“Mountains have always been considered a customary place of retreat,” says Aubrey Hackman, longtime yogini and director of the forthcoming Telluride Yoga Festival. Starting today, Telluride and Mountain Village will become the epicenter of yoga in the San Juan Mountains, when they welcome back the annual Telluride Yoga Festival. Now in its fourth year, the Telluride Yoga Festival could be coming out of its infancy and moving into the ranks as one of Telluride’s esteemed summer event thanks to a stellar lineup of classes taught by a collection of visiting instructors, as well as three times as many free community classes as ever before.
Hackman insists that it’s Telluride’s remote location and charm combined with the festival’s quality of instruction that has made this year’s event better than ever.
“The town itself embodies a retreat-like setting, and I think that’s part of why the Yoga Festival has been successful here – because Telluride is such a natural place for yoga,” says Hackman, who has been instructing yoga here for six years. “But the quality of the instructors we bring here really makes this an amazing event.”
This year’s festival offers two new special tracks: Vinyasa and Bhakti. As Hackman describes, Vinyasa means to “link through restraint,” and is most commonly associated with Ashtanga yoga, where the asanas are linked together in a fluid motion using the rhythm of breath. Bhakti, on the other hand, is a practice of devotion. It is a form of yoga practiced through kirtan, which is mostly chanting of Sanskrit and English in order to reach a meditative state.
There will, of course, be a wide selection of other classes not necessarily linked to the Bhakti or Vinyasa tracks, Hackman says, assuring that all levels of yoga practitioners practicing any style will find a class to pique their interest and expand their yogic horizons.
This year’s festival also highlights an open-to-the-community Kirtan, on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village. The Kirtan will be lead by Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band, and is open to everyone; cost is $15 to non-pass holders and kids are free.
This year’s festival will be centered around the Conference Center, where for the first time this year the Yoga Festival has brought in 26 vendors representing different yoga gear, skin care, and other products, which will be for sale throughout the weekend.
There will also be a number of free classes throughout the weekend, most held in Mountain Village. Visit the Telluride Yoga Festival website at www.tellurideyogafestival.com, where you can also purchase passes and learn more about the weekend.