Aspen Yoga Studios
Mountain living equates with hard core playing and we mountain folk all have our different approaches on how hard we like to play. Some of us are more aggressive than others, wearing our fitbits and logging into Strava before we begin our ascensions up our favorite mountain trails, tracking our mileage and testing our strength with each new workout. Others of us like the physicality of pushing ourselves, but are in no hurry, breathing in the cerebral benefits as our blood pumps through our bodies, and then there are those of us who enjoy taking long walks with family, friends, pups, and yes, even cats. Regardless of who we are and what type of exercise we prefer, there is a common thread that connects us all together, and that is that we all love to move our bodies, and live for being out in nature. In the transitional months of October and November, when it becomes too snowy to bike and a bit to cold for us to be outside since our bodies haven’t yet adjusted to the drop in temperature, many of us turn to our favorite gyms and yoga studios for deep restorative healing from our summer antics, and to get our quads turned on so we can tax our bodies all over again in the snow. So where do we go?
For the sake of the blog, I have been purchasing punch passes to the different yoga studios and gyms in Aspen so that I may better describe to you the vibe of each studio I explore as I search for my favorite teachers and classes. I still have a few more studios to explore, so let’s consider this a series of more to come.
Aspen Snowmass Gyms, Pilates Studios and Fitness Centers
If one is looking for a fitness center in Aspen and Snowmass one may buy memberships to; The Art of Fitness, a Pilates studio owned by Denise Searle (who also owns The Fix Body Recovery). At The Art of Fitness the Pilates instructors are some of the best in the valley and are all PMA approved (Pilates Method Alliance); The Snowmass Club now has Founder and owner of Burn Fitness, Denise Latousek, running the athletic center up there and I hear her classes and teachers are amazing; Jean-Robert’s Gym, one of the most beautiful gyms I have ever been in with 360 degree views. Other options include Pure Barre, and The Gym of Aspen. For those who already have memberships at The Aspen Club, their Green Card allows them access to many of these clubs until the new facility opens.
If one is looking for more affordable options; The Aspen Recreation Center’s Red Brick classes ROCK and include; Spin, Booty Barre Fusion, Ski Conditioning, Pilates and Yoga. They also have Body Pump classes with both Beth and Asia teaching, both who are total riots, Asia with all her fancy moves as she belts out portions of the songs through her mic, and Beth who brings her funny witticisms to the floor as she chastises us for slacking (JK Beth). You can even shake your booty on the cushioned dancefloor with Gabrielle or Andrea who bring out in you ALL the moves you never knew you had in Zumba and Dance Cardio. Be sure to buy your Black Friday Recreation Pass during their sale beginning November 23rd.
Snowmass Rec Center also has more affordable classes, as well as spin classes (go to Shea Shea’s early morning class), a bouldering cave, climbing wall, gymnasium, and outdoor basketball court, and all of their outdoor pools are on a salt sanitation system. They also have sand volleyball courts, tennis courts, a weight room and an awesome outdoors skate park.
And now for the yoga studios. Below is a list of Aspen Yoga studios where the vibe is alive and electrified, and as mentioned above, this list is not exhaustive, and you’ll need to stay tuned for more as I keep exploring.
ASPEN YOGA STUDIOS
ASPEN SHAKTI – “Aspen’s Destination Yoga Studio and Tribe House”.
Owned by the beautiful and talented Jayne Gottlieb, Aspen Shakti, #ComeAlive, is a warm and welcoming studio located right in town, a block East of the Aspen Art Museum. Descending the stairway inspirational quotes like; “Don’t you know it yet? It is your light that lights the worlds,” pop out from soothing red painted walls encouraging one to tap into one’s higher self. An ethereal pair of wings created by the talented local artist, Nicole Gogolak, hang at the bottom of the stairs as if to help you to take flight.
There are many teachers of whom I adore at Shakti, and although I have yet to experience them all, for now I will speak of the teachers and classes I have taken.
Owner of Aspen Shakti, Jayne Gottlieb, teaches the Radiant and EmPower Flow classes. These are high energy classes where Jayne’s positive energy radiates through to her students, energizing the room with a vibrant light and bringing out the spiritual warrior in all of us. Jayne’s New Moon and Full Moon Rituals yoga classes with DJ Bhakti Styler are not to be missed, helping one to reset and recharge to empowering music.
I love to go to Tim McCall’s “F-Yeah Yoga!” Just as it sounds, this is a one hour fast flow class that can be busted out during one’s lunch break. My first time experiencing Tim I didn’t have my glasses on and all I could see was the fuzzy outline of what appeared to be that of an Adonis God, but it wasn’t just his impressively fit physicality that I became enamored with, it was also his unassuming and unintimidating pleasant demeanor that drew me in as he laughed with us as many of us thumped ungracefully through the quick-paced flow, doing our best to lock up our Bandhas and Drishtis.
