Dollars for downward dogs: Colorado yogis flow for Boulder flood relief

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Boulder’s prAna Store on the Pearl Street Mall hosted a clothing giveaway over the weekend for those affected by the recent floods. Photos by Lauren Maslen.

By Lauren Maslen

Boulder’s tight-knit yoga community reacted to last week’s floods by banding together to raise money and awareness for flood victims.

Local Impact

CorePower Yoga is a Colorado-based company. It began in Denver and currently has studios in 12 states. The company held donation-based classes in each of their studios around Colorado over the weekend. Donations will benefit the Red Cross and CorePower will match every dollar earned statewide.

Joy Shanley, a teacher at Boulder’s CorePower Yoga, said holding these donation-based classes was “only the right thing to do.”

“One of our instructors had to be rescued by a boat,” Shanley said. “He got evacuated from his house. He still showed up for boot camp. He is dedicated and he got through it all with a smile on his face. We have an instructor who lives in Lyons and she’s still stuck.”

Mark Stefanowski is another instructor at CorePower Yoga and a co-owner of Outlaw Yoga.

“You know how you feel after a yoga class? You feel good. You wanna give that to other people. When things are tough, teaching gives an opportunity to give that away. You can give that in a donation class and support your community. Yoga should be fun and if it’s fun, people will come and they’ll donate more.”

The Power of Community

Alec Rouben, 22, is a yoga teacher and a CU-Boulder Chinese language student from Louisville, Kentucky. Rouben teaches free community yoga classes every weekend at South Boulder’s CorePower Yoga and prAna, an outdoor clothing company located on Pearl Street. His classes are consistently packed with 30 to 40 students.

“Yoga is about community,” Rouben said. “That word, unity, is so important. We can let go or we can accept. That is what yoga teaches us.”

He said his classes both teach him and allow him to serve in his community.

“This has become my mantra,” he said, “Being of service allows me to be present.”

This weekend, Rouben was supposed to be offering students the ability to donate to flood relief victims during his scheduled Sunday prAna class. That was until classes at Boulder’s prAna store and studio were cancelled so the company could host a clothing drive for flood victims.

“PrAna corporate donated about 500 articles of clothing, which we have downstairs in our yoga studio right now,” Nicole Adams, the store’s yoga events coordinator said. “We’ve invited people affected by the floods to come and pick out clothing for free. It’s been really, really awesome. It’s been really emotional for everyone involved.”

Adams said the company promoted their event on their community chalkboard on Pearl Street as well as through social media on Facebook and Twitter.

Rouben will still donate any money he makes during his class at prAna next week to Boulder Flood Relief. “Whether I make $5 or $80, it’s all going directly to the people who really need it.”

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PrAna’s clothing giveaway was held in the yoga studio of their company’s flagship store on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder.

Want to Get Involved?

There are many ways to help for yogis and non-yogis alike. Community clean-ups, events, and food and clothing drives are happening all around the Boulder and Denver area throughout September and October. Here are a few events happening soon:

  • Every morning at 9 a.m. through Sept. 29: Donation-based yoga with live music at the Agora Event Center in Boulder.
  • Monday, Sept. 23 at 6 p.m.: Do some yoga, drink some beer, and donate to a good cause during Beerasana at Shine Brewery in Boulder.
  • Monday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m.: We Flow for Colorado’s fundraiser. The event will is set to include live music, yoga, and an afterparty at Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver.
  • Sunday, Oct. 10 at 11 a.m.: Donation-based Outlaw Yoga at the Tasty Weasel Tap Room in Longmont, Colo.

For regularly updated listings of local Boulder and Denver charitable yoga events, check out Boulderyogaproject.orgOutlawyoga.com, or Off the Mat Colorado on Facebook.

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