In Boulder, saying you don’t do yoga is to run the risk of being looked at like a three-eyed tree frog that’s growing horns. Like riding the subway in New York, or having important-sounding connections in DC, yoga in Boulder is a staple of conversation. Without it, you’ll have nothing to add to casual pre-class chatter. People will worriedly wonder about the suppleness of your hamstrings.
Of course, the sticking point — as always — is cost. A single class can cost up to $17 for an hour or so of movement; I don’t care how valuable that movement is, an hour of it is not worth almost two hours of a standard student’s hourly wage.
One of my favorite free classes is every Tuesday evening at 7:45 at the Yoga Pod, on the second floor of the 29th St. Mall. The rest of their classes are great, too — but all the rest you have to pay for. Often, the classroom is still hot from the hot yoga classes earlier in the day — so you get some of that experience as well. Check them out at theyogapod.com
On Monday evenings, from 6 to 7:30, there’s also free yoga at the Wesley chapel (http://wesleyf.org/yoga-boulder-young-adults.html) on the corner of Folsom and Colorado. I’ve never actually been to the yoga here but I keep hearing about it from other people — so it’s probably worth a try.
One of the most popular places I’ve heard about is Prana, the yoga clothes store just off Pearl Street. They have a community room in the basement, and every day they have a number of free classes. Find their monthly schedule at http://prana.com/boulder-store.html.
Just in case that’s not enough, a number of my friends have also mentioned that Core Power yoga studio (corepoweryoga.com) offers a week of unlimited free yoga for students. I’d suggest choosing the week after finals, or some chunk of time when you have little else to do and can go every day of that week to get your money’s worth. Of course, after that you have to pay — but that one free week would at least be good for getting started.
And last but not least, there is a yoga and meditation club at CU. They hold free yoga classes on campus every week (this semester, it’s at 4 p.m. every Monday in room #415 in the UMC) as well as put together workshops, parties, service events, and introduce you to other yoga people. Their Facebook page has more details for getting involved: facebook.com/CUYogaClub.
Obviously, each of these places is going to have a different style to their yoga: some might be more fitness-oriented, some more spiritual or meditative. A true connoisseur might have a problem with that — if that’s you, then just suck it up and buy a membership to the place that suits you best. For the rest of us yoga omnivores, flitting around from class to class is probably just fine — all I want is stretched hamstrings and the ability to casually mention my tree pose with authority.
Vivian Underhill is an environmental sciences major at CU and writes about being cheap once a week for the Colorado Daily.