Yoga blossoms with 2017 lineup

Yoga blossoms with 2017 lineup

Kathryn Budig, Gina Caputo and many others will fuse flow with live music and ramped up yoga program at the 2017 GoPro Mountain Games

By Shauna Farnell

Vail, Colo., Feb. 16, 2017 – The pulsing sea of thousands of athletes and outdoor enthusiasts infuses the GoPro Mountain Games with a spirit unparalleled anywhere in the world. It’s an energy fueled by both amateurs and pros, where music and microphone commentary fill the air at all times and even the dogs (there are lots of them) are smiling ear-to-ear.

We all want to say we were a part of it, but not all of us can hop into a kayak and fight the waves in Gore Creek or even haul up the mountain in the SuperFeet 10K Spring Runoff. But a whole lot of us can do yoga. We are not talking high-level, ultra-power yoga, but a simple flow of every yogi’s most rewarding moves.

Following last year’s massive turnout for Yoga Girl Rachel Brathen, in which Ford Park transformed into a perfectly aligned gathering of hundreds of practitioners on mats simultaneously striking Warrior poses as the Gore Mountains loomed stoic witness, the yoga scene will be even more magnified on the Mountain Games map this June.

Brathen is taking time off for maternity leave but the 2017 GoPro Mountain Games have partnered with Yoga Journal to welcome none other than international yoga star Kathryn Budig. Budig, who is the mastermind behind Aim True Yoga and represents Under Armour’s prestigious squad of I WILL WHAT I WANT athletes, will headline the yoga offerings at the Mountain Games, which include four days of flow, Vinyasa and live music-accompanied classes.

Other instructors include Gina Caputo, Mark Steffanowski of Outlaw Yoga, plus local teachers Joe Joe Melone,  Yvonne Schwarz (who launched the Eagle Yoga Festival) and Bobby L’Heureux of the Vail Vitality Center, who unwittingly gained star status last summer when he was captured on Fox News saving a stranger’s dog from raging waters in Utah.

Caputo has gained quite a bit of notoriety as well. She has taught all over the world and frequently collaborates with friend and musician Michael Franti, with whom she has perfected the art of pairing yoga with live music.

“My approach with any kind of festival or special event class, particularly those outdoors that involve live music, is that it is all access. Everyone is welcome,” Caputo says. “A lot of teachers may teach the same wherever they go, you have traveling teachers that go to retreats and festivals and always have their routine. But these classes are a different animal. You have to reign the energy and tap into each crowd.”

As far as fusing a yoga progression with live music, there is a subtle choreography that is more complicated than one would think. Essentially, the yoga instructor and class members become an instrument … playing the body moves.

“Michael [Franti] really baptized me into that. It’s mainly a music event so you basically have to be like a band member,” Caputo explains. “We are vibing off of each other and giving little signals. It’s really amazing energy. The emphasis for these classes is really on community and fun. We’re practicing real yoga, but people can expect to have a really great time, learn a few things, and do it in a space that emphasizes the community.”

Register for the GoPro Mountain Games yoga classes individually (prices vary) or purchase the all-access pass for $90. You can learn more about the 2017 GoPro Mountain Games yoga offerings at the online Zen Zone.

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