July 11, 2009

Telluride! Yoga! Fest! by Kelsi Coia. Part One.

Photos: Kasey of Yogamates.com, on the way to Wanderlust, she just visited us in Boulder, we love her! Follow her journey to and through 50 yoga studios on her way to Wanderlust Festival here.

Telluride Yoga Fest: Part One.

by Kelsi Coia

My friend Kourtni and I have had a rough summer dealing with the realities of “real world” (aka post undergraduate life), so when elephantjournal.com offered us the amazing opportunity to attend and cover the Yoga Fest in Telluride, we immediately packed our bags and sped off.

On the drive from Aspen to Telluride, we thought about what we might discover at Yoga Fest. Would we encounter wild packs of Lululemon-clad yoga moms, would we find that we weren’t following the proper yogic path (we’re not even sure that we’re on a yogic path: I’ve only practiced for five years; Kourtni however has a solid decade under her belt).

While excitement, anticipation, fears and doubts brewed in our heads, we sped through beautiful Central and Southwestern Colorado. For those who’ve never road-tripped around this state, it’s breathtaking. We passed scenery that includes everything from humble farms with acres of cornfields to acres of expensively stained wood fences and trendy millionaires’ ranches (cough, cough Ralph Lauren!).

But nothing along our drive compared to the sight of the town of Telluride nestled in the steep peaks still capped with snow. This valley is truly one of the most beautiful vistas in Colorado.

We pulled up to the Peaks Resort and Spa, not knowing who our roommate would be, since our only contact with her was via email from the room-share, ride-share blog on the Yoga Fest web site. After our somewhat sketchy convincing of the front desk agent that we were the missing roommates to room 541, we snagged our key and headed up to the room.

We were greeted at the door by fellow pseudo-Boulderite and yoga enthusiast Veronique Flemming (who happens to run her own Yoga Fest in Cologne, Germany). She immediately asked us where we practice and who are teachers are. Now it must be said that Kourtni and I subscribe to the postmodern yogic school of thought. We practice because it makes us feel good. We’ve both dabbled in various styles of yoga—anything from CorePower to Iyengar. We haven’t settled down with one teacher or style. In fact, this was a part of the appeal of going to Yoga Fest: to learn more about popular teachers and methods in contemporary yoga practice. Veronique has been here for the entire festival, which had started Friday morning at 6:30 am with open meditation, with Karl Straub. Since we’d missed out on so much already, we were eager to get over to the Kirtan performance in the Mountain Village town center. I’ve never participated in Kirtan outside of singing along to Krishna Das in my pjs, and Kourtni’s only experience has been much more formal at the Shoshoni Yoga Retreat. Our Kirtan experience opened our eyes the wonderful possibilities that the weekend might bring. We sang and swayed with our fellow yogis and yoginis on the hillside as we watched the sun set at the end of the valley.

{Editor’s note: cough, cough, is singing in a language not your own, that you don’t understand, and thinking you’re “spiritual” cultural appropriation or New Age Spiritual Materialism! Or is it just good ol’ happy-happy bliss-bliss, it’s alll good!}

Afterward we took the free gondola down into the town of Telluride to get some grub and check out the town. We discovered an amazing local Mexican eatery called La Cocina de la Luz. Their menu is composed of delicious, sustainably-grown organic food. There are many vegetarian and vegan choices on the menu—we recommend the tamales and field green salad with lime cilantro dressing. Since we are yoga-festing, we didn’t sample the margaritas, but they seemed like the locals’ favorite! In order to be best prepared for the next day’s events, we quickly headed back up the gondola to our very comfortable bed to get some shut eye.

Stayyyyy tuned for Part Two, coming as soon as it’s uploaded, photo’ed and edited! ~ ed.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.- Buddha

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