There are so many classes I still have on my docket to take at Aspen Shakti like; the Happy Hour Flow, and Himat’s Kundalini Yoga & Meditation class, but what I can say now is that Aspen Shakti is so much more than just a yoga room. It’s a place where spiritual exuberance infiltrates every class, and where one immediately feels as though they belong, further enhanced by their Alive Society and Impact Nights. Oh … and BTW, if I were a single guy I would get my yoga on in that room RIGHT NOW! The women of Shakti are beyond beautiful and want you to join their tribe. I suggest beginning with Thug Yoga (read about Lee Junkin’s Thug Yoga and first ever yoga class here), and gradually graduate to Jayne’s EmPower Flow, and definitely attend any and all of their events, which always lead to great mingling and connecting.
** Shakti also has HIIT classes at the JCC
When living in New York City I searched high and low for my kind of fitness club, one with great energy and loud music. I finally found one unexpectedly, when walking down the street one day I heard loud thumping music and looked up to see purple lights ominously glowing out the windows. I ran up and joined. It was like working out in a nightclub packed with the hippest people one would ever care to meet. My kind of place, but definitely not for those wanting peace and quiet in their workout.
The energy in Aaron King’s studio reminds me of that place, only King Yoga is far more spiritual … and has a mountain vibe, with cool locals sporting long and sinewy rock hard athletic and flexible bodies. Locals who appreciate the realness Aaron brings and the no frills, no mic, no bullshit. For many of us it is our temple.
From the moment I step into Aaron’s yoga room the uplifting Zen music playing transcends me to my special place, where I am able to find space and quiet the spinning cogs of my mind. As soon as Aaron enters the room I stay in the zone as I listen to his positive, grounded words exhaled in sync with carefully chosen music and the smoothest of flows, encouraging us to find our best selves and not just leave our goodness on the yoga mat but carry it with us wherever we go. Aaron too gets into the zone while he is teaching the class, totally giving his all to us as he hops around the room completely absorbing our energy and the music. I often feel moments of total bliss from his fusion of spirituality, music, mind and body culminating into one cohesive whole making me feel completely alive.
* If you are a beginner, although Aaron consistently guides us through poses I recommend you try the 6pm evening classes with Kris Sinko. Kris is also an incredible teacher.
02 Aspen Yoga Studio and Spa
When I’m more in the mood to slow things down a bit and practice my postures more deeply, I head over to 02 Yoga Studio and Spa. Offering Pilates and Yoga classes, as well as their spa services, 02 is a great place to shop for yoga and comfort clothes. They have a second boutique right in town offering a mix of classic clothing with contemporary trends.
What I love the most about this studio is that Studio Director and Yoga Therapist, Evan Soroka, really focuses on health and wellness, in addition to meditation, nutrition and Yoga Therapy, an alternative to traditional physical therapy.
At the moment I have only been to Arielle Shipe and Evan’s classes, but I love the way they teach, each taking the time to help us to perfect and deepen our postures. I also enjoy their stretch and meditation classes.
** Currently located on Main Street and 5th, 02’s studio will be moving to the old McDonald’s building hopefully in February.
OTHER YOGA STUDIOS TO EXPLORE, AND TO BE COVERED SOON
ARJUNA HOT YOGA: Owned by longtime locals, Caroline and Jaime Hartrich this studio provides both creative, dynamic, energized vinyasa flow as well as deep stretching, static, restorative postures all practiced in a warm environment. If you are looking for the Bikram’s yoga series, this is your place.
CARBONDALE YOGA STUDIOS
TRUE NATURE HEALING:
An unbelievably beautiful and intentional sanctuary located in Carbondale, offering yoga, an Ayurvedic spa, a tea room, and an eco-friendly boutique, surrounded by a tranquil peace garden, I was able to take a yoga class there with my friend Jennifer Lane teaching. Used to the fast pace, it wasn’t so easy to move slowly and hold postures for what felt like forever, but Jennifer gently lead us through it.
If I lived in Carbondale I would go to all of their nutrition and meditation classes, and would definitely go to their yoga classes, especially when Jennifer is teaching.
KULA YOGA ON MAIN:
A boutique yoga studio specializing in meditative practice and flexibility for all bodies. Kula is the Sanskrit word loosely translated to mean, community. I have heard so many fantastic things about this place, it is the next place I go.
I’m sure I’ve left places out, so please email me with your favorite places!! We’ll do our best to include your feedback in our next blog post: [email protected]