Editor's note: This item has been edited to clarify the cost of the class.
Butterfly Pavilion, 6252 W. 104th Avenue, Westminster,303-469-5441, butterflies.org/yoga-in-a-rainfores
Instructor: Aubrey Katlyn Davis has been practicing yoga for 10 years. In search of a profession she loves, Davis decided to complete yoga teacher and began training more than two years ago.
"It's a job where people are happy to see me, and I love it for that reason," says Davis.
What is the workout? Yoga. But it's not the workout that makes this class stand out. It started as an after-hours yoga class for employees before they decided to open it up to the public. At first, it was offered once a month, then it grew to once a week and now it's available twice a week.
The classes are intended for all experience levels — and are approachable to new students and advanced practitioners. Nothing fancy about the workout itself. The teachers are on a rotating schedule and have their own individual style.
"I take inspiration from my students and what they are looking for," says Davis, who taught a vinyasa flow class. She asked us what we wanted to work on and kept a close eye on us since we were all new students.
You can look at the class in two ways: It can either be a new way to enjoy and enrich the yoga experience or it can be a more immersive moment with nature, in a fresh environment.
What's different? It might be self-explanatory, but I'll spell it out. There are butterflies, lots of butterflies. There's even a pigeon, named Larry, that cooed at us enthusiastically.
The class was in the butterfly enclosure. The butterflies flapped and coasted over and around us, occasionally touching down on toes and on tops of heads. Some were the size of my hand, others were small with brightly-colored wings.
It's an awe-inspiring experience.
"In this kind of environment, you want people to look at the distractions," said Davis, "they are so magnificent and it adds to the experience."
I kept my eye on Larry. He was cooing away, perched on an overhead cable. Where there are pigeons there is usually poop. As suspected, he let loose while we were packing up. I'd suggest giving Larry a wide berth.
Cost: Preregister online is $8 for Butterfly Pavilion members, $10 for non-members; at the door is $10 for members, $12 for non-members.
Level: All levels.
Davis kept the flow sequences simple. The class is not intended to be challenging. Instead, it is restorative and relaxing. Leave your advanced handstands and head-balancing moves at home.
When: 5:30 p.m Wednesdays and 8 a.m. Saturdays.
What to prepare: Bring a yoga mat and water. With the concrete floors, I'd recommend bringing a thicker mat or an extra towel if your knees are sensitive. It's humid in the conservatory, which makes the mats slippery, so a towel on top might help. Although I didn't find it to be a major issue.
Muscles worked: It's a full-body stretch and toning class. We focused on hips and shoulders. This will change with every class and instructor.
What I loved: Can I gush over the butterflies now? It's as near to frolicking with faeries as I'll ever get — and I think it's a close approximation. I loved the poses where we were lying on our backs, not just because I'm lazy, which I am, but to see all the butterflies zipping past. A few were flirting with each other, flying in a formation, back and forth overhead. It was magical.
What I didn't like: Bear in mind that this isn't a yoga studio. It's a conservatory. There is no soft music playing in the void of an open room. The floors are concrete, there's a large fan whirring and a pigeon pooping.
I wasn't bothered by this, except my sensitive knees on occasion, but more strict yogis might take issue. If so, then this may not be the class for you. Leave the butterflies to the young at heart.
How I felt after the class: I went in tired and feeling a bit nauseous — no, dad, I'm not pregnant. I left in a nearly comatose state. You could have wrapped me up in my yoga mat like a cocoon and left me overnight.
By morning, I'd have been a butterfly.