Outdoor Yoga Wraps Up for 2014

outdoor yoga over0Thanks for a great season! Hope to see you next year. As you can see, it was starting to get a little chilly by the last day of August. It was still great to be outside practicing yoga & looking at the mountains and the clouds!

Yoga Brings People Together


Last summer, two women from Oklahoma and two women from Illinois were introduced to each other at an Outdoor Yoga class in August. I took their picture and posted it on my website. Today, the same 4 women just happened to be visiting Estes Park at the same time and showed up for the same Outdoor Yoga class! A Summer Yoga Reunion!!!

Bike to Yoga is Thursday June 26, 2014!


Diana Laughlin

To celebrate Bike to Work / Bike to Play week in Estes Park, we are offering a FREE Bike to Yoga class on Thursday June 26 from 6 – 7pm at Stanley Park! Anyone who rides a bicycle (any kind!) to the class can join us for free. The class will feature cyclist-specific yoga poses to stretch and strengthen shoulders, hips, ankles, back, and core.

The class meets at the playground of Stanley Park at 380 Community Drive which you can access by bike paths from the Estes Park Visitor’s Center & Lake Estes Trail. You could park at the Visitor’s Center, and have an easy 7-minute ride on bicycle paths the whole way: Here’s your route.

The main event of Bike to Work / Bike to Play week is Wednesday June 25. Cyclists will be offered a free breakfast, coffee, giveaways, activities, bike check-ups, live entertainment and a chance to win prizes from 6 a.m.- 9 a.m. at the Estes Park Visitor Center, 500 Big Thompson Avenue. Estes Park joins communities across the state to encourage residents to try bicycle commuting as a healthy and safe alternative to driving, and activities will take place rain or shine.Marc_Tonya_Diana_2013

“Bicycling is a healthy, environmentally friendly option for commuting to work – and it makes parking easy!” commented Estes Park Town Administrator Frank Lancaster. More free events continue throughout the week of June 21 – 28: More information.


Yoga Story Time at the Library May 15, 2014

kids yoga 007Yoga Story Time at Estes Valley Library on Thursday, May 15 at 10am and 10:30am: Games, music, and storytelling help children ages 6 & under and their parents, grandparents, or caregivers to move and have fun doing yoga together. Kids learn about movement and relaxation. Parents get to share a healthy lifestyle activity with their child. Bring a yoga mat, if you have one. We have a limited number of mats available to borrow. You could also bring a baby quilt or bath towel, instead of a mat. Comfortable, athletic clothing is recommended. FREE! No sign-up required. The 30 minute program repeats at 10am and 10:30am.

Financial Health = Physical Wellbeing – Free Class at Estes Valley Library

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 7pm at Estes Valley Library: 

The research is clear: taking care of that financial mess on your desk will improve your health.  Hard to believe?  Come hear Diana Laughlin discuss the relationship between your physical well-being and the way you manage your bill paying, investing, credit card debt, and money-related decision-making.  Diana will provide many ideas for making the financial chores easier and quicker, so you can reduce your stress and feel good. FREE! Sign-up required through Estes Valley Library, click on “Calendar”.

Kids say: “We Love Savasana!”

The Old Elementary School is starting to be torn down so there were lots of noises and disruptions at Kids Yoga in the Aquatic Center Gym today. It was hard for the kids to focus. They enjoyed making fun of the sounds and yelling at the walls to “Be Quiet!” As we approached the end of class, I explained that it was too noisy to do Savasana, so we would just do cool-down stretches instead. Simultaneously, the kids replied, “Awwww. But we LOVE Savasana!” I quickly agreed, and we got to enjoy relaxation thanks to the kids’ dedication to a complete yoga practice. Kids Yoga EVRPD 005 Kids Yoga EVRPD 003

Today was the last class in the 5-week Spring Kids Yoga Session. Watch for another class next Fall or Winter with Estes Valley Recreation and Park District.


