Meta Yoga Studios celebrates 5 years in Breck with free classes, workshops and parties | SummitDaily.com

Meta Yoga Studios celebrates 5 years in Breck with free classes, workshops and parties

About five years ago, a group of yogis lost their home in Breckenridge.

For nearly eight years, longtime locals like Jason Rodon and Leslie Ross had been practicing several times a week in the historic Abby Hall building on Main Street. It was a calm and comfortable home — not quite a studio, not quite a tucked-away basement, just home.

But all good things must come to an end, and in 2009 the group had to search for a new home when the building changed hands. Rather than mourn the loss, Rodon saw an opportunity to give his community a gathering space. This was before yoga had really caught on in the High Country, when only the local rec centers and Colorado Mountain College held classes built around fitness.

"It felt like the right person at the right place at the right time," said Rodon, a yogi of 16 years who first found the practice after breaking his leg. "I can't say it was my obligation, but it was something I could personally offer to the community at large."

In 2010, Rodon paired with Ross and several others to launch Meta Yoga Studios in a quiet, welcoming space on Ridge Street. It was the perfect home for Breck's budding yoga community, situated right next to another local fixture, Cuppa Joe coffee shop, complete with stunning views of Breckenridge and its namesake resort from the second-story deck.

"There was no common place for the community to practice in Breckenridge, or even Summit County for that matter," Rodon said. "My motivation was really to support the community and the practice and the teachers. That can have its snags and hang-ups because we're still a business, but it's a risk I was willing to take. It felt like the right thing."

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Now, five years down the road, Meta is hosting a full week of free classes, workshops and other events to celebrate a landmark anniversary. Rodon, a longtime contractor who's still heavily involved in the construction industry, wasn't sure if his experiment would survive even two or three years. When the studio continued to grow, he knew it was time to give back to the community that gave him so much in return.

"I like that we can introduce so many people to these practices," Rodon said. "I also really enjoy seeing students improve over time, not only physically, but also emotionally and how they step back into the world after their time in the studio."

Celebration time

During the anniversary week, Meta is hosting 13-plus free (yes, free) events that run the entire gamut of yoga practices. Things kick off today with DJ yoga at 7 p.m., led by a group of all-star instructors with tunes by DJ Theo. A dance party follows the hour-long session at 8:30 p.m.

Again, Meta is all about the community, and Ross knows just how much that community simply likes coming together. She'll pair with Rodon for an intro to meditation session at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8 before hosting a "New Moon Practice" class on Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m. with live music. Then there's the yoga fashion show at 3 p.m. on Dec. 12, followed by happy hour next door at Cuppa Joe.

Since the beginning, Rodon and Ross wanted Meta to be a studio for all practices, not just high-intensity sculpt or hot room classes made for burning calories and building muscle. The studio now has 30 full-time and part-time instructors, ranging in age from 22 years old to over 70 years old. They teach everything from hatha and vinyasa to hot power fusion, restorative yoga and meditation. There's even SUP yoga in summertime. That variety is one reason why Rodon believes Meta has survived through the years, along with a dedication to community events like free yoga for the USA Pro Challenge and every Wednesday morning from 8-9 a.m. at the Patagonia store in Breck.

"I see yoga as a life science, a core science for life," Rodon said. "It helps address the things I encounter in life and helps me understand what I'm facing. My personal practice has changed over time, so that these days I'm not as fixated on the physical practice as the internal practice."

The variety has also attracted teachers — and students — of all backgrounds. Ross does private yoga with Jamie Anderson, gold medalist at the inaugural ski slopestyle in Sochi. It's where Mike Millisor of Breckenridge Grand Vacations met his wife, and it's where Michael Cavanaugh of the Brown Hotel has been coming to weekly sessions for a bad back.

"Meta, for me, is a special place," said Emily Danica Steingart, the studio's marketing manager and regular instructor. "It's a place I can call home and a place that creates the kind of atmosphere I need to expand and learn, even through teaching."

That's everything her bosses ever wanted.

"Intention is everything and that was always our intention, to create a community space where people could practice and find a style of yoga that fit them," Ross said. "We didn't want to have a studio that fit a box, where we say, 'If you want to be with us you have to fit in the box.' That's no Summit County and that's not who we are."

8 Days of Meta schedule

For its fifth anniversarty, Breckenridge’s Meta Yoga Studios is hosting 13-plus free classes and workshops from Dec. 5-13. Here’s a select look at the lineup. For a complete schedule, see the studio website at http://www.metayogastudios.com.

Dec. 5

7 p.m. — DJ Yoga: DJ Theo and Meta teachers

8:30 p.m. — Dance party

Dec. 6

8:30 a.m. — Hatha flow with Anais Brown

Dec. 7

6 p.m. — Hatha Yoga Metamorphosis with Jason Rodon

Dec. 8

7 p.m. — Intro to Meditation, Mantra and Malas with Jason Rodon and Leslie Ross

Dec. 9

6:30 p.m. — Restorative yoga and singing bowls with Thea Smith and Inanna Hall

Dec. 10

2 p.m. — Gratitude practice with Murray Green

Dec. 11

6:30 p.m. — New Moon Practice and live music with Leslie Ross

Dec. 12

3 p.m. — Yoga fashion show featuring LuLu Lemon and Om Collection

4 p.m. — Happy hour at Cuppa Joe

Dec. 13

2 p.m. — “How to Hold Your Heart: Structural Alignment and Heart Centered Workshop” for yoga teachers with Alya Howe. Open to all Summit County yoga teachers through online pre-registration.