A week before Treefort Music Fest started last spring, Marisa Weppner, owner of Sage Yoga and Wellness, and dance instructor Celeste Bolin threw together a yoga class and a dance class at the very last minute. They held their classes at 9 a.m. on the Saturday and Sunday of the festival, at the El Korah Shrine.
To their amazement, the classes attracted over 50 sleepy-eyed Treefortafarians, and Yogafort was born.
This year, Weppner and Bolin started planning Yogafort in August. The result: 15 hours of yoga and movement classes, as well as performances, at the Linen Building.
"I love how Treefort reaches out into the community and looks for people who are excited about their particular passion, and then integrates it as its own little entity," Bolin said in the warm and calming lobby of Sage Yoga.
She sat next to Weppner, who wore a pair of Pendleton-wool-patterned spandex leggings.
"This year is way bigger," Weppner said. "We said, 'OK, we'll curate Yogafort, as long as it's not at 9 a.m.'"
Yogafort kicks off Friday afternoon with Shanti Yoga School creator Debbi Murphy. She'll lead an hourlong yoga class with musical accompaniment from Failla Drums, a local drumming group complete with didgeridoos.
Weppner said all of the yoga classes will feature performances from "organic" bands or live DJs.
"We want to use Treefort to combine our love of music with our love of movement," Weppner added. She said practicing yoga to live music takes the energy to a whole new place.
Yoga classes will also be taught by Weppner, Jacqui Terra with DJ IGA, and Derek Beres of EarthRise Soundsystem--a popular band among yogis.
But Yogafort is going beyond yoga. Werk Out Palace from Denver will lead what Bolin calls "aeroba-yoga." A2O Fitness offers a weight workout class, and Bolin will teach a no-experience-necessary, "heart-first, shake-your-booty" dance class with her husband DJ Psycache spinning tunes. Jodeen Revere, a local actress and teacher at Yoga Tree, will host an ecstatic dance class as well.
Weppner is most excited for Dave Stringer's performance on March 23 at noon, when he'll lead the audience in Kirtan--a call-and-response form of chanting. She's calling Yogafort the best way to detox before the "retox."
Yogafort runs March 21-23 from noon to 5 p.m. each day. There are 125 spots for each class and a Yogafort pass costs $75. A Treefort pass will get you into the events based on space availability.