Kids and Mommy/Daddy & Me Yoga

Introducing kids to yoga is a great way to encourage them to adopt a healthy lifestyle! Yoga builds large motor skills, kinesthetic awareness, balance, concentration, and relaxation. A yoga class with kids looks very different from a class for adults at a yoga studio. We play games, dance, giggle, and tell stories. Here’s how to bring yoga into your child’s life:

         Mommy/Daddy & Me Yoga            Ages 1 – 5 

at Estes Park Massage on Mondays from 1 – 2pm, starting Feb 3, 2014

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A class for young children to attend with their Mom / Dad / Grandparent / Nanny / Family Friend, etc. Games, music, and storytelling will get kids ages 1 – 5 and their parents to have fun doing yoga together. Kids will learn about movement and relaxation. Parents get to share a healthy lifestyle activity with their child. Price applies to parent and there is no charge for the child’s participation. One adult with child pay $10 total. If both parents attend, cost to the second parent is $5 = $15 total. Undivided attention for one child is best… I recommend bringing your spouse, parent, friend, etc. to be your second child’s yoga partner. No registration required. Attend as many or as few classes as you like.

Kids Yoga!            Grades K – 3 from 3:30 – 4:30pm          Grades 4 – 8  from  4:45 – 5:45pm     

with EVRPD   on Wednesdays March 5 – April 2, 2014    at Aquatic Center Gym

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Games, music, and storytelling will get kids to have fun doing yoga and learning about movement and relaxation. Kids attend this class without a parent. We learn basic yoga poses and relaxation techniques. We include partner yoga poses and group poses for a fun way to connect with friends. Pre-Registration with EVRPD required for the whole series. $33 In-district / $44 Out-of-district for the 5-week session. Call EVRPD for more info & to register at 970-586-8191.

Hope to see you at a yoga class soon!

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Yoga for Athletes Home Sequence

Yoga benefits athletes by building flexibility in muscle groups that get tight, like hamstrings, hips, shoulders, and low back. Yoga adds strength to muscles that are overlooked in our workouts, like arches of the feet, ankles, and core. These 7 poses are a great balance to your more strenuous workouts. Practice each pose for 30 seconds – 2 minutes and feel free to move around and figure out how to get the best stretch for you. This sequence is great for runners, hikers, climbers, skiers, and snowboarders.


Trikonasana: Triangle Pose stretches the hamstrings, inner thighs, and low back while building core strength.



Parsvottanasana: Pyramid Pose stretches the hamstrings and shoulders while building strength in the low back.



Natarjasana: Dancer’s Pose stretches the quad muscles and opens the heart. It is a back bend that strengthens the muscles along the spine. This pose builds balance and strength in the ankles and feet.



Dolphin: a great shoulder and core strengthener! The closer you walk your feet in, the more challenging it is. Stretches the hamstrings and calf muscles. The top of the head points towards the ground, but does not touch. Upper body weight is supported by the shoulders.


Eka Pada Kapotasana Active

Eka Pada Kapotasana: Pigeon Pose- active version is a deep hip-opener and a back bend that builds strength.


Eka Pada Kapotasana Restorative

Eka Pada Kapotasana: Pigeon Pose- restorative version continues the deep hip-opening while the core and upper body relax. This pose stretches the outer hip of the front leg and hip flexor of the rear leg.


Enjoy the View

Enjoy the view. Take a few minutes at the end of your yoga session to rest and practice mindfulness. Feel gratitude for the health and strength of your body. Appreciate the benefits you feel after practicing yoga. Take a few deep, calming breaths. Namaste.

Take a Meditation Walk

Meditation WalkSpend a little time in nature. Let the busy world spin around you while you turn your attention inside. All you have to do is breathe and walk.

But… I don’t have time. It’s too cold outside. I’ll run into people I know. The trail is too far away. I don’t like walking. It’s too boring/scary/lonely/quiet/weird/selfish to walk alone. My family needs me.

