bars from Cascadian Farms and Lara Bar. We knew we needed some sustenance before heading off on our hike. After a bit of wait getting out of the parking lot, we made the 3 minute drive over to the parking lot for the entrance to Matthews Winters Park.
We started on the trail which takes you up and over some rolling hills, very un-Colorado like, towards the Red Rocks trail. This eventually connects with the Morrison Slide trail, which boasts incredible views of Red Rocks and the valley beyond. The sky was so clear we could see nearly all the way to Pikes Peak. We connected back to the Red Rocks trail and took that back to the parking lot. We were done with our morning activities by 11:15am, and at that point, it was time for tacos! Much like Pirate Bobcat, I live for tacos, so Tessa and I ventured in the Highlands for fajita tacos at Patzcuaro’s. So good. Needless to say, it was an all-around perfect day!
Although I don’t have anything quite as exciting planned this weekend, I will be packing for my trip to London and Edinburgh. I leave in TEN days and absolutely cannot wait. As much as I love Colorado, I adore the UK!
Have you tried a sunrise yoga – what did you think? Do you love to rise early on weekends and seize the day? Any fun post-summer travel plans?