I used to think that practicing at home was too easy. Without a teacher there telling me what to do or pushing me to the next level. Missing the heat and the “vibe” of a studio, I thought that I would just simply be … less of a yogi.
Rethinking the idea of what a yogi means has been a big part of my COVID-19 experience. At the start of the year, I was diagnosed with a nerve problem that made practicing pretty uncomfortable. Then in October, I had a mini stroke (TIA) after a chiropractic adjustment. In the midst of all of that, I was still teaching yoga and thinking about yoga, but somehow thinking of myself as less of a yogi.
Recently, I was cleared by my doctor to start working out again and yoga started calling me back. I wasn’t ready to go back into the heat, or the pressure, of the studio community yet, so I built myself a little home studio for me to practice in.
The first few practices were rough, to say the least. Not only did I feel like I couldn’t do half of the physical postures that I used to, I also just felt disconnected from my body. All I could think about was how different it used to feel when I was practicing 10 months ago.
But then I took a yoga class on Power Life Live and the teacher said “Yoga isn’t about touching your toes; it’s what you learn on the way down.”
I cried. I stopped practicing. I took a child’s pose for the rest of class.
After that class, I told myself what I’ve told my students hundreds of times: In yoga, you can’t compare yourself to anyone else—including the person you used to be. So in the comfort of my home, I started learning the new version of myself.
The strong yogi that had been through a lot in the last few months.
The humble yogi that was okay with falling out of a pose that used to be very accessible.
The grateful yogi who is happy to be able to be on her mat at all.
From the comfort of my home, I was able to take breaks as I needed. I was also able to find joy in the simplest of poses, without feeling like I needed to continue through a flow or do what other students were doing.
I can’t do what I used to be able to do. I’m terrified to go upside down on my neck after my stroke. I get tired after about half an hour of power yoga.
But in the comfort of my home, I’m able to feel energized. I feel comforted by the knowledge that if I need a break, my mat is going to be waiting for me in the exact spot that I left it. I feel strong knowing that the same space that had been my healing space for my medical issues is also the healing space for my mental health.
Plus … I love being able to choose my own playlist. It’s the little things, right?
This past week was my first week back in the Power Life studios as a student. It has been a wildly humbling experience.
Practicing next to students whom I taught, watching them do the things I wish I could do has tested me in a few ways. But when I feel like I’m faltering or I feel like I’m not good enough, I try to channel that same gratitude that I was able to cultivate in my own space at my home. And it helps.
There are a lot of ways to be a yogi, but the truth is the only thing that really matters is that you practice yoga. And it doesn’t have to be the kind that leaves you sweatier than heck and it doesn’t have to be in a studio space.
It just has to be the kind that is true to you in that moment.
I’ve been learning that this year and sometimes feel like I’ll never stop learning that.
I’ll leave you with this reminder: “Yoga is not a work-out; it is a work-in. And this is the point of spiritual practice, to make us teachable, to open up our hearts, and focus our awareness so that we can know what we already know and be who we already are.”
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Kirk was working 80-hour weeks and wearing his shoulders as earrings when he found yoga in 2005. Forever the competitive athlete, he loved the physicality of yoga. When the spiritual and philosophical side of yoga were exposed to him, Kirk was hooked. Yoga provided him with what other activities couldn’t -- the ability to foster the benefits of practice both on and off of the mat. Yoga was something that Kirk could bring into all aspects of his life.
Kirk knows that yoga can be intimidating, so he crafts a class that is playful and inviting, while still being challenging and safe. His creatively planned classes build strength and flexibility in your body and mind while establishing clarity, giving you more confidence to overcome obstacles in your life, and keeping you injury-free. His classes are themed with a message that is relatable and will inspire you to take it with you off your mat. Kirk has been teaching yoga since 2008 and lead his first teacher training in 2012. Where Kirk truly shines is in coaching, developing and bringing out the best in others.
Kirk enjoys traveling (40+ countries to date!), snowboarding, and cherishes time with his wife and two daughters.
Christen Bakken’s yoga journey began in 1998 in a Bikram studio that provided a safe and secure place to practice. She saw the yoga mat as a place to remember her purpose and a place to play. As she continued her studies and began her journey to teaching in 2006, Christen infused yoga classes with devotion and the yoga mat became a place of personal transformation and healing. Her classes are filled with laughter, song, sweat, and usually heart openers. In 2013, Christen began training yoga teachers. This is the place where she finds the most joy - in community with folks looking to grow and be of greater service in their homes, on their mats, and in the world. Over the years, she has led trainings in Denver, the Midwest, Florida, and now abroad. She has trained in continuing education modules, 200-hour, 300-hour, and 500-hour programs. Beyond the mat, Christen is a passionate adventure seeker - she loves to bike, snowboard, and spend time with her husband and pups. She sees each day as a blessing and hopes to remind all who interact with her of this truth.
Did you know that we validate parking for TWO garages?!
For the Two Light garage, please bring your ticket inside for validation. For the Power & Light garage, please ask for a parking pass at the front desk. (Hot tip: the Power & Light garage has a ton of space! But be sure to give yourself a little extra time to walk to the studio.)
If you find that you are running a little late, please call the studio to let the instructor know to keep an eye out for you.
We have partnered with our friends at Greenslate to provide 1 hour and 15 minute validated parking for Power Life students in the lot at 36th and Harney (just south of the Cottonwood Hotel). Read below to learn how to take advantage of this perk:
Step 1: Scan the QR code located in the lot.
Step 2: Select your destination (i.e. “yoga studio”).
Step 3: Ask for the validation code at the Blackstone studio front desk and enter it on your phone.
Step 4: You are all set! Have fun at class!
The validation provided by Power Life and Greenslate is for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Need to add additional time to your parking space? You can do that conveniently from your phone!
This option is valid once per day per license plate.
There is a paved lot and gravel lot on the West side of the building.
Meters on Court and 4th (by Peace Tree) for $0.25/hour, 9am-9pm Mon. – Sat. 12-hour max
Meters on 4th (to the North) for $1.25/hour. Mon – Sat. 4-hour max.
All meters are free on Sundays and major holidays.