Outdoor yoga: Top spots from Red Rocks to your park or county fair

July 9th, 2019
People doing yoga raise their arms at Red Rocks Amphitheater
For yoga enthusiasts, nothing is finer than a quiet morning at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Golden. Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon for UCHealth.

Known for iconic concerts, Red Rocks Amphitheater is so quiet on a summer Saturday morning that the birds get to sing solos as the sun paints the rocks an array of colors from grey to green to red, of course.

Then you actually hear 2,000 people breathe in and breathe out all together as they do yoga in this stunning outdoor venue.

Hundreds of people doing yoga at Red Rocks Amphitheater
Two thousand people gathered for Yoga on the Rocks at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon for UCHealth.

They finish their class at Yoga on the Rocks by giving thanks for their lives, their bodies and the universe. Then, in unison, they hum the Sanskrit chant, “om.”

Red Rocks is known for its fabulous acoustics, so the chant fills the amphitheater with what can only be described as the vibrating sound of peace.

If you can imagine it, you can do it

Yoga practitioners rave about the chance to do yoga anywhere, anytime. And Colorado’s divine summer weather makes outdoor yoga classes even better. If you can imagine it, you can do it: from yoga on a paddleboard to yoga with goats to yoga at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

outdoor yoga class in a shady area with trees
The Denver Botanic Gardens offers a variety of outdoor yoga classes including bilingual options. Photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens. Photo by Scott Dressel-Martin.

Nate Roston, 28, of Denver, is a yoga instructor, who practices every day and often teaches free yoga classes for children and people of color. He loves Red Rocks and has been participating in Yoga on the Rocks for the last couple of years.

“You get the essence of Colorado. This has been very empowering and enlightening. You really feel like you’re immersed in nature,” Roston said.

He wishes more African American men would do yoga.

“A lot of people of color are displaced. If more black men were more aware of their bodies, they would feel better,’’ Roston said.

An African American man with his yoga mat slung over his shoulder at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Nate Roston teaches yoga and loves to practice outside. “You get the essence of Colorado,” he said. Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon for UCHealth.

He said he has learned to feel tension in his body and get rid of it, rather than holding on to stress.

“These are my people,” Roston said as he was surrounded by a sea of people wearing turquoise, lime and fuchsia and sitting on equally colorful yoga mats.

People on mats doing yoga at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Yoga enthusiasts in bright colors enjoy an outdoor class. Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon for UCHealth.

Silent and peaceful

Nicole Kelly of Lakewood has made Yoga on the Rocks an annual family tradition. She comes with her dad and aunts and outdoor yoga has become as special as any of their holidays.

“You get to have silence. You can hear the birds chirping. There are so many people, but it’s peaceful,” Kelly said.

Vivienne Barnett Hibler, 4, came with her mom and dad, Lyndsey Barnett and Matthew Hibler. They have been coming to Yoga on the Rocks since before Vivienne was born. As her parents shift from pose to pose, Vivienne tucks into her mom’s belly like a baby kangaroo or sits on her dad’s back as he stretches his arms and legs.

Vivienne Barnett Hibler, 4, peeks out from beneath her mom, Lyndsey Barnett. Their family loves doing yoga outdoors together from their front yard to Red Rocks to the beach on vacation. Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon for UCHealth.

“We love to do yoga as a family,” Lyndsey said. “It’s fun to see Red Rocks in the morning and these are going to be moments she’ll remember for the rest of her life.”

Unfortunately, the remaining sessions of Yoga on the Rocks for this summer are sold out, but here are other options for outdoor yoga classes.

Goat Yoga, Boulder County Fair

goat yoga at boulder county fair
Enjoying goat yoga at the Boulder County Fair. Photo by Kathryn Scott.

, Aug. 4 and Aug. 11 at 9 a.m. Fee.

Yoga at the Gardens, Denver Botanic Gardens. Various days. Fee. Click here for Sunrise Vinyasa Yoga, here for Bilingual Yoga, here for Evening Vinyasa Yoga and here for Morning Hatha Yoga.

Standup Paddleboard Yoga, Chatfield State Park, weekends, July, August and September. Fee.

Dragonfly Paddle Yoga, Monument and Colorado Springs, various dates. Fee.

feet in the air during a yoga class at Red Rocks Amphitheater
Bright pink yoga pants and a bright blue skye. Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon for UCHealth.

Yoga in Yampa River Botanic Park. Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 a.m. Donation.

Park Yoga at Spring Park, Fort Collins, Saturdays at 10 a.m. through September. Donation.

Sunrise and sunset yoga at Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs:  July 22, 28 and Aug. 26. Fee.

Free Yoga in the Park, Civic Green Park, Highlands Ranch.

People sit during a yoga class at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
Yoga participants relish the silence and serenity of Yoga on the Rocks. Photo by Cyrus McCrimmon for UCHealth.

Yoga in the Park, City Park, Denver. Various days and times.

Outdoor Yoga at Mehaffey Park in Loveland, City of Loveland. Fee.

About the author

Katie Kerwin McCrimmon is a proud Colorado native. She attended Colorado College, thanks to a merit scholarship from the Boettcher Foundation, and worked as a park ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park during summer breaks from college. She is also a storyteller. She loves getting to know UCHealth patients and providers and sharing their inspiring stories.

Katie spent years working as a journalist at the Rocky Mountain News and was a finalist with a team of reporters for the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of a deadly wildfire in Glenwood Springs in 1994. Katie was the first reporter in the U.S. to track down and interview survivors of the tragic blaze, which left 14 firefighters dead.

She covered an array of beats over the years, including the environment, politics, education and criminal justice. She also loved covering stories in Congress and at the U.S. Supreme Court during a stint as the Rocky’s reporter in Washington, D.C.

Katie then worked as a reporter for an online health news site before joining the UCHealth team in 2017.

Katie and her husband Cyrus, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, have three children. The family loves traveling together anywhere from Glacier National Park to Cuba.