It’s almost hard to believe that just one month ago there was a huge buzz in town, a whirlwind of activity to transform the County Event Center into a magical yoga space, and yogis milling about to attend the first ever Montrose Yoga Festival. And if we may toot our own horn – the festival turned out SPECTACULARLY!  There was a lot that went into hosting this event, and we’d like to tell the story in gratitude for all those that helped make this feat an incredible success.

yoga class at montrose yoga festival,

Photo by Paul Hurschmann

The Beginning

This June, Yoga House celebrated its first anniversary from opening their doors and owner/instructor, Melissa Lowe was musing in ways to celebrate. At first, she simply thought that having a pot luck at Cerise Park and hosting a few classes for a simple way to say thank you to the community. However, the more she thought and brainstormed, the word, “festival” kept creeping up. With some brainstorming with the Yoga House Instructional team, the Montrose Yoga Festival was born!

Behind the Scenes

Melissa is no stranger to running events. In her skydiving career, not only did she succeed as a professional athlete, she also worked hard behind the scenes in the operations aspect. Throughout her career she’s help run over 100+ skydiving events including 4 US Nationals (the largest skydiving event in the nation), 1 World Mondial (the largest skydiving event in the world), 1 International Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame, and several small to large skydiving events called “boogies.” Melissa quickly put her experience to work and solicited the help from these key people – who, without a doubt, added to the incredible success of the event:
Kylie Davis – the new Studio Manager who picked up where Melissa couldn’t keep up and made sure everything ran smoothly at the festival and the studio
Leanna Johnson – Tree Feather Creative – the talented designer behind all the festivals graphic art including the posters, social media assets and t-shirts
Erin Porteous & Misti Poe of Petula Designs – the visionaries behind the festival decor that added that magical festival feel
Yoga House Instructors – these gals put in extra time to help decorate, set up, sub for Melissa, and supported each other through challenges managing the event

The Mission Statement

When the vision started to come to fruition for the Montrose Yoga Festival, a Mission Statement was imperative as Melissa started to set things in motion. A Mission Statement helps businesses stay on course for a bigger picture goal. Melissa knew that Yoga Houses’ success was based on the ground work that was laid before through the likes of Uncompaghre Yoga Circle and Spring Creek Yoga. Melissa then asked the local studios for their support and to be a part of this event, and they responded with a resounding yes! The Mission Statement became clear: To Celebrate Yoga on the Western Slope!
The local studios then became all the presenters for the festival with a few guests that included:
Bobby L from Aspen – Owner of Colorado Yoga Life Magazine
Alana Yerman who resides in Arizona
yoga trapeze at montrose yoga festival, photo by Cyllia Lynn Photography
Photo by Cyllia Lynn Photography

The Event

There were many behind-the-scenes challenges that came up for the event such as: the venue change, vendors cancelling and finding new ones, presenters cancelling, changing the schedule…. However, the entire team rose to each occasion with grace and support for each other, and step-by-step came the day to host the festival. Each part of the team came together and in a matter of a day and a morning, transformed the horse arena concrete space of the County Event Center into this warm, cozy, and inspirational space of the festival, and participants were walking through the door!
As we reflected as a team, it was said that it was amazing how we – right here in Montrose – are so fortunate to have a pool of amazing, and talented yoga instructors. Each instructor of Yoga House, Spring Creek Yoga and Uncompaghre Yoga Circle delivered informed, empowering, and moving classes and workshops. Many to where we had a flood of compliments from participants on how this event had changed their lives. And that, made our entire event worth all the effort!

Shout Outs

There were many who came to help add the support, magic and positivity to the event. First, thank you to the vendors who believed this was a good opportunity to support a first year festival:
Epic Expressions
Stratera Pilates
Margarita Monleon of Alchemy of Sound who played her lovely gongs
Colorado Yurt Company for the use of your amazing teepees
Habitat for the use of the throw rugs and carpets
San Juan Gardens for the use of your beautiful and MANY plants and trees!
Erin Easton for joining us last minute to present a Mindfulness Meditation
DJ Chuck Vanderwist for playing the incredibly cool Frequency Meditation
Jeanie R – Head Volunteer
Nicole Stone – Volunteer
Spencer Dill – Volunteer
Leah Okeson – Volunteer
Samatha Wynne – Volunteer
Jeannette Messano – Volunteer
Kate Wogan – Volunteer
Kodie Coblentz – Volunteer
Sarah Louise – Volunteer
Carol Lee – Volunteer
Tammy Givens – Volunteer
Catherine B – Volunteer
Thank YOU for entrusting us to run a good event, and being a participant! It’s YOU who help make this successful, amazing and magical!
volunteers at montrose yoga festival
Photo by Cyllia Lynn Photography

The Future

The time and investment to run an event of this size was much for the small team. It was imperative to Melissa to discuss with her team post event before marketing a future one, to see if this was worth it. After careful consideration – it was unanimous that the Yoga House team will host another Montrose Yoga Festival! The team has decided to host the next one in May 2021. When an exact date and location are set, we’ll be sure to let you know!

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