A few members of our team attended the first ever Denver Yoga Festival, which we were proud to sponsor. The festival was an “urban chic four-day extravaganza” with events at Union Station, the historic Oxford Hotel and Coors Field, making it different from many other yoga festivals.
“Denver is a very big yoga market,” said festival founder Sarah Russell, a yoga entrepreneur who launched the Breathe Yoga & Cycling studios in Denver. “There are a lot of studios, and a lot of people moving to Denver right now, so the pie just keeps getting bigger.”
Sarah designed the festival to unite all the different yoga communities, from business owners to fashion designers and yoga teachers.
Here are five events our team really enjoyed:
“Authentically You” with Mackenzie Miller
This was an hour and 15 minute session hosted by MacKenzie Miller with love tunes played by Kiyoshi and Mental Physix. MacKenzie is a certified personal trainer, international yoga instructor and lover of travel. Her teaching combines the thorough understanding of alignment and anatomy with the joy of balance and movement.
Our Junior Software Developer Ti Wegmeyer attended this session. According to Ti, “it was a sweet and soulful class to wind down a Friday night. It focused on being present and authentic – showing up exactly where one is at.” This class helped attendees gain awareness of how the mind works when dealing with discomfort and served as a reminder to remain present in life, even when things get difficult or uncomfortable.
Arm Balance Transitions Workshop with Anton Mackey
This workshop, presented by Anton Mackey, focused on transitioning different arm balances and inversions into one another and integrating them into a vinyasa-based flow. Anton believes yoga is a transformational practice that encourages us to look inward to create a deeper connection to our soul, leading to a more healthy and happy life.
Ti attended this workshop as well. Ti states, “So often we can easily get caught up in striking the perfect pose or the perfect moment in life – both which are fleeting.” As many students and teachers understand, it is important for them to be able to fluidly move from one posture to another (and within changing life events) – with breath, grace, mindfulness and presence.”
Anton’s Sacred Dub Flow Class
This was another memorable session presented by Anton Mackey. Katie Jaffe, Senior Sales Executive and Team Lead, and Aimee Lem, Customer Success Advocate, both attended this class (check them out in the Zen Planner tank tops below).
According to Katie the class had an incredible vibe and was nothing short of amazing. Katie discussed how Anton’s flow moved them through beautiful sequences that aligned with the beat of the music. The flow became a dance of the breath, a synchronization of movement to prana. “Looking to my right and my left, I saw eyes closed, sweat dripping and hearts pumping,” says Katie. “I saw people truly connected to the space, to each other. Yoga classes at festivals can sometimes feel a bit disconnected, but not here! Anton created space for people to explore movement of breath, movement of body and movement of spirit.”
Mackenzie Miller’s “Grow Roots” Session
Sunday morning’s backbending class was led by Mackenzie Miller. Mackenzie moved yogis through a heart-opening sequence intended to challenge any previous understanding of what they believed their bodies could do. Firmly rooted in anatomical knowledge, Mackenzie walked everyone through proper versus improper alignment in an accessible, yet deeply thoughtful way.
Katie says, “as an instructor myself, I feel that I have some new tools for my arsenal when it comes to backbending. This class included a lot of partner support and stretching which was a fantastic way to fully release into each of the asanas. We were able to feel the support of one another as we navigated through a rather vulnerable sequence of opening our hearts together.”
Zen Planner Presents Panel: Business of Yoga
We were thrilled to sponsor the Business of Yoga panel at the festival. The panel was moderated by Juli Rathke, a yogini entrepreneur specializing in startups, acquisitions and sales, along with a panel yoga industry experts and veterans, including:
- Nikki Levine: Denver Yoga Festival Producer and Kula Creative Group Founder
- Blake Jung: LA & NYC based Yoga teacher and author of Yoga Business Essentials
- Tyrone Beverly: Founder and Executive Director of Im’Unique
- Mallory Martingale: DEFINE body & mind Denver
- Wendy Weeks: Assistant Marketing Manager at Active Fashion Group (Soybu)
- Juli Rathke (MODERATOR): Founder and CEO of YOGA + Life™ Magazine
The panel discussed the entirety of the business, from the economic standpoints to professional ownership. The main takeaways from the panelists were the importance of building relationships and capitalizing on the referral-heavy nature of the business by building ambassadors and relying on social media marketing to grow your business. They also covered how to define your niche and highly target to that in order to stand out from the competition.
We’re proud to partner with the Denver Yoga Festival and look forward to next year’s event as we continue to support the rapid growth of the yoga industry here in Denver.
To learn more about what Zen Planner can do for your yoga business, read about how this yoga studio found themselves saving eight to 20 hours per week in administrative data entry and grew to over 100 students in five months. You can also see Zen Planner in action by scheduling a live, one-on-one demo with one of our Software Specialists.