King Yoga adapts amid pandemic, brings weekly practice to Snowmass
On a warm, summer evening in July, more than two dozen people made their way to the summer rink in Snowmass Base Village, yoga mats and water bottles in hand.
There, Aaron King, a well-known yoga instructor in the Aspen-Snowmass area, was waiting for them, ready to lead them through his first outdoor Base Village yoga class, where he recently opened up a new King Yoga studio.
“It’s been amazing, there’s been a great gathering of people from all over the valley,” King said of his outdoor series in Snowmass.
For the past three months, King has been working to keep yoga in locals’ lives despite the coronavirus pandemic through Instagram Live and on-demand TV classes. He said the virtual classes have been a great success and he plans to continue them through the summer.
“It’s been amazing, the classes have been so well attended with 40 to 50 to 60 people at each class from all over the country and even the world … seeing all of these people show up online has warmed my heart,” King said.
“It’s just been great to be on my mat so much, to create energy in this room here and to stay connected with people who may be struggling.”
This month, King started teaching in-person classes again. He plans to continue the three outdoor classes he’s been leading this July on the Base Village rink — Wednesday evening, Saturday morning and Sunday morning — for the rest of the summer and is adding a fourth class Tuesday nights that will be taught by yogi Dee Ann Special.
King said he also plans to start up a more regular in-studio schedule in his new Base Village space. He’s recently just been leading private, one-on-one and small group sessions in his east One Snowmass building studio, but Tuesday started hosting kids and teen dance sessions, and hopes to have a public in-studio yoga schedule posted on his website soon. Classes will be limited capacity and will abide by/adapt to all county public health guidelines, King said.
It’s no secret that many locals have long sought out King and his yoga classes for years. The longtime Snowmass local has taught and practiced in the Aspen-Snowmass area for more than two decades, first hosting workshops with O2 Aspen, then opening his own studio in the Aspen Business Center, and now teaching mainly out of his new studio in Snowmass Village.
King said he first discovered yoga in 1998 while working in the music industry in Los Angeles. He said a friend took him to a yoga class with renowned teacher Bryan Kest, which shifted everything for him.
“It changed my perspective on life and how I was living,” King said. He then went on to open a studio in Scottsdale, Arizona, with some friends and eventually made his way to Aspen-Snowmass to teach full time.
Through King Yoga, King said he hopes to offer a variety of classes for yogis of all levels and people of all ages. He also plans to offer teacher training at some point, helping younger teachers find a voice and a space to grow.
And while this late spring and summer hasn’t been quite what King planned for — as he’s had to wait several months to open his studio due to the COVID-19 crisis — he’s adapting and hopes to continue to support the community through his yoga practice.
“Especially through this time, I think yoga can help people stay balanced, focused and a little less reactive,” King said of teaching amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s uncertain what the yoga scene will look like moving forward, but Snowmass is a beautiful place to practice so I’m just trying to keep the vibe alive … connecting with the community and helping them find release is my intention.”
For the most up to date King Yoga schedule and offerings, visit king-yoga.com. For access to the King Yoga Instagram Live classes, follow @_kingyoga.
Editor’s Note: A version of this story will appear in the August Summer in Aspen and Snowmass magazine.
A civil deputy kept her job and was mandated to undergo counseling after Aspen police arrested her in July on suspicion of driving under the influence and reckless driving.
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