One of the worst-kept secrets in Aspen is that it’s chock-full of incredible and eye-opening ways to get your heart rate up—ways that go beyond outdoor sports like skiing, hiking, biking, and climbing on rocks. Aspen is home to some of the world’s best athletes; by that we mean not just pro skiers and snowboarders, but everyday folks who happen to have an undying passion for yoga, cycling, Pilates, and really anything and everything in between. We’re talking internationally trained and recognized gurus with certifications and educations that make them masters in their field. Lucky for us, they chose our little mountain town as their home base; and we have the chance to reap the benefits of their teachings any day of the week.
We’re in the head-first dive into spring, and while we know that means mud, it also means we’ll be flicking that switch into shorts and sports bra weather, trading in our skis for sneakers and hiking boots, snow pants for bike shorts, and ski goggles for swim goggles. And while we Aspenites inevitably be spending our spring and summer afternoon hours in lakes, on trails, and up on mountain faces, we’ll also be looking for creative pro-led outlets to be guided into better health indoors. Which begs the question: where to begin? Check out our list below—from yoga studios up and down valley, to hot pilates, cycling, and meditation classes guaranteed to better your health and keep those endorphins up any time of the year.
Studios in the Roaring Fork Valley
The first first stop on our grand fitness tour explores the many offerings of master yogis who have taken up studio residence in our Roaring Fork Valley. Here are a few of our favorites–picked not only for their excellent teaching, but also studio ambience and diverse and unique array of classes. Namaste!
#ComeALIVE is the official hashtag and motto here, and you can feel it tracing through your bones from the first step through the door. Another hashtag #IMISSYOGA can be found traced along the front page of Shakti’s website, and don’t we all. Well good news, you no longer have to. The Aspen Shakti studio is open for COVID-safe, in-person classes, and you can also join The Body Practice™ online. The Body Practice redefines what it means to be in shape. Join these classes on your own Hero’s Journey: a 360° approach to fitness, encompassing yoga, meditation, movement, dance, strength training, and more.
Owned and operated by the extraordinary Jayne Gottlieb, Aspen Shakti offers warm and welcoming yoga classes, a trendy and fun boutique, and inspirational “Shakti talks”, all in the name of bringing you back to center, re-energizing, and empowering each client who steps through the studio doors.
Located near the Aspen Art Museum, the immediate vibe of Shakti’s studio is inspiring, with phrases like: “Don’t you know it yet? It is your light that lights the worlds,” exploding from the stairs down to the studio.
Jayne, a Certified Buddha Yoga with over 10,000 teaching hours under her belt, “draws on her ever evolving knowledge of the body, spiritual psychology, anatomy, kinesthesiolopgy, yoga, priestess wisdom, shaman studies, ritual, and energy laws to lead and craft her classes. Her classes are a masterful blend of breath, alignment and flow and she uses intelligent cues that have been developed over her 20-plus years of practicing and teaching to lead students and colleagues towards transformation and radiant health”, as the Aspen Shakti website states.
Gottlieb and her other practitioners teach an array of classes, including in-studio private classes for up to 10 people. In the summers Gottlieb has taught yoga on the top of Aspen Mountain, and hopefully will do so again this summer.
Apart from yoga and meditation classes, Shakti offers consciousness events, leadership and life trainings, an alchemy spa, and a very carefully curated mix of unique products and services to bring you back to center. The Alchemy Spa is a spiritual and all-encompassing spa experience that aims to stimulate your senses, healing anxiety, stress, and physical ailments with the help of shamanic healing rituals which include meditation, crystals, essential oils, flower essences with the focus of healing your energy and bringing you back to proper alignment with the world around you, and helping you harness inner peace.
“Designed to be circular with no finish line, The Body Practice™ is a cathartic, transformative, and energizing, whole-body workout that moves and reshapes the body while increasing internal energy and overall sense of wellbeing,” ~thebodypractice.com
One word immediately comes to mind when King Yoga comes up in conversation: energy. It’s energy and the genuine yoga experience that owner and lead yogi Aaron King focuses on in each of his classes. After closing his studio at the Aspen Business Center (he also taught at 02 Life in Aspen), King opened a new studio in Snowmass Base Village with classes that combine healing practices with incredible music with positive vibes.
Adding music to a yoga class can take us to a higher place while practicing, reducing stress and tension, while quieting the mind to find clarity on our journey in life. ~KingYoga.net
Located at 77 Wood Road in the One East Snowmass Building, just across from The Collective in Snowmass Base Village, King teaches from a place of genuine spiritual warmth and compassion, with the mission of bringing the Aspen community together through a no frills, no bullshit, truly loving approach.
“Being present and loving life creates harmony with in oneself, allowing them to express love towards everyone and everything. We are here to serve,” King’s website states.
