DENVER, CO – What’s the best yoga studio in Denver? This question had me scratching my head the more I pondered it. And so it began, the immersion into Denver’s yoga scene. Over the course of a few months, I had the privilege of delving into ten studios, in and around Metro Denver. Of all the spaces I visited, I’m pleased to announce that not a single one was a disappointment.
Our picks for the Best Yoga in Denver:
CorePower Yoga Denver
Even the CorePower experience was a pleasant surprise. I must admit, I almost skipped it entirely, due to their reputation for having a somewhat pretentious vibe, where there are mirrors everywhere and the focus is more on sculpting the body than receiving the healing benefits of yoga. And while some of the stereotype seemed to be justly earned, I stumbled across some excellent teachers who were clearly versed in traditional Indian yoga, versus the fitness yoga that I was expecting. The fact that they are a hot yoga studio was also a nice bonus, being able to spend a week of the cold winter sweating out toxins and such, as though I was doing yoga in the Bahamas.
Root Yoga Studio in Denver
Although the stint at CorePower was enjoyable, it didn’t quite make the cut for my list of favorites. I was however able to narrow it down to four. Root Yoga was the first studio to really get my attention. The moment you step through their door, you are welcomed into a bright open space, with enormous geodes in the corners of the room, an exposed brick wall, aged hardwood floor, and a wall full of windows allowing light to pour in. The actual teaching style at Root was something quite foreign, as I would say I am accustomed to more traditional Hatha Yoga branches. This idea that I was entering a new world of yoga made sense when I discovered that Root Yoga’s owner, Ana Forrest, created her own completely unique yoga style, which seems to be growing quickly in popularity. I found the classes to be challenging and playful at the same time. One example of this was Root’s focus to help students improve their inversion poses (hand stands for example), which was integrated into the majority of the classes that I attended.
Vital Yoga Studio Denver, Colorado
Another studio that is pioneering their own style is Vital Yoga, which is run by sisters, Desi and Micah Springer. While their space was equally bright and open, the primary memory of my week there was the style they taught. To me, it seemed as though they were questioning alignment principles that have become commonplace in yoga. It would be impossible for me to say whether or not their alignment modifications were vast improvements after merely attending classes there for a week. But I will say that the instructors at Vital appeared to have no doubt that their methods were righteous and I highly respect the courage it takes to question the norm and go against the grain where they see fit.
Samadhi Yoga Studio of Denver
As far as my own personal inklings for the ideal studio, I was drawn to a couple in particular, Samadhi Yoga being one of them. Everything from the decor, the music and smells, to the variety of classes and workshops offered, I was really given the impression that this studio was catering to my specific personality type. Samadhi is the type of studio that has instructors chanting and playing an instrument for you during savasana (final resting pose) after giving individual adjustments and aromatherapy in order to encourage each student to completely unwind.
Karma Yoga Studio in Denver
Karma Yoga gave me a very similar feeling. But one aspect that separated Karma from all the rest was the fact that their space is actually an old house converted into a studio. Needless to say, it is extremely warm and inviting, as though you are going to a friend’s house and happen to be joining them for a bit of yoga. One thing that perhaps stuck with me the most from my time checking out Denver’s yoga spaces was the message about karma, delivered by owner Katrina Gustafson, reminding students to simply “do what’s right, without expecting anything in return.” I can see how it could be difficult to give such advice to students for fear that they may not come back. Katrina has no such fear, lacing words of wisdom throughout her classes with the brutal honesty of a child.
Denver is surely a music town as well. Have you heard of Skylab Denver, it’s the best live music event year after year.
All in all, my experience touring the various Denver yoga studios was incredible. It not only reminded me how fortunate we are to have such acclaimed teachers here in Denver, but it showed me how much yoga in general is expanding, due to creative and courageous individuals, ready to forge the way.
If you are new to Denver or new to the yoga scene, I urge you to take your own tour and find the one that resonates most for you. For those of you who have already done this, what’s your favorite?
Flying out of Denver? Be sure to look at the denver airport murals if you like to be shocked and awed all at once.