How bulldog yoga is flipping the script on yoga norms and bringing Boulder a brand new kind of workout.
For some, the calm, quiet spirituality of yoga provides an incredibly satisfying workout. For others, like Jon Cummins, the solemn atmosphere doesn’t quite resonate. Enter: bulldog yoga (@bulldogyogaboulder). Cummins, bulldog yoga’s owner, had been taking traditional yoga classes for about six years, and while he loved the strength and flexibility yoga provided, he was less than enchanted with the hushed environment and often uninspiring spaces in which the classes took place. Cummins, who also owns and operates boutique hotels, thought to himself, “I can do this differently.”
Cummins wanted to make yoga upbeat, approachable, and above all, fun. As he explains, “I wanted a workout that would kick my butt and leave me energized and smiling.” He teamed up with Katy Conicella, a trained yogi, who immediately recognized the potential of Cummins’s idea. The two built bulldog from the ground up, planting their first studio in Philadelphia. They crafted a bright, airy space, adorning the walls with modern art. To round out the fun-loving atmosphere they sought, Conicella got a team mascot—a bulldog, of course—named Gracie.
While there are plenty of people who adore traditional yoga, bulldog appeals to those who don’t identify with customary practice. Skipping the Sanskrit and the “oms,” bulldog replaces chanting with music. Each class is taught to a carefully curated playlist that matches its energy. Music is a huge piece of bulldog’s philosophy; it’s one of the major ways that bulldog separates itself from the typical studio.
The studio offers a series of three classes: Activate, Invigorate, and Exhilarate. Each class marries yoga with high-energy fitness—the perfect workout for those who love the physical effects of yoga but crave the noisy vitality of a workout class. Activate is “a dynamic ‘slow-flow’ class” that involves deep stretching, Invigorate is a quick moving “power-flow” class that is ”ambitious, stimulating and aerobic.” Exhilarate is a dialed-up version of Invigorate, incorporating extra cardio and strengthening challenge. While each of bulldog’s teachers—called leaders—has their own style, every class follows a framework, so guests always know what kind of workout to expect.
With their Boulder location now off and running, Cummins and Conicella have masterfully achieved their vision to upend traditional norms and overhaul the idea of what yoga can be. A perfect blend of beats, cardio, and serious stretching, bulldog yoga is a fantastic addition to Boulder’s fitness landscape.