See also: - Yoga Rocks the Park starts rocking the park again this weekend - DateCamp teaches you how to date -- and kiss and dress -- the Denver way - Friday Night Yoga Club launches at Kindness Yoga
When Baglan, an experienced partner yoga leader, moved to Denver from the Midwest, she didn't know a soul. "I wanted to meet people who shared similar values and enjoyed a similar lifestyle," recalls Baglan. "There weren't many avenues for that, so I created something."
That something was YogaDates, a Denver-based organization that's been serving local singles and couples for just over a year. On May 10, my husband and I attended Baglan's Sunset Yoga Hike, a YogaDates single event that began with a brisk hike up Table Mountain in Golden and ended with an authentic, family-style Nepalese dinner (served with a few drinks and some lively conversation) at Sherpa House. In between was a standing yoga flow and ten-part Qi gong sequence practiced alongside the setting sun, as well as a spectacular 365-view that this yogi won't soon forget.
I cannot tell a lie: The half-hour ascent to our yogic destination was almost as awkward as you'd expect it to be, given that this was a singles event comprised of thirty strangers. But the awkwardness set long before the sun.
To open the practice, Baglan led the group in a grade school-esque name game that involved loudly proclaiming your name while performing an exaggerated gesture that defined your personality. This weird little trick worked though, and everyone loosened up. We laughed, then got our stretch on with a hearty yoga sequence. By the end of the practice, everybody was cheerful and talkative and mingling with enough ease to make me think there may have been something more than ch'i spread that night.
Baglan's signature event is Yoga Speed Dating, which is sort of like regular old speed dating, but with yoga. Here's how it works: Baglan and her beau demonstrate a partner pose, then singles in the room pair up and try the pose together. After a few minutes, Baglan rings a bell, everybody switches partners, and a new pose is demonstrated and performed.
Singles can expect to attempt couples' poses with approximately fifteen different partners during the event. All poses are non-invasive and beginner-friendly. "You don't have to be a die-hard yogi to join in," says Baglan. "This is a fun way to get to know people in an out-of-the-box environment."
The event ends with a mingling hour where yogis can cultivate any bond formed during their practice over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Guests are encouraged to write down any connections they felt and share them with Baglan; she'll discreetly coordinate any mutual matches that come up via e-mail.
The next YogaDates Yoga Speed Dating event -- this one's for singles in their twenties and thirties -- is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 1 at Elliot Street Collective, 2460 Elliot Street. The cost is $30 in advance and $40 at the door -- but don't wait to register, because the event fills fast. Register online now on the YogaDates website.