"People are scared to death to walk into a yoga class," says Melissa Faykosh, the Golden parks and rec department's wellness coordinator. "They don't want to go in feeling like they don't know anything."
To overcome this phobia, the center began offering Yoga 101 classes for the timid at the Community Center, 1470 10th Street in Golden. "It's a safe environment. Nobody's tying anyone into a pretzel," Faykosh says.
Although class size is limited to twelve participants, no one is turned away, and walk-ins are welcome. The only requirement is that prospective yogis wear comfortable clothes and clean socks. "Some have injuries and some aren't very flexible at first," Faykosh says, but notes that that's not an insurmountable barrier. Neither is a lack of yoga knowledge. The instructor's emphasis is on ensuring that each rookie proceeds at his or her own pace while learning basic yoga positions and breathing. So far, everyone from teenagers (the cutoff is thirteen) to senior citizens have sampled the offering. "It's amazing how many then go on to other yoga classes," she says.
The cost is $8 for a single session or $42 to $47 for the entire sequence, which runs through October 22. And even if not everyone masters poses such as the sun salutation, it's a given that no one leaves carrying the baggage of yoga phobia anymore. For information, call 303-384-8100. -- Ernie Tucker
El Grito 5K offers plenty of reasons to run.
There are many ways for competitors to be rewarded at the finish of a race. Sometimes the sweaty survivors are offered a bare minimum of water and candy bars. Often, schwag is more elaborate. Upon finishing a Halloween 5K once, I was handed a glass of apple cider, a brat, a pumpkin and candy.
And while it's unfair to judge a race by the finish-line bounty, it's certainly one way to choose an event.
Given that measure, the twelfth edition of Denver's El Grito 5K walk/run has a fairly potent lure. The event, in honor of Mexican Independence Day, steps off at 9 a.m. in front of the Buckhorn Exchange, 10th Avenue and Osage Street. After winding through the Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhoods, it ends up back at the Buck. Once there, competitors can sample spicy breakfast burritos, beer and other delicacies while Latin music plays. Registration is $16 to $20, and proceeds are earmarked for college scholarship funds going to students who have participated in cross-country races. For information, call 303-284-4114. -- Ernie Tucker