FESTIVAL SPOTLIGHT: Front Range Yoga Festival 2023
What inspired you to create a yoga festival?
Ten years ago, at the Telluride Yoga Festival, I laid in savasana while a girl with purple hair played “Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley on the harp. Before that moment I liked yoga but after that class, I knew that yoga would forever be a part of my life. Five years ago, I moved to a small town in rural Montana and shortly thereafter I got my 200 hour YTT certificate with YogaKoh and started offering classes. The town, Choteau, was so responsive and grateful to have access to yoga that I thought this would be the perfect place to host a yoga festival. It was inspired by my experience at the Telluride Yoga Festival and the apparent need for yoga in rural Montana. And plus, I just thought it would be fun to do! Choteau is also a perfect location because it sits along the inherently beautiful Rocky Mountain Front Range and it is equi-distant to Missoula, Kalispell and Bozeman.
What makes your festival unique?
The Front Range Yoga Festival aka Yoga Fest is unique because it has a very home-grown and down-to-earth essence to it. Choteau is a town of about 2,000 people and it is surrounded by mountains, farmland and ranches. When you’re here, it somehow feels like time slows down. There’s no rush, no traffic, and nothing to worry about other than choosing what class to go to next. The Yoga Fest team rents spaces throughout downtown Choteau, we turn them into studios, and then we run classes Friday through Sunday. There is a ton of class variety and all the studios are walking distance from each other. We don’t have big city amenities, but we have a few charming restaurants, great little shops, and a welcoming atmosphere. And most importantly, we offer high quality yoga classes by high quality instructors! We also like to encourage people to explore the nearby reservoirs and adventure into the mountains while you’re in town.
But what really makes this event special is the people—it’s the yogis who come back year after year, connect with one another, all while deepening their practice. It’s also the townspeople of Choteau who welcome the yogis with open arms by keeping special restaurant and shop hours to accommodate our guests. It really feels like a group of new and old friends having a yoga family reunion every 2nd weekend of June!
What offering/presenter or class are you most excited about for this year’s event?
This year I’m most excited for Jimmy Wheeler! Jimmy teaches at The Practice Power Yoga in Bozeman and I first came to know about him on Instagram back in 2019. He has a beautifully strong, graceful and creative practice. Watching him over the years has been inspirational and we are pumped to have him teach at Yoga Fest 2023!