As one of Denver’s longest running summer yoga events, Yoga Rocks The Park Denver (YRP) kicked off its 10th season on Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 with a sea of hundreds of yogis at Sunken Gardens Park. For this monumental YRP opening day, yoga was led by April Feldman (Sumits Yoga) with music by Sonic Flow and meditation by Carisa Banuelos. Yoga Rocks The Park Denver is a classic outdoor summer yoga event series that offers free 75-minute yoga classes, guided meditation, vendors and community. Each year has its own unique flair. This year, YRP is presented by Yoga Download and Pure Spectrum CBD. With Christina Pischel at the helm, YRP 2018 is set to offer five more free events this summer that celebrate the Denver yoga and wellness community.
Yoga Rocks The Park Draws Thousands of Yogis Each Year
YRP is a national movement with grassroots origins that has now expanded to a series with over 20,000 attendees nationwide. In 2015 (the first year I went!), admission became free thanks to local sponsors and Denver saw over 2,600 attendees on that opening day. Last year, over 7,000 people came to practice. The continued positive reception is not a surprise to me; in my opinion, practicing yoga outdoors, in a sea of like-minded people seeking community and movement, is the highlight of YRP.
I have been attending YRP Denver since before I even lived in Denver, making the drive from Boulder early on Sunday mornings. Back then, there were events nearly every weekend and I looked forward to trying classes from yoga instructors all over the Denver-metro area. This year looks a little different as Pischel has condensed this summer’s lineup into six classes, packing each one with vendors and eager yogis.
If you’ve previously attended Friday Night Yoga Club Denver (the counterpart to the summer series YRP), you may recognize Pischel, who leads both series. As a local business owner, entrepreneur and dedicated yoga teacher, her events are hyper-local, highlighting companies, studios, yogis and musicians through yoga-based gatherings. Beyond these events, Pischel can be found teaching at Yoga Pod DTC, Yoga Joy Littleton (previously YogaPod in Littleton), and at Tava Yoga. Check out Pischel’s teaching schedule here. She and her husband are also the duo behind Foursee Apparel (functional, comfy clothing for your active lifestyle, including inversion-friendly tanks).
Pischel is no stranger to YRP. She has been a vendor at YRP on behalf of Foursee Apparel for the past four years. The transition to running YRP came when Pischel purchased the rights to the organization through its corporate owners last year. This is her first year leading YRP and it comes with the distinction of the YRP 10-year anniversary in Denver.
“With the 10 year celebration I really wanted to make it more of a celebration of the Denver community and a celebration of summer. I wanted to refresh the event, even though it is the 10th year, and make YRP feel a little different,” she said. One of those things has been consolidating the series into 6 days. “This will make the dates a little more special, so each day will have a different studio and different musician or DJ. ” She also emphasizes her efforts to collaborate with community partners that are uplifting and embody community connection.
Pischel has also worked with Jason Blevins, founder of Explore Your Fitness, to create a series of podcasts that feature each of the free day sponsors. This will allow attendees to get to know the community sponsors better prior to their class. Explore Your Fitness podcast episodes are available here and in the YRP email newsletter. Pischel has truly set up the summer series to foster a greater sense of community that can extend beyond the Sunday morning practice. Through a variety of instructors, attendees will get tastes of different teaching and yoga styles.
Each class is free thanks to the generous sponsors and studios: Yoga Download, Pure Spectrum CBD, Sumits Yoga, Elevate Yoga, Atherial, Tava Yoga and Yoga Pod Denver West. While the admission is free, you’ll still need to register for a ticket before you show up. Plus, your registration makes you eligible for all of the giveaways! Check out the YRTP Denver website for more details on registration.
What to Expect at Yoga Rocks The Park Denver
Classes begin with a 15 to 30 minute meditation, led by instructors from The Lotus Meditation Studio, which segues into an all levels 75-minute yoga flow with live music. Every event will be different — from the guided meditation to the yoga class to the music. This is a great way to try a variety of Denver yoga studio styles and teachers. There is also kid’s yoga, “Camp Yoga Rocks the Park”, led by Radiant Beginnings Yoga. The Camp Yoga Rocks The Park (Camp YRP) runs simultaneously with the main event and is for kids ages 5-10. Space is limited for Camp Yoga Rocks The Park and fills up fast, so be sure to register your kiddos now. And don’t forget to leave extra time before and after class to browse the vendors (over thirty of them!). These vendors are wellness-focus, local, and include everything from free samples to free CBD massages.
Lineup of Activities at Each Event
8 am – Check-in open + Vendor Village open.
8:30 am- Guided meditation with The Lotus Meditation Studio.
8:55 am – Camp YRP with Radiant Beginnings Yoga begins (ages 5-10).
9 am – 10:30 am – All-levels Yoga Class with live/DJ music
10:30 am – Camp YRP ends. Kids will return to meet parents.
10:45 – 11:30 am – Vendor Village Shopping, CBD Oil Massages, Henna, Food & Drink
Yoga Rocks The Park Denver is More Than Yoga
YRTP is a yoga festival series rooted in the Denver wellness community. It boasts not only physical offerings, but mental and spiritual as well. Whatever you’re looking for, it’s likely you can find it here. I have seen families, human babies, fur babies, couples, individuals and more taking part in this practice. Whether it be trying meditation for the first time, or acknowledging the inherent challenge of tree pose on the uneven earth, YRTP is a welcoming event that gently nudges you outside of your comfort zone. It is the perfect way to ease into a Sunday.
YRTP Schedule and Resources
- The 2018 YRTP dates are June 3, June 10, July 8, July 22, August 5 and August 19.
- Details on YRP meditation teachers, yoga instructors and local musicians can be found here.
- Find YRP sponsor and vendor information here.
- If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, find YRP Ambassador information here.
2018 Yoga Rocks The Park Denver Opening Day Photos by Adventure UAV