Other than his truly spiritual approach, what sets King Yoga apart from the rest is perhaps his dedication to teaching classes that transcend through music. One visit to his Facebook page puts this in perfect perspective–with classes like “U2 flow”, “Trey Anastasio Flow”, “Bob Marley Flow”, “Pearl Jam Flow”, and many others aimed at opening your heart and mind up and inspiring movement through melodic beats and good vibes. King’s classes aim to not only bring you back to the present moment, but also for you to transcend far beyond the mat, with the hope of inspiring passion and loving vibes towards life that will lead to healthy choices in every area of your life. You’ll leave feeling alive, centered, and present, but also stimulated and ready to take on anything the day brings.
Dee Ann Special Yoga at the Snowmass Fitness Room
Another amazing yoga practitioner in Snowmass who also plays great music is the inspirational and motivating DeeAnn Special. Special is a practiced yogi who truly aims to bring love and intention to each of her students, infusing the message of acceptance and love for yourself before loving others.
Special’s beginner level classes are now being taught in person on Monday and Fridays at 8:00 am at the Snowmass Fitness Room. Additionally, Special hosts virtual Power Vinyasa Flow classes through zoom each Tuesday and Thursday from 9am-10am MST. Click on the link in her instagram bio (deeannspecial_yoga) to register for her classes on Zoom and get ready for some good vibes (donations accepted via Venmo).
O2 Life Aspen
You literally can’t miss O2 Aspen. This trendy, fun studio, boutique, and spa is located in the heart of town, and upon first glance, it looks just like something pulled from the grid of the front page of your Instagram “discover” page. Led by a team of real pros, O2 specializes not just in overall physical wellness, but chic and stylish ways to elevate your look to reflect a life well lived as well. “The Style Box” perfectly exemplifies this idea–unique to O2, the Style Box is a customized box curated by one of O2’s expert stylists, based on your budget, needs, personal needs, and of course, style. Here’s how it works: you request a collection of active and lounge styles (including accessories and shoes) based on your budget, they put one together from their incredible, always-up-to-date arsenal of product, you receive your box in the mail, then pick and choose which you’d like to keep! It’s truly an affordable, easy, and customized experience that’s just as fun as it is practical. Active and loungewear at O2 reflects the hottest and latest fashion trends–from tie-dye sweat sets, to skincare, to summer sweaters.
The highlight of O2 though, for us, is the incredible pilates studio. Taught by inspiring, motivating, and beautiful instructors, each class is curated to leave you feeling the burn, while bringing you back to center. Whether you’re a beginner or a pilates aficionado, there’s a class here for you–7 days a week. From cardio reformer, to power reformer, to classic O2 reformer. The gorgeous white-walled studio is outfitted to reflect a super zen and focused environment. Yoga classes here are also top-notch and include Stretching and Meditation, Heated Power Flow, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Yin, Restorative, and so much more, to meet you wherever you are. O2 also prides itself on its HIIT, Cardio Sculpt, and Express Sculpt cardio classes.
Simply put, O2 offers the ultimate wellness experience for the modern day women.
Arjuna Hot Yoga
Ah, hot yoga. The long contested, loved by many, hated by some. Truthfully, hot yoga has been proven to have incredible benefits for the mind and body, some of which include but aren’t limited to: improved flexibility, increased caloric burn, stronger bone density, reduced stress and anxiety, cardiovascular boost, and overall improved circulation which helps the heart, skin, mind, and appearance of fine lines and dry skin. 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.
Arjuna Yoga, located in downtown Aspen on East Hopkins Avenue, is known for its Vinyasa flows and Bikram yoga. This form of yoga is typically preformed in a room heated to 105°F with 40 percent humidity. It usually consists of 26 poses and two breathing exercises, performed in the same order, and that lasts 90 minutes.
Arjuna also has a cult-like group of die-hards who live for the hot pilates classes. Vinyasa Flow, and Yin Yoga are also available taught by any of Arjuna’s 4 well-trained compassionate and experienced instructors. Sign up online or over the phone for in person classes today!
City folk! If you’re visiting town, missing your beloved Soul Cycle class, or just looking to mix it up from your the ski cardio routine, you need to give Cyclebar a go. A local favorite for a challenging, satisfying and all-around electrifying cardio experience, Cyclebar offers indoor cycling classes for all experience levels. With rides guided by motivated and empowering instructors, all set against the backdrop of upbeat and inspiring music, classes are taught 7 days a week and centered around 4 main themes: Empower, Xpress, Cyclegives and Connect. Empower is the classic, challenging athletically inclined ride that will leave you sore and satisfied. Xpress, the quicker in and out option, for anyone looking to get 30 minutes of intense cardio with some great rhythm, is a great option for anyone looking to push themselves on a schedule. Connect offers a music-free body focused experience to truly embody the strength it takes to ride a bike for 60 minutes with distraction free focus. Classic, a well-rounded, challenging full body guided workout offers a little bit of everything. Performance, the competitive riders go-to class for a stats driven, group challenging ride. And last but not least, Cyclegives, an option for companies, meetings, groups, or maybe a bachelorette party, for those looking to get in on the action together in a private setting. Sweat it out at Cyclebar!
