A Breathtaking And Transforming Experience At The Telluride Yoga Festival: Plus A Special Interview With Tommy Rosen!
Cover Photo From The Telluride Yoga Festival
By Jennifer Goodman
My entire journey leading up to the Telluride Yoga Festival flowed so magnificently that I knew I was meant to be there, and the effects of my time at the festival and in Telluride confirmed that even more.
There is no way to describe Telluride, as it is a unique and one-of-a-kind place. You can only experience it. It is a tiny town nestled in the San Juan mountains, both green and snow-capped with many beautiful (but not easy) hikes to experience. There were many “mindful hikes” offered in the schedule of the festival. My first day there I confidently agreed to hike the popular Jud Wiebe trail with a part time Telluride resident, and we were both experiencing the elevation quickly. The town sits at 8,750 ft and only goes up from there. Another unique attribute of Telluride is the Gondola, which is the first and only free public transportation system in the US. It takes you from the town of Telluride on a breathtakingly scenic ride up to the town of Mountain Village. Mountain Village has an elevation of 9,500 ft. I jumped at the opportunity to take the gondola up to a picturesque sunset yoga class with one of my favorite teachers Dana Damara. The entire experience was indeed breathtaking.
The festival offered many opportunities to become one with the incredible San Miguel river through hiking and rafting. The San Miguel river is approximately 81 miles long and runs through the entire town and throughout southwestern Colorado. The river was especially high at this time and was running rather fiercely, creating a powerful sound and energy that kept drawing me back to it. I loved how the creators of the Telluride Yoga Festival Erika Henschel and Albert Roer incorporated both the elements of nature and the town into the experience. In addition to the river activities, there were hiking opportunities, a labyrinth walking meditation, a 5K run, guided biking, SUP opportunities, dinner under the stars, yoga at sunset, and a special concert with MC Yogi and DJ Drez at The Sheridan Opera House.
Then there were the classes. There were so many renowned teachers leading deeply transformative classes throughout the weekend. I couldn’t attend them all, but a few of my favorites were: Kia Miller, who radiates beauty and grace and her classes always leave me feeling light and full of love, and Mc Yogi, with his chill vibe and background beats…and just the right amount of humor to keep it fun. Also, a new teacher for me was Colorado-based Kate Mulheron, who led us through a deeply releasing journey through our chakras.
And then there was Tommy Rosen, who delivered several uplifting and elevating practices throughout the weekend. Transformation was the general theme of his classes (particularly how to get a person to move from wherever they are today to the next place). I was deeply honored to be able to ask him a few questions. Here is what he had to say:
Is this the 1st time you are teaching at Telluride Yoga Festival?
No, this is my fourth year teaching at this festival.
What is it that keeps you coming back?
It’s the feeling, the vibe they’re creating that comes from the leadership of Erika and Albert. It’s a family feeling. The people that come are earnest seekers and practitioners. The offering is powerful with the collection of teachers that come. If you look at the line-up for any given year, it’s a very top-notch group of teachers delivering on some very important topics. On top of that, it’s the incredible beauty and majesty of Telluride itself.
You are the founder of Recovery 2.0. Can you tell me more about this incredible program?
Recovery 2.0 exists to provide a comprehensive solution to the problem of addiction, as it attacks a human being at all levels of being: mind, body, and spirit. It even attacks our relationship with time: past, present, and future. Yoga is a key element to bring balance and healing back to anyone who has been struggling with addiction of any kind. Meditation is an important aspect for the calming of the mind. Learning how to destress. And the breath, of course...same thing. So, Recovery 2.0 is a lifestyle; it includes recovery philosophy (such as the 12 steps), therapy, yoga, meditation, and a healthy diet. The relationship with food is emphasized. Ultimately, it’s leading someone into the healing of addiction, greater consciousness, and awareness.
You can check out his book Recovery 2.0: Move Beyond Addiction and Upgrade Your Life and learn more about moving out of addiction and into the light of health, wellness, connection, and oneness.
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Sure, what I like to tell people is…if you’ve ever had a thought that yoga could somehow be helpful to your life, then heed that thought. Find a teacher, begin a practice, and see where it takes you. It’s just so important. And regarding The Telluride Yoga Festival, it really is an uplifting and wonderful gathering. If you can get to this festival and have this kind of immersive experience for four days, the benefits will be exponential.
To learn more about the Telluride Yoga festival visit tellurideyogafestival.com.