Hanuman Festival: Being Bold in Boulder
To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
~ from “Auguries of Innocence” by William Blake
To be bold. To live life out loud. These were the goals I had for myself when I moved to Colorado from the Midwest four years ago. I was 30 years old, making an exodus from the world of gray dawns and moving into a world of the unknown.
I had been practicing yoga for 10 years, but not regularly. One month I would sweat it out at a Bikram studio, and the next month I would eat a lot of cheese. Akin to what so many others have experienced, the subtleness of yoga pulled at my shirtsleeves, but I had yet to devote myself to a consistent practice.
In this move to Colorado, I knew I wanted to be bold. I wanted to unleash the creative, independent girl inside of me who was not afraid to ask life for what she wanted. In this land of altitude and sunshine, I hoped to access this person. The beautiful Northern Colorado skyline held jagged peaks I desired to climb both literally and figuratively.
One day, in Boulder, I noticed a schedule of free yoga classes held at the prAna store located in the Pearl Street Mall. I was suddenly motivated to get to the next class on the list. I rushed home, grabbed my mat and attended. During an artistic, graceful flow, I connected both with the delicate girl I had been and the woman I would become. The practice left me feeling light, happy and centered.
Afterwards, I wandered over to the Farmer’s Market. I picked up a fresh juice, and watched a beautiful man play a lonely guitar.
With a stunning view of the Flatirons in the background, I made my way down the Boulder Creek Path. After a few minutes, I nestled myself into trees, brushing their soft leaves as I rustled by. When I reached the water, I sat down. I just sat there for awhile, not thinking of yoga, or the beautiful man or even cheese. I was still inside the city, but completely cocooned by the soaring trees and shimmering river. The feelings of joy that had been welling up in my solar plexus sat with me. Together, we breathed in and out.
I picked up a rock. I held it for awhile, thinking about all of the boulders, both big and small in Boulder. I thought of the unique and mindful Boulderites I had met too.
I felt both a sense of safety and exhilaration. I imagined that the small rock I held in my hand was a penny and the creek became a fountain. I closed my eyes, wishing to plant my roots in this enticing, eclectic land. Once I felt satisfied that my wish was heard, I silently tossed the rock into the gurgling stream.
I watched the water flood over it, and I knew that wish would come true.
Fast forward three years and I am attending Hanuman 2012. I am bolder. I have a consistent yoga practice that is nourished by the dedicated teachers of this lovely area.
Today, as most days in Boulder are, is a beautiful day. The Flatirons reflect the June sun. The mountain air is dry and clean. Once again, I walk the Boulder Creek Path with a yoga mat in hand. This time I am headed to the festival. I cruise past solar-powered bubbles, hula hoops and AcroYogis on the lush, green lawn of the Boulder High School.
After my first session, I wander through the celebration, admiring the other attendees. I cannot help but envelope them in the bloom of joy I feel. In the last few years, I have learned to live out loud. I am so many steps closer to becoming the woman I imagined I could be.
Please join me for Hanuman Yoga & Music Festival 2013. Let’s raise the vibration.
~ Kaci Yoh
Kaci Yoh has gotten past her attachment to cheese. She teaches vinyasa flow classes and is grateful for the opportunity to teach and learn yoga as an exercise in experiencing herself and others. When not on her mat, she can be found writing, trail running, swimming, or somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Learn more about Kaci.