Outlaw Yoga comes to Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs — Simplicity is the name of the game in Outlaw Yoga.
Jamming to Beck, Johnny Cash, Michael Franti and even Rage Against the Machine in an adrenaline-charged Outlaw Yoga class, simplicity may seem like a far-fetched notion.
“Yoga makes a claim of meeting you where you are, of evolving to meet you in the way you need it to,” said the yoga rock star and founder of Outlaw Yoga, Justin Kaliszewski. “I taught differently and honored the tradition, but wasn’t bound by it.”
The tattooed former MMA fighter has a teaching style that deviates wildly from the norm with up-tempo accompaniment and power vinyasa. The result is a rowdier and faster-paced class than most.
This weekend, Kaliszewski will be in town as one of several precursor events leading up to the Steamboat Movement Festival July 23 to 26. Infusing innovation and inspiring yoga, the first of these is the “Friday Night Yoga Love.”
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Friday night at Sundance Studio, Kaliszewski will lead a class from 6 to 7:30 p.m. His stepfather will provide live accompaniment both during the class and at the after party, which gets underway at 7:30 p.m. Live music will start at 5:30 p.m. He will also lead a class from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday at Sundance.
“There is this natural backlash in society,” he said. “We are programmed to sit down, shut up and do what we are told. What we are trying to do with Outlaw Yoga is un-program that. Maybe it’s a rebellious message, but we give it so openly and honestly that people really connect to it.”
For Kaliszewski, what it means to be an “outlaw” begins with discipline and ends with integrity, but lies somewhere in a path that suits him. It has evolved from practices and principles he’s experienced. But he asks his students to take a look at their life and choices in a different way.
“Every moment is a choice,” he said. “And within that ownership of the choice you’ve made comes responsibility and the power to take action — to recreate things the way you want to or to perpetuate it the way you want to.”
“It’s individualism coming out in a community practice,” said Erin Brosterhous, with Inside Out PR and a Steamboat Movement Festival board member.
In Sanskrit, the word “yoga” means union. This union, or community element, is what Outlaw Yoga is built upon. It’s a movement to bring yoga to people … all people.
Originally based in Denver at Kindness Yoga, Kaliszewski starts every class with “community time” because connection is not optional in Outlaw Yoga.
“What we need more than anything is to connect with a common identity,” he said.
And this sense of community is part of what the Steamboat Movement Festival hopes to provide by showcasing the local talent of yoga teachers in addition to regional teachers, speaker, athletes, musicians and artists. It will be a celebration of yoga, live music and movement.
“The first limb of yoga is community and to treat others well,” said Charlie Chase, local yoga instructor and Steamboat Movement Fest board member. “For us to be consistent in that message, we wanted to find a way to build a bridge. So people are not afraid to try [yoga] and all of the different teachers we have here and nationally.”
The cost for the 90-minute all-level Vinyasa flow, Outlaw Yoga classes are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information about the Steamboat Movement Festival tickets and scheduling visit steamboatmovementfest.com.
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