Carbondale and Basalt Studios
True Nature Healing Arts
True Nature is so, so much more than a fitness studio; the best way to truly describe it is a sanctuary. It’s an unbelievably beautiful space, nestled at the heart of Mount Sopris right in Carbondale, offering not just yoga, but an Ayurvedic spa, tea room, and a gorgeous eco-friendly boutique, all surrounded by a tranquil peace garden. The landscape here, which includes a Kiva, a Reflexology Path, Labyrinth, and a Zen Garden, will inspire you, bring you to center, and slow you down for the most all-encompassing spiritual journey imaginable.
The Kiva, which opened spring of 2018, serves as the spiritual center of the Peace Garden and a sacred gathering space for ceremonies, rituals, and events. Set within the earth, the subterranean, circular sanctuary honors our connection to natural world. To enter the Kiva, guests circumnavigate the meeting space, descending into the earth, passing the crystal garden at the entry, an altar of quartz and citrine crystals created to hold the intention of the space. ~ truenaturehealingarts.com
You simply have to see and experience True Nature to understand the gravity of its power. Led by a team of instructors, nutritionists, aestheticians, and wellness gurus of every kind, you’ll be in the hands of well-trained and well-intentioned professionals who truly want to bring your inner peace out. The space is used for self-discovery events and workshops such as yoga retreats, Aura meetings, sound healings, meditation contemplations, nutritional resets, and all-around inspiring wellness retreats.
True Nature offers classes most days of the week, all of which can be booked online.
Kula Yoga on Main
Kula Yoga on Main is a boutique yoga studio specializing in meditative practice and flexibility for all bodies. “Kula” is the Sanskrit word loosely translated to mean, community. That’s exactly the vibe you’ll get after stepping into this studio with a true Colorado-ski-town-real-yoga feel. You’ll find yourself surrounded by ski aficionados, sustainable farmers, techies, business professionals and long time locals who adore and worship the practice of yoga. Clients here have a real relationship with Kula’s 10 wonderful and compassionate instructors. They come back for the sense of yes, community, but really because of their dedication to the practice, something we guarantee you’re likely to feel in your bones as soon as you experience your first class.
This is a great place for the beginner yogi to fall in love with the practice. Each instructor here truly is dedicated to individual attention, and finding the class that fits your schedule, your needs, your body, and your goals. With classes 7 days a week, all throughout the day, there are plenty of options, for anything and everything you hope to get into: from restorative, to flow, to Vinyasa, to meditation. Classes are still virtual, and can be live-streamed, out of respect for Covid safety, but will return soon!
White Horse Yoga
Join internationally renowned Yogi, Bel Carpenter at White Horse Yoga in Carbondale. Bel began practicing yoga as a child with his parents and Swami Satchidananda and has trained under the world-renowned instructor and best-selling author Rod Stryker. He brings an athletic and all-encompassing mind-body approach to his practice. White Horse Yoga offers Vimana Yoga, Brain Flow Yoga, dynamic vinyasa flow, Buti Yoga, yoga sculpt and handstand classes. The studio also has some amazing offerings curated to fit anyone’s busy lifestyle, including live-stream virtual classes and “White Horse TV”, a membership-based service which offers on-demand classes, Yoga Nidras, as well as Pranayama and Meditations. An amazing option during these work from home and covid conscious times. Locals are loving White Horse TV as it allows them immediate access to yoga wherever and whenever they need it. The studio is the longest running yoga studio in Carbondale and is known around the country for its expert teacher training programs in many styles of yoga.
The Vimana House
The Vimana House, located just 15 miles away from the Aspen airport in the peaceful and idyllic town of Basalt, off Two Rivers Road, is a true yogi experience. Offering 6 styles of yoga, with classes 7 days a week, there truly is something for everyone here, no matter the experience level. The passion project of Emily Longfellow, one of the first practitioners to ever open yoga schools in Aspen, Basalt and Glenwood Springs with Bel Carpenter; the studio focuses on yoga, hot yoga, and meditation.
The 6 styles “Vimana” include: flow, fusion, yoga, hot stretch, hot yin, and buddhi. Classes are taught in a hot room, which is known to detoxify, burn more calories, increase circulation, flexibility, and lung capacity. All things you will immediately feel after 90 minutes of class here once you step out into the chilly crisp Colorado air. This studio, and it’s well-intentioned, and no-nonsense teachers, are focused on getting you into shape, not just physically but also mentally. However, one visit to this class will leave you inspired and yearning to come back, thanks to its lean, fit, muscular and loyal clientele. Simply put, Vimana will spark your yoga passion.