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Letting it go at Wanderlust

Jill Beathard
On the Mat

With Wanderlust in Snowmass Village, I decided to take a press pass and head to a yoga class Thursday.

Out of the long and varied list of available classes, including everything from slacklining and stand-up paddleboard yoga to the more traditional forms, I chose a class called “The Secret Art of Letting Go,” led by a local yogi, Evan Soroka. I’ll let you decipher why I would choose a class with that title.

Much of the class focused on breathing. The idea is to concentrate on your breathing and be conscious of the thoughts in your head — a higher level of awareness of oneself.

Physically, that was a little difficult for me, though. The cottonwood floating around Aspen right now has my nasal passages pretty well closed up. Miraculously, though, my nose slowly cleared up during the practice. I don’t know if it was the heat created by the movement or the medicine that finally kicked in, but it got easier and easier and I felt more relaxed as the class went on.

I had interviewed Evan last week for a story about the festival, and she told me that the poses chosen for this class would be “sneaky hard.” I see what she means now. A calf raise isn’t difficult, but doing it in a very slow, controlled motion while also taking long, controlled breaths is actually challenging. As we would raise up on our heels, I felt each muscle group in my legs as they activated and I noticed the difference between each side, which I think is the result of some injuries this winter. That asymmetry made me a little wobbly, but I liked being that aware of the subtleties in my body.

During that exercise, Evan also had us do some chanting, which always feels a little silly but honestly is very beautiful and spiritual. I left class in a good place, feeling very relaxed and confident. I wish I could have stayed with all the other yogis instead of returning to work, but having those two hours of respite made it all a lot better.

Wanderlust is in Snowmass Village through Sunday.


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