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Yoga against a mountain backdrop

Pam LeBlanc

Editor’s note: This article was originally published July 26, 2013

Indoor yoga’s just fine, and I love my weekly yoga class at the company gym, but a class I took this morning may have forever spoiled me. It unfolded at dawn on the dewy grass of a park in Boulder, with a mountain range as a backdrop and temperatures in the 60s. I stayed at Chautauqua last night, a cozy little village of cabins on the outskirts of Boulder with easy access to hiking, live music and cultural programs. Before I went to bed, I saw a flyer advertising a drop-in yoga class on the green about a block from my cottage. I had to try it. When I showed up, Robyn Spann, an instructor at Fitness for Living, handed me a mat and invited me to roll it out. In all, about 10 students - and a dog named Beau - showed up for the hour and 15 minute session, which was a pretty perfect way to start the day. Behind us, the Flat Irons - a ridge of mountains that looks like it was made by a giant steam iron pressing up against molten earth, creating triangular slabs of rock - rose above us. Turns out that kind of scenery really helps with the yoga motivation. “The best is facing the Flat Irons, hearing the hummingbirds and being a little more off balance (because of the slope) and always a little bit wet,” said Jan Snooks of Boulder, who has been taking the class two years. Stephanie Levert of Baton Rouge was spending three weeks at Chautauqua and saw the class flyer, too. “It was wonderful. Well, just look around!” she said. “I’ve never done yoga outdoors. It’s just fabulous.” I have to agree.