You may be familiar with these excuses.

With our potential to grow into the best humans we can be and create the best life we can imagine, do these excuses really hold any weight? We must demand the time & space to grow from our lives.

This is, after all, why we are here.

A meditation walk need not be long. 10 minutes is sufficient and there is always 10 minutes. There is no need to drive to a trailhead. Try leaving from your front door. Dress for the weather to be comfortable. There is no bad weather, just bad clothing.

Be brave and take a walk. Breathe. Let go of your thoughts and emotions. See what lies beneath them. Look around. Smile. Walk slowly enough to take it all in. Observe how your day and your life can shift with a little nurturing. All you have to do is breathe and walk.

Fall LeavesMore Home Yoga Practice Sequences:

Basic Home Yoga Practice: 7 Poses

Wake Up Quick Morning Yoga: 5 Poses


Basic Home Yoga Practice: 7 Poses

These poses are great for beginners and experienced yogis looking for a basic home practice yoga sequence. Spend between 30 seconds and 2 minutes on each pose. Don’t worry so much about if you’re doing it “right.” Instead, just do what feels right to you. Yoga is about connecting to your Inner Self, so practice letting your intuition guide your practice. If your intuition washed away in the Colorado Flood, just practice these 7 basic poses every day at home and see what happens.

Virabhadrasana 1Virabhadrasana 1 / Warrior 1

Step your right foot back, bend your left knee. Both hips point forward. Left knee is bent, right leg is straight. Lift your arms overhead. Feel strength and expansion. A good first pose to warm-up. Do both sides.

Virabhadrasana 2Virabhadrasana 2 / Warrior 2

Face the long edge of your mat. Turn your right toes towards the short edge, left toes towards the long edge. Hips point to the long edge. Bend your right knee, keep your left leg straight. Lift your arms to T, and look over your right hand. Lengthen your limbs out from your core center. Do both sides.

VrikshasanaVrikshasana / Tree Pose

Pick a spot on the ground to gaze at. Shift your weight into your right leg. Lift your left foot to your calf or inner thigh. Press the left foot into your standing leg, so it stays in place. Start with hands on hips. When you feel steady, lift the arms overhead. Do both sides.

Adho Mukha ShvanasanaAdho Mukha Shvanasana / Downward Dog

From hands and knees, tuck your toes and lift your hips up & back. Press down through the hands to find strong shoulders and a straight back. If you are outside, look behind you for the view. It’s fun to look at the world upside down.



PlankPlank Pose

From Downward Dog, rock forward to find your hips in line with your legs and back. This is a great core strengthener. My friend likes to time herself and see how long she can hold plank pose. Shaking means you are working and that’s good.


BhujangasanaBhujangasana / Cobra

From Plank, lower down on to your belly. Keep your hands hands under your shoulders. Pull in your belly buttom to engage the core. Lift your chest up and as you pull your heart forward and roll shoulders back. Keep your core engaged so you strengthen the low back, rather than strain it.

Jathara ParivartanasanaJathara Parivartanasana / Spinal Twist

Lie on your back and hug your knees into your chest. Open your arms to T on the ground with palms face up. Twist your knees to the right and lower them to the ground. This is a relaxing pose to balance out the strengthening poses and re-set the low back.


That’s it. Congratulations, you practiced yoga outside of class. Well, you’re probably just sitting there reading this, so consider that right now is most likely the perfect time to take a few minutes to practice yoga.

FriendsTry finding a beautiful spot to practice yoga and a friend or two to join you, like we did for these photos in the Estes Park mountains. Or, kick your husband out of your living room, and get in a quick yoga practice in your sweat pants. Yoga is complex, but we can keep it simple and make it real in our lives. Namaste.

More Home Practice Sequences:

Wake Up Morning Quick Yoga Sequence: 5 Poses

Take a Meditation Walk