Yoga Traditionalist Offers Telluride Workshop
by Martinique Davis
May 25, 2006 | 543 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Annie Pace could be considered a yoga purist. As one of the most advanced practitioners of traditional Ashtanga yoga, Pace did not learn the art in health club classes. Rather, she spent 17 years studying in India and practicing under such yoga gurus as Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. She is regarded as a true yoga traditionalist.

"Globally, there is not much traditional yoga being practiced, at least not in the Western world," said Pace. "The yoga that is being taught is very diluted from its original roots, and has become very commercialized. I don't believe in yoga as a business. I believe in yoga as a spiritual practice."

Pace will share her thoughts and expertise in traditional Ashtanga yoga next weekend in a special workshop at the Telluride Yoga Center, Thursday, June 1 through Sunday, June 4.

The main objective of the workshop, Pace said, is to allow yoga practitioners of all levels to experience Ashtanga yoga taught with a focus on its traditional lineage.

"It's about sticking with tradition, and maintaining the purity of the practice," Pace said of the four-part intensive workshop. Pace is one of only a few women in the world to hold an Advanced B Certification in the practice.

The workshop will begin Thursday evening with a session of Kirtan, or devotional singing and music, and is open to the general public on a donation basis. Friday evening's class will initiate the deeper exploration of Ashtanga, which will continue throughout the weekend.

All donations collected from Thursday evening's session as well as any additional funds

raised from the weekend workshop will go directly to the construction of Shakti Sharanam, a sanctuary dedicated to spiritual practices to be located in Crestone, Colo.

Shakti ("divine creative energy") Sharanam ("sanctuary") is the culmination of Pace's last 25 years of intensive study and instruction in the field of Ashtanga yoga.

"The space itself is intentionally built, designed for traditional yoga practices, and will embody the entire yogic lifestyle," she said. That lifestyle includes, along with the practice of yoga, other spiritual practices, traditional cooking and sustainable living.

The buildings will be straw bale construction, with photovoltaic electricity and solar radiant heat, with an ultimate goal of being able to "unplug" from the grid within a few years. The space will also allow Pace to continue offering yoga instruction on a sliding-scale basis, to enable her "to be able to make the practice accessible to anyone regardless of their socio-economic status."

Thursday's Kirtan session is open to the general public by donation, and will be held from 7:30-9 p.m. The rest of the workshop requires pre-registration. Friday's class will be held from 5:30-8 p.m.; Saturday's class will be 8-10:30 a.m. and 3-6 p.m.; and Sunday's class will be 9 a.m.-noon. The fee for the weekend workshop is $175 ($40 for Friday only, space permitting). All classes will be held at the Telluride Yoga Center studio, 205 W. Colorado Ave.

Yoga students from all styles and abilities are encouraged to attend any of the weekend's events. For more information or to register, call 729-1673, email or visit

For more information about Pace or the Shakti Sharanam, visit her website at
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