April 1, 2013
For students budgeting between textbooks and tuition, donation-based yoga could be an enjoyable off-campus alternative.
Cambio Studios, located on the northeast corner of Austin Bluffs and Meadowland, is the community’s first donation yoga studio and offers classes under the belief that the donation concept “connects us to our community with a very special bond,” according to their website.
Although the campus recreational center also offers yoga classes, some UCCS students seem to prefer an off-campus studio.
The first class is complimentary, and yoga mats are available to rent at the front desk for $1 per session. Cambio indicates on their website that suggested donations are $7-12 per class, and also offers memberships for those who want to pay on a monthly basis.
Rumors spreading on campus that Cambio offers free classes are a misrepresentation, according to senior chemistry major Morgan Meury, who is close to the owners. If attendees can only afford a few dollars, then the studio’s mission is being fulfilled. “But it is not free,” Meury clarified.
Cambio is split between two suites in the strip shopping center, holding classes in both upstairs and downstairs studios on each side of the Strategic Staffing offices. The Yin Yoga class I participated in was upstairs on a Monday evening, but classes are offered throughout the day, including a special lunch hour class from 12:15-1:15 p.m.
The majority of the class of around 15 men and women was composed of first-time and beginning students, ranging from 20-something students in UCCS-branded sweatpants to 50 to 60-year-olds.
As I reclined, eyes closed, on a rented yoga mat in the open air studio, the whispers of my classmates and the rush hour traffic on Austin Bluffs faded into a blend of Mumford & Sons and other popular folk music that the instructor Molly Braun turned on, shifting the mood to a calm silence.
Low, petal-shaped Le Klint pendant lamps placed on the floor and variegated scarves cover the ceiling like an Asian patchwork quilt. The evening twilight added to the ethereal atmosphere in the classroom.
Braun suggested an intention, or mental focus, for the class before giving directions on positions and stretches.
True to the basis of most yoga classes, each position was followed by an opposing one, to balance the yin and the yang of the participants’ minds and bodies.
The first poses tended to be harder to assume and stretched the muscles, but the following positions allowed for the body to loosen and participants to breathe more deeply.
The class concluded with the traditional Namaste blessing, “the light in me sees and honors the light in you,” and Braun encouraged participants to linger and reflect on the experience, asking those who had to leave first to do so quietly, allowing participants a final moment to collect their thoughts before resuming their daily routine.
Cambio Studios is located on 3326 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, and can be contacted by phone at 291-1798 or 321-8547. While walk-ins are welcome, online registration is recommended to reserve places in the class.