As a native of Colorado, I had no idea how much the stereotypes of my home state impacted how others perceived me until I moved away for 5 years. I ventured off to Montana for college, a place where non-meat-eaters might as well be another species entirely.
During college, I was frequently called a hippie, a tree hugger, a flower child, and various related names (my first roommate actually called me Moonbeam). I want to make it very clear here that in college there were only two things about me that could be considered hippie-esque: my aversion to animal flesh and my love of yoga. Something about being from Colorado was setting me apart.
What about Colorado makes me feel so at home?
In 2010 when I finally moved back to The Centennial State I felt like had been reunited with my natural habitat. So I began to wonder, what about Colorado makes me feel so at home?
During my yoga teacher training in Fort Collins I figured it out. As my connections to my self and to yoga grew deeper, I began to realize that Colorado and Yoga are perfect for one another, and thus, perfect for me.
Here’s a short list of why Colorado is such an amazing yoga community and why yoga and Colorado are a match made in asana heaven. With such a perfect storm of awesomeness, it’s not hard to see why Colorado and yoga have fallen for each other. Hard.
1) The Foundation and Openness
In the 1960’s (actual) hippies and flower children flocked to the beauty of Colorado’s front range. Cities nestled in the foothills boomed with free-spirited, outdoorsy-types, unafraid of breaking social norms and trying new things. When yoga grew in mass popularity in the United States during the 1980’s, Boulder and Denver were two of the first cities to establish studios.
2) Natural Beauty
Along with attracting members of the hippie movement and providing building blocks for yoga, the scenery found in Colorado is unrivaled in the lower 48. With 53 peaks(1) over 14,000 feet high, countless rivers, lakes, and rock formations, this state offers practitioners of yoga a deep connection to the natural world around them.
3) 300 Days of Sunshine
Colorado’s comfortable year-round weather offers yogis plenty of sunshine to practice their downward-dog all year round, outside in our amazing sunshine (see #2). And with hundreds of established studios, they won’t need to go far in case of inclement weather.
4) Coloradans Have ADD
Just kidding, but we don’t sit around a whole lot. Take a peek at nationwide lists measuring “Most Active Cities,” “Healthiest Cities” and “Fittest Cities” and most likely you’ll run across 2 or 3 Colorado cities in the top 10. In May of 2013 Men’s Health published their list of “The Best Places for Exercise” and 3 of our fair cities made top 15. Which means if you’re looking for a friend who’s also into yoga, you need not look far.
5) Good Vibrations
Not only does Colorado top the US charts in health and wellness, it’s also one of the happiest states. As of the 2012 Gallup “Annual Wellbeing Index” Fort Collins ranked number 5 and Boulder ranked 3rd in happiness. In the same study, Colorado was ranked 2nd happiest, only to Hawaii (I guess that makes sense).
6) The People
The yoga community in Colorado is just amazing. Everyone is willing and eager to work with anyone on any project to expand the reach of yoga and share experiences. There’s a reason the Hanuman Festival was started in Boulder and that Wanderlust and Yoga Journal have some of their largest events in Colorado every year. We got good people!
Do you live in a kickass yoga community? Tell us where and why in the comments section below. If you think you want to be a contributing writer to YogaTravelTree.com, visit our Write for Us page and submit your article!
Sarah Monk is a die-hard Coloradan, running addict and yoga instructor. Her passion is empowering young women through fitness, and does this by coaching several high school girls sports teams. She lives in Fort Collins with her yummy boyfriend and their two hairy kids, Nikki and Gala. Currently Sarah is helping to grow the YogaTravelTree.com community as Outreach Coordinator. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @FocoYogini and on Instagram: @Badkukie
Cover Image via: @